Pause. Reflect. Sometimes we’re too concerned about chasing the next thing that we give little thought to the path we have travelled or the journey we are taking. This especially echoes true when it comes to racing, as it sometimes feels like working through a list of things you need to do and you end up not thinking about what brought you to that point in the first place.
This time of year is quiet often a time to reflect on what we have accomplished during the year. Those New Years resolutions of past being put back on the list for next year, along with some new ones. The goal of looking and feeling better about ourselves.
Looking back over this year, it was filled with highs and lows. Things were never going to go great after fracturing my foot before Paris Marathon, which I still managed to finish in 3h 34m and London Marathon in 3h 5m with only rehabilitation work leading up to both races.
The focus was more about getting getting me ready for Lavaredo Ultra Trail, Eiger Ultra Trail and Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc. In reality, I don’t think anything could quite prepare me for the sheer scale of any of these events. Lavaredo was my learning curve, leaving me with unfinished business of around 20km. The Eiger taught me that when everything else is laid bare, you will find the strength to shine. If you ever want to experience an Ultra Trail event, go to Grindelwald, you will not be disappointed!
UTMB taught me to be true to myself. I had always thought that I would not enjoy the mass participation of this event and after being stuck walking for 10 hours through the night, I decided I’d rather go do something else I’d enjoy more. It led to a voyage of self discovery, running into the mountains on my own with little more than a few snacks, some water and a desire to do something different. There were no maps to guide the way.
This year has taught me to focus on the things which make me feel good, let go of the things which don’t. Sometimes bigger isn’t necessarily better and maybe there things we are not ready for.
I received a lovely little list making book for Christmas to fill with places I dream of going, things I dream of doing, what I want to remember (and forget) and adventures I must go on, amongst other things. Why not, instead of making resolutions about things you want to quit, instead, why not make lists of things you want to do. Focus on the good, you’ll be surprised what you’ll achieve.
Believe you can.