Respect the distance

With 2 days to go, it struck me that 50km is a long way to walk. I obviously knew this when I agreed to do it, but it hadn’t fully registered with me quite what the challenge was. And two days isn’t really enough to prepare for this. I was telling myself that 6 weeks earlier I’d run 60km. But I’d prepared for that and I had trained in running. Walking – in theory – is easier than running, but in practice, I find the different muscles that are engaged always get me behind the knee. And did I mention this was happening overnight?

As with all challenges, there are two choices – to do, or to not do. What do we need to consider when we choose to do?

Mostly, respect the distance. And this is true, metaphorically, for life as well as literally for endurance events. Recognise that it’s a long way and that change can take a long time; that most people won’t even try and that sometimes you need to take a break half way. Recognise that getting to the start line and giving it a go may in itself be the change you’re looking for.

Even if you start slow, start. Whether you adopt the tortoise or the hare approach the most important thing is to take the first step. You’ll get to the finish line no matter which attitude you adopt.

Do the hard work.  This could be physical training or mental preparation. If you want to get to the finish line (and remember if you’re thinking big picture, you get to decide where or what this is). Whatever it is you want to do – practice doing that thing. If you want to walk 50km, get out walking; if you want to sing professionally, practice singing or if you want to lead a company, find a team or a project to manage.

Celebrate your successes. Try not to focus on how far there is to go, but remember to take stock of where you are right now and how you’ve travelled to get there. You can get a bit of a spring in your step when you celebrate the 30km done, rather than focusing on the 20km still to go. And pause if you need to and enjoy the view.

I’ve done many endurance events before and I know I can do them. I trust my amazing body to keep going. My challenge is to make it feel easier, although I don’t think it will ever feel easy and the best way to do this is to respect the distance but do it anyway.


If you know what you want to do, but can’t seem to make it happen – get in touch for a chat about how I can help you start doing your dreams.

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