Goal, Target, Objective - whatever word you want to use, it is obviously a set place we want to get to or to achieve; this could be “I want to run couch to 5k” or “I want to run an ultra” or even “I just want to get out of bed” and that alone, fantastic and all the best of luck to you in the world, but one thing we are all guilty of, forgetting our journey.
The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu
That first step into the relative unknown, is something that no matter who you are on this planet we have all taken – First day of school, First day at a new job, First day of lacing up your trainers, The first of anything in fact and the one thing that differs to us all: the journey – Our way to achieving “our personal greatness” and going to conquer our own personal Everest.
We say to our peers and even to ourselves “What is YOUR Everest” and this is a question I adore because it brings into something which unifies us all – It beings in our humanity, our characteristics and whether we believe it or not - our life journey to achieve this incredible feat whatever it may be.
When Edmund Hillary KG ONZ KBE (1919-2008) and Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986) first conquered Everest in 1953, he had a lifelong love for exploration setting off on his personal goals as a mountaineer encountering successes and Failures along the way – But eventually never giving up on the way to conquer the highest point in the world. At every point looking back you could say he “Conquered his Everest” is every turn before his very literal goal for example, coming back from failure, Coming back from injury in world war 2 but never negating the fact:
He could, so therefore, he did.
When Sir Roger Bannister CH CBE FCRP (23 March 1929 – 3 March 2018) smashed the 4-minuet mile, he did so in the full knowledge that everyone from your average joe, to lifelong athletic professionals all said, it simply cannot be done; Since breaking this, it gave the belief to others that it can actually be done and people could then believe they too can do this and gets done every year in the world of athletics. but yet again:
he could, so therefore, he did.
When I Was in a world of countless suicide attempts, hearing voices, seeing things and begging desperately for my world to come to an end; I got out of bed, with support saw some help in my doctor guided by the love of his life and laced up his trainers for the first time. I found he could beat his mental ill-health, tame it and keep it under control; to go on and become an ultrarunner, Award winning international keynote speaker, and have a thirst for helping others battle their ill-health: I Learned:
I could, So therefore, I Did
Ultimately in these examples it proves, for “YOUR Everest”: They did, So therefore, YOU could.
We all encounter the same exact thing in our day to day lives – We make the right and wrong decisions all the time, hey we are human! But getting to where we want to be or where we are right now, we negate the power of our journey on how we got here in the present– something I’m incredibly guilty of, but something even to this day I use as my fuel as a runner.
It is so easy to beat ourselves up on the failures or the flip of a coin, celebrate our successes - but when we look back on what we have done to get here, Damn do I personally feel proud.
I’ve learned that yep, I can achieve anything from continuing to survive from my mental illnesses, to long distance ultra running – previously “my Everest” - but looking back along the way it has been incredibly difficult both physically and mentally; but I have learned from my own personal failures, successes and everything in between so I base my running on something that I just love what I do – and have fun along the way.
Now looking into the new year I have set myself some goals, Start rolling out the mental health runner Champion Awards, keep challenging my local MP and Keep petitioning the Mental health act Reform Bill – But most of all keep running, Training for my events this year, loose a bit of weight but encompassing all of this – Have fun doing so and I know ill continue to smash my Goal, Target, Objective; whatever word you want to use!
The point is this: You go for YOUR Everest, never back down and enjoy the journey along the way – It WILL inspire and motivate others and even the next generation to strive for their success and you never know, you could change the world.
Mental Health Runner: Mantra 2 – As long as I can look back on my life and say “I did that” or “At least I tried” that, my friends, is all that matters.
So go on: What is YOUR Everest?
Happy New year.
Tom (Mental Health Runner)