Challenge the Body – Help the Mind
A lot has been written about the benefits of exercise and how it helps you mentally as well as physically, and I can honestly say that I agree wholeheartedly with this. I was fortunate enough to get a charity place in the 2018 London Marathon and with little running experience, this was not only a big challenge for me, but a very daunting one too. The six month training plan filled with me dread and the thought of running eighteen miles on a Sunday morning on my own in the freezing rain in mid-January was about as appealing as eating a plate of cooked mushrooms with added mushrooms on the side (I really really hate mushrooms!).
My initial focus was only on the physical and whether my body had the strength and endurance to carry me 26.2 miles. However, as the training progressed, I really started to notice the emotional benefits. I was finding the training helped me to switch off from work and focus better and at the same time alleviated any stress I was feeling. I was eating healthier and drinking less and feeling better about myself.
The marathon day itself was amazing, one I will never forget it. Once it was over, I gave myself a few months break to reflect on achieving such a feat. It was however, then that bad habits crept back in and rather than continuing to exercise, my mind felt the challenge was over and I lost motivation. Stress crept back in and I knew I needed another challenge to get back on track. I signed up for another marathon and in April this year completed the course in Paris.
My training for Paris coincided with preparing for the April launch of Scamp Speakers. The running really benefitted me on the business front and helped me to understand how to stick to a plan and never give up.
But I am back to square one again. I need a challenge. I need the motivation back not only to help keep healthy physically but mentally too. I don’t want to do another marathon, so the next challenge is an open door at the moment.
Speakers Jim Lawless took on a £1 bet that he could become a jockey within one year, Chris Moon became the first amputee to run the Marathon De Sables, and Roz Savage has rowed solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Whilst I don’t imagine I will take on anything of this magnitude and look on in awe at their achievements, I will be embarking on a new challenge soon and would love to hear about some of the challenges you have taken on to help inspire me!