17 November 2011

Don't be good, be great!

I’ve pressed pause on my training the last two weeks.  Not intentionally, it’s just the way it’s happened.  

There’s a sense of guilt that I’m not swinging my arms over and over and pacing up and down the black line, but I’m also trying to look at this opportunity from a positive angle and although I’m not training my body, I think I’ve managed to strengthen some mental muscles!

I’m currently in Tronno (also known as Toronto).  I’m on the last leg of a pretty extraordinary trip.   On Sunday 6th November, I saw 46 Aussie runners cross the finish line of the New York City Marathon.  If you want to be inspired..this event tops them all! It seems that the entire population of NYC comes out to support these 47,000 runners.  The streets are lined with bands, entertainers and plenty of loud cheerers.  I stood at the 23 mile mark just before the course enters Central Park.  I was so in awe of every single runner, I stayed there for 6 hours, perched on the barricades screaming runners’ name and giving a hi-5 to as many as possible.  It was incredible.  To think these people have trained for months and months and this is THEIR day...their special day when their dream is made a reality.  

Mental exercise #1: Never, never, never give up.

 With Kyle at the Cheer Zone!

From New York I went onto Chicago where I met up with some colleagues from offices all around the world – Kenya, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and America.  About a year ago I launched a program called Team World Vision borrowed from a model that originated in the US.  This program encourages people to run a marathon and in doing so, change lives around the world.   It actually changes everyone’s lives and is the most inspiring charity fundraising program I’ve come across.

I finally got to meet Michael who I’ve been Skyping for about two years.  Michael started Team World Vision nearly 5 years ago and has since raised millions of dollars for clean water projects in Africa.  Just 4 weeks ago, Michael, along with 3 friends ran 100 miles and got 400 children sponsored in the process.  They were told by many a sceptic that completing 100 miles EACH non-stop was impossible!  They defied the odds, and joined 1000 other Team World Vision runners for the last 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon!  

Mental exercise #2: Achieving the impossible IS possible!

From Chicago I went onto Toronto where I spent a couple of days with colleagues in the World Vision Canada office.  This was a fantastic experience mainly to feel assurance that there are individuals and teams doing the same job as me that I can reach out to.  Although very positive, I did have a few anxious moments as I felt so overwhelmed with the organisation I work for.  To be honest, I lost sight of what I’m achieving and found myself only focussing on what I’m not doing and what I can potentially do – which is SO much!  Reflecting on this now I’ve realised that it’s so important to stop now and again and look at where you’ve come from.  Take the time to celebrate how far you’ve come and then continue to move forwards.  I’m going to think about this when swimming next time..instead of thinking about how much further, I’m going to focus on each lap that I’m achieving..I have a feeling it’s going to be quite refreshing!

Mental exercise #3: Celebrate success

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