I’m a 29 year old software developer living in London. I love my job, my friends and my family. I’m not happy unless I have an impending challenge, something that scares the hell out of me. In 2011 I cycled to Paris in 24 hours (well I clocked in around 25 hours). Later in 2011 I ran the Amsterdam Marathon with next to no training. Now after a rather dull 2012 I’ve decided to set myself the arguably ambitious goal of cycling 3,058 miles coast to coast of america in 3 weeks.
Why?…Fitness freak? Masochist? Nuts?
Well I am definitely a bit nuts but my enjoyment comes from the challenge. A few years ago I was the wrong side of 14 stone and never ran a mile in my life, then I bought a book by Haruki Murakami called ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’.
I guess it’s fair to say it changed my life. Within the first few chapters I was itching to get out and go for a run, so I did. I managed less than 500 meters before I was huffing and puffing and walking along with a stitch, but I went out each day and gradually managed to complete a 3km loop around where I lived and that became my routine, I think I even managed it twice at one point. Fast forward 6 months I had increased that to 13 miles just doing laps around a park whilst waiting for my girlfriend to finish an exam, fast forward another 6 months I signed up for the Great North Run half marathon. I completed it in 1hr36minutes…not to shabby for a beginner.
It wasn’t that I enjoyed running, I mostly enjoyed the fear before hand and the sleepless night the night before. My running was going well and I never in my wildest dreams thought I could complete anything like a marathon, that was what other people did not me. It would take me a year before I would be able to run a marathon and even that was after a constant knee pain which led me to drop out of the Paris Marathon earlier on that year.
I struggled through the marathon and throughout the months afterwards it was knee pain after knee pain, The distance was fine, my fitness was great but my joints weren’t ready. One day I would like to go back and nail an ultra-marathon but for the time being cycling has me, and since I’ve lost a few stone I think I look rather fetching in the lycra.
So that’s me. I like being scared, I like having a challenge, I like people telling me I’m stupid and I would enjoy life more if I didn’t put myself through this (thanks Mum) and me telling them they’re right but do it anyway. You only life once and I intend to experience as much as I can and push myself to the limits of what I can physically do.
I’ll leave you with a simple quote from Murakami’s book…
“Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional”