On the long and lonely hills of Connemara in 2008, I ran my first marathon, passing the post at Peacock’s Hotel in 3h59m, a memory I will hold forever. The following year, I ran the Dublin City Marathon, then lost my running mojo and stopped for around four years before moving to London in 2013. My next marathon was Copenhagen in 2016, where I quit after 26km. I let the heat remove my will. The next year I went back to Denmark to finish what I started and ran the race in my failed shirt from the year before, vowing to make right my regret. Since then, I have brought my marathon total to 19 races and it would appear that a virtual Dublin will be the next.
Running has given my life balance and positivity. I would not be in the job I am in today if it were not for running. It has the wonderful effect for me of putting things in perspective, as well as refreshing me physically and mentally. If I could talk to my teenage self and give him tips on how to approach the road ahead, here is what I would say: “Make yourself PROUD”.
P Power of Positivity
The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus wrote, “He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing”. Take joy from the simple things in life, walks in the park, time with your kids, the feeling you get when you achieve a goal. When you do this, the big stuff seems to fall into place.
R Remember – Heart vs Head
Take your successes in your heart and let them warm you. Keep your failures in your head and learn from them, but never let them bring you down.
When you see a challenge, open your mind to the possibility of overcoming it, don’t back away. If you can pick away at it with resilience and energy, you will most likely succeed. Jacqueline Day wrote, “The road to mastery is paved with challenges”. Embrace your challenges as opportunities so as to develop the best version of yourself.
U Understand – Do What You Love and Love What You Do
Do the job you love, spend time with the ones you love, swim if you love to. Don’t let your time waste away. Time and memories are the most precious things we have. Enjoy and cherish yours.
Learn from an idol, someone who dedicates themselves to their craft. The best sports people give their all to succeed, they do whatever it takes to be at their best. Learn from this approach and commit to your passions and work and enjoy the warm glow of achievement.
We choose happiness through our actions and choices. We make ourselves proud, it rarely just happens by accident. As I look back on my life thus far, and join the dots in reverse, running has been key to achieving positivity and satisfaction. For you it might be yoga, walking, training a sports team or writing, but whatever it is, name it and love it. Make yourself proud!
Chief Executive Officer