“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
This post is a semi-part two from ‘WHY AREN’T [MOST] GIRLS INTO SPORT?’ which sparked a lot of eye-opening conversation. I’m expanding and building on that post currently halfway through a Strava 100km running challenge, whilst also watching the Prudential Ride London 100 mile cycle sportive live on the TV. Both of these epic fitness battles prompted me to write a post focusing on the power of sport for motivation, character building, competition, and ultimately pushing yourself to your limits to find out what our astonishing bodies are truly capable of.
So how exactly do you tackle a big fitness challenge?
FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
I remember this time last year, standing behind the packed barricades that lined London’s prestigious Mall, eagerly waiting for the peloton of pro cyclists to come whizzing past. Utter adrenaline and excitement. I vowed there and then that one day I’d do something incredible. Something some may call ridiculous, that would be a true test, but the feeling at the end would be unbeatable. Something like a marathon or the Ride London 100 miler.
EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE
Yesterday I ran my longest distance yet. Since taking on the Strava 100km challenge (run 100km in a month) my legs haven’t failed to surprise me. I’m astonished they haven’t fallen off, given the sheer distance I’ve covered in the past week. Long run after long run has built up mental toughness before I even begin to think what’s been happening to me physically. Each run extends as new paths are discovered and my trainers get muddier. I have seriously enjoyed the first half of the challenge and am excited to see what the next 50km will bring.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
Accepting a big challenge gives you a goal to work towards. Every kilometre tracked is another step closer towards greatness. The focus of my 100km challenge has given me the guts to push further, and I’ve picked up two PBs in the process. My competitive side now has free reign when I’m running. Mental pep-talks have become a regular occurrence, especially on the longer runs which are more of a mental battle than an physical one.
NEVER SAY NEVER
So that’s my summer project. When I first contemplated covering this distance in such a short amount of time, I brushed off the mere possibility of me ever being able to complete it. I of all people know that sport isn’t easy. Headwinds, cramp and stitches, just to mention a few, can be despicably cruel. That said, in the past week alone I’ve covered 50km, achieved two PBs and survived my longest run ever. True example of how accepting a challenge can help you discover more about your character than you ever knew before. I’ve learned to be more open-minded, say yes more often and go into everything with a can-do attitude.
Now there’s a thought! I guess the biggest limitation is in my head. Keep watching this space.