Eric Thomas once said, "If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you'll be successful." You suddenly realise how badly you want to breathe when you're running. When it seems easier to just stop and let the nagging pain in your legs ease up, when the voices in your head are telling you that you don't need to run anymore and that it's too difficult. Then you realise how badly you want to succeed when you tell yourself that you can go that little bit further, and that you've come so far already it would be too easy to give up now.
Last Sunday I decided to prove a point to everyone who had their doubts about me running to the Forest of Dean. In all fairness I'd forgotten how far it was going to be, but I knew even before my foot touched the concrete that I could do it. Sometimes as long as you've set your mind to something it doesn't matter if your body can't keep up. One advantage of course is that I love running and pushing my body to its limits, there's something therapeutic about being able to run and not having to stop. And 1 hour, 56 minutes and 9.58 miles later I could finally appreciate what I'd just done as my Dad drove me back to Gloucester showing me how far I'd run. When other people were nursing their Sunday morning hangover I'd ran to Cinderford.
Now I don't usually wake up on a Sunday wanting to run almost 10 miles, but as I'm Miss Gloucester I have to raise as much money as possible for Beauty with Purpose (Miss England Charity) before the big competition in May. As my next charity venture I decided to complete this very run, but it wouldn't be worth the sponsors if I couldn't make it now would it? And although the insane pride I felt in myself that I'd made it that far and didn't stop or get out of breath, I didn't appreciate the blisters and back pain, even though they were a painful reminder that I'd achieved what I'd set out to do.
With anything in life you'll only be successful if you have a passion for it, even better if you have a passion for being successful. But it's that drive and hunger to succeed that makes it easier to reach your goals, convincing yourself it will happen is half the battle. Of course I'm no motivational speaker, and hearing a story of me running for 2 hours may not seem the most thrilling of tales, but growing up it was hearing my Dad's motivational talks that kept me on my toes and eager to achieve. When you have a figure in your life that motivates you, and drives to Cinderford on a Sunday morning stopping every so often so that you can catch up, helps you because you know that you're not in it alone. My Dad could've been a professional boxer once upon a time, and that was his life's ambition, but when my sister was born the same day of the championships his new ambition in life was protecting and raising a family, which was also when he took up bodybuilding, and ever since I can remember it's always seemed that whatever he sets his mind to he's successful at it. And it's that person, be it yourself or a supportive friend or family member, will keep pushing you and will remind you that although there are all these fences to jump you just have to keep jumping, because eventually you'll have a nice garden to sit in when you're finished.
(If you would like to leave a sponsor or donation to Beauty with Purpose please contact Lauren Phelps, Miss Gloucester at firstname.lastname@example.org)