Thursday, 11 August 2011

Here's to the Dreamers - God bless us all!

I've always managed to live beyond my means. I'm not one to let a lack of ability, or talent prevent me from embarking on a course that perhaps a wiser or more rational head would have decided was folly.

This has manifested itself over the years in a number of ways; buying my first flat when I had no money, singing in a band when I couldn't sing, starting my own business without any real clue about what I was doing and running in ridiculously long races when I don't train enough. However, here I am, 45 years in to this life and when I pause and look back I realise that I wouldn't have done any of these if I hadn't taken that leap of faith each time. To hang on to that unshakeable belief that I could do these things if I really wanted to and to not loose sight of the dream.

I've always been a bit of a dreamer. Not your whimsical, "wouldn't it be great if I could fly!" type of dreamer but more practical, real things that focus your energies and give you a faint glimmer of hope that says "why not? - I could do that!" Life is too short to hang around and wait for things to happen, you need to go out there and get them. You need to make your own luck and have a hand in your own future and to grab the chances that present themselves to you. Enjoy these moments when they come, savour them and embrace them and recognise the fact that you made them happen.

Andy Cole spoke in his last blog about finishing the Ultra Tour of the Lake District 100 mile race and that whilst most people would summon up a run in the last half mile or so to finish strongly in front of the crowd, he prefers to take his time. He wants to enjoy these last few moments, to drink in the atmosphere, to recognise the applause, the enjoy the satisfaction of all the hard work and effort that has gone in to this moment. I like that. I have blogged in the past about "enjoying the journey" and this is exactly it. If my cup of life is filled to the brim then I am going to drink it down and enjoy every drop - and then go back for a refill!

So does all of this have some point? Am I going anywhere with this? Well in a little over two weeks time I'll be in Chamonix for the start of the UTMB, 105 miles and 29,000 feet of racing in what is the premier event of it's kind in Europe. Have I trained and prepared properly? - No. Am I experienced in races of this nature? - No. Do I believe I can do it? - Hell yes!

How can I honestly believe that I can do this? - Well, in my head, many times, I have run down the main street in Chamonix in the early hours of Sunday morning with the cheers and shouts of "allez, allez" and with the finish line coming in to view. I raise my arms as I cross the line; I've done it. So I can dream it and I can imagine it and I have deep, deep down belief that I can do it.

So to the other dreamers who are joining me in Chamonix, who want to grab a slice of life a savour every morsel along the way, I raise my glass and say "Salut - bon chance mes amis!"