Sunday, 8 January 2012

Keeping cool when challenged

I have run for charity for all of my "big" runs - a big run being one of many miles or much emotional investment. So it was with much pride that I took the start line of the Polar Nights Half Marathon in Tromso wearing the Freedom from Torture running vest (over the top of another layer of clothing!).

I have had a close association with the charity for several years including meeting their clients (beneficaries), people who had come to the UK having been victims of torture. The resilience of their clients is incredible and it's something I keep in mind if I ever find anything in life tough. My challenges in life are small fry.

I'd like to think that it's this perspective that helped me through the Polar Nights Half Marathon, a 21.1km run, in the dark and sub zero temperatures 400km north of the Arctic Circle. When it got a little hard, I was able to check my negative emotions and enjoy everything that I was lucky enough to experience.

And what an experience: the sky shed its twilight hues and moved to moody clouds before darkening to form a backdrop to bashful stars and a brazen full moon. The sea was like a floor of opals, changing color, reflecting the moon, sparkling as we ran alongside it. The street light turned the snow into diamond dazzles and candles were packed into small snow mounds the duration of the route. It was breahtaking - not for the exercise, but for its beauty. And running it felt a celebration of life.

If you'd prefer to celebrate life without running 21.1km then please consider donating the cost of a congratulation pint via my website

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