A Little Step Outside

Posted by on 22nd November 2019

Last year, Eliud Kipchoge unofficially set the fastest ever marathon time. He ran 26.2 miles in 1:59:40. For a lot of us (myself included), this feat is so far beyond the realms of possibility, that it could fail to inspire us on any meaningful level. We could easily say something like this: ‘Well it’s incredibly impressive, but the man’s a superhuman, I couldn’t even complete a marathon, let alone run one in a good time.’ I think we’ve all thought something along these lines before. We put limits on our capability (and our wildest dreams), because it’s easier and it frightens us less. 

For me, a source of inspiration to ignore the voice telling me “You couldn’t do that!” came at work. Deborah James, or Bowel Babe, as she is now best known, came to the Ryvita annual conference and spoke about her life. She spoke about drinking wine, she spoke about running, about completing the CRUK Shine Walk, about teaching and about her two children. She also told us about the realities of living that life with Stage Four bowel cancer. It was a rallying call for a lot of us in the room for several reasons. Debs’ pure passion for life spoke to that voice in my head dissuading me from trying to accomplish the things that seem a bit scary. Aside from the incredible bravery with which she meets her ongoing treatment, it was the way she described running as a medicine that struck a cord. She just leaves the house and puts one foot in front of the other, not worrying how fast she’s going or how far, but focusing more on the sheer feat of doing it. It’s this attitude that I’ve tried to adopt in my own life. Two or three times a week, I just step out of my flat and see where my feet carry me. I don’t mind if I’m moving only slightly faster than walking pace, or if I only last 20 minutes. It’s the act of doing it that counts. It has proved to be a wonderful remedy for any stresses I’m carrying, and I can take comfort in the fact that this is good for both my mind and my body. What’s more, I’ve surprised myself for the first time in so long; just last week, I managed to run the furthest distance I’ve ever covered – running to a dinner with friends to eat a giant bowl of pasta. 

Ultimately on these runs, though, it comes back to that initial spark from Debs – putting one foot in front of the other and just enjoying it.

In the end, it was a huge source of inspiration that led me to take a little step (out of the door) towards better living.

Olive – The Ryvita Team

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