Taken from Take That’s seventh studio album ‘III’, this is one of my all-time favourite Take That singles and interestingly features only three of the original band members – Minus Robbie Williams and Jason Orange, they were just as good if not better in my opinion.
It was my ‘Event Anthem’ at this year’s Marathon des Sables and I drew a lot of inspiration and strength from the music and words, which I expect would be down to Gary Barlow, more than any of the others credited. I say I drew ‘inspiration’ from the song although I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily someone that needs something ‘inspirational’ to give me the drive to undertake any kind of challenge or achieve anything that might be considered extreme.
The song simply fitted my mood and my thoughts at the time and heightened my senses both during each stage and post run on reflection, later in the day if I’m being honest. I mean, if you can’t ‘Let in the Sun’ at the top of a 1000-metre high Jebel that you’ve just climbed in +50°C that months earlier you’d thought you’d never see again, let alone summit – well, I’m sure you’d have a moment too… and ‘Let your Sun in’.
Anyway, it’s ‘Inspiration’ that I’m interested in blogging about today as I’ve seen it said that,
‘If you are searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror’.
It’s a statement I’d agree with whole-heartedly as I believe that everyone can be their own ‘Elite’ self and yet for a lot of the folk that I coach, ‘Self-Belief’ seems to elude them, when in reality, it’s an ‘Instant-Win-Lottery-Ticket’ for greater achievements and greater self-happiness.
One of my favourite analogies in ‘Self-Belief’ is about matching one’s ‘Ambition to Ability’. You’d be amazed at how many new runners want to take on some of the world’s toughest running races based on very little experience and low levels of endurance and speed fitness. I liken it to buying an electric guitar, taking a few lessons and then wanting to headline at Glastonbury, OUCH. For the Marathon des Sables Warrior, it must be remembered that the MdS has very generous cut-off times and is therefore achievable by most whereas multi-day road running, the Grand Union Canal Race, Spartathlon or UTMB are there for a more experienced and hardened athlete to attempt. I say attempt as the failure rate speaks for itself on these races and as you know, for me and my clients’ failure isn’t an option.
Going up a gear? And if that’s your goal well,
‘In the darkness, you must enter the code and crack the combination all on your own’
You’ll need time, dedication and sheer hard work as that’s what’s needed to get to the level of being a winning ‘Bombproof Endurance Athlete’. It’s something that folk need to desire more than anything else in life. It’s something as a Coach that’s impossible to ‘Project’. Sure, huge amounts of ‘Ambition’ are required but also an inner desire and will to win at all costs is needed. Beating the ‘Failure Enablers’, ‘Energy Vampires’ is one thing but the biggest challenge is possibly the voice from within that naggingly doubts success.
With this in mind,
‘Pick yourself up and search for the light, hungry for a new start’
As sure as the Sun rises each morning, every day is a good day to kick-start the rest of your life. Even in the darkest of nights, a new dawn heralds a day full of exciting possibilities. Sometimes it’s hard to take on board exactly what those possibilities are or what they could be but starting though is the important part rather than continued hesitation, procrastination and pre-match-analysis.
‘It's your chance now to stand up and fight, take the next step now a day at a time’
I’ve always lived life one day at a time and compartmentalised life. I use the same simplicity in the race strategies and in the 12-week training plans that I write for folk. Worrying about what lies ahead in the 23rd mile of a marathon when you are still only in the 5th is a sure way to undermine any race performance and why worry about what lies ahead in week 10 of a 12-week plan when all that’s needed is to complete the day’s tasks you’ve been set?
When you reach that point,
‘Leaving all that once what was holding you back, want you to see the sun rise as fast as you can’
And when you do, leave the old you as far behind as you possibly can. I always say about my 8hrs 55mins at the London-to-Brighton, 55 Mile Road Race that the time was good for a ‘Fat Guy that used to smoke and drink a lot but in real terms, it was a great time for anyone full stop. For any obese person that can slim down to their own natural body-weight and trains as an elite athlete, there shouldn’t be limitations, only expectations. And high-expectations at that.
So, from now on,
‘Feel the air and breathe it in, feel the warmth upon your skin’
And start being the true ‘Inspiration’ that’s been missing from your world, right now. Even in these dark days of Winter, let in the Sun and light up the rest of your 2017 and 2018.
Rory Coleman - firstname.lastname@example.org
1,004 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales