Why I ran from Heathrow to Central London

Choose inspiration

The familiar and uncomfortable jingle of my alarm woke me in the darkness. I turned toward the ringing, the glare of the phone burning my eyes as I navigated the blurry screen to kill the alarm. I was then aware of an even less comforting sensation, the sound of the wind and hale lashing against my window. It was 6am on a Sunday morning, and I had a long journey to make.

  Two days previously I had agreed to meet a complete stranger at London Heathrow on this particular morning. We were going to run from Terminal 5 to central London together in aid of CALM. Whilst I lay in the cool, darkness, shrouded in the warmth of my double duvet, my mind began it’s internal dialogue of self-motivation:

“No way… not in this weather. It’s a 3 hour journey until the run, who would blame me?”

“He has just run from Canada to Argentina.”

“Maybe he’ll cancel because of the weather?”

“He’s run 17,000km through snowy mountain ranges and dry desert heat, he won’t cancel.”

“It won’t make any difference me not being there?”

“It will make every difference by being there.”

  Thankfully, 4 hours later I joined a team of supporters waiting for Jamie in Costa coffee facing arrivals in the terminal. It soon became clear that I was the only weirdo who didn’t know Jamie, but had responded to his call through the CALM Twitter feed. Everyone else there was family and/or friends. Never-the-less I was part of the team, and the guys warmly welcomed me as part of the group.

Jamie is running at Heathrow

  After a few photos, and tactical applications of Vaseline, we set off. Having navigated our escape from Heathrow, it wasn’t long before the 9 of us settled into a easy pace, steady enough to maintain conversation and enjoy the run. It also didn’t take long for me and Jamie to connect and I began to pick his brain. There was a lot I expected and hoped I would learn from him, given he was so fresh from his life-changing experience.

  In fact, it was an honour to learn that, on the very final stretch of his expedition, Jamie and I shared some very similar ideals, outlooks and conclusions on life. One of which I have decided to share with you as my first blog post…

The 3 things we need to be happy in a job (as he told me):

  1. A dream
  2. Motivation
  3. Inspiration

And that is what we explored on the run. What it is to inspire and genuinely feel inspired. Like most great things in life, inspiration seems to be an energy that flows both ways.

  Whatever it is you do for a living, wherever you live and what ever money you have, you have the ability to inspire others. In turn the reality of knowing you inspire others, pushes you on further. By running from Vancouver to Buenos Aires, Jamie inspired me not just to get out of bed that morning, but to get back out and into running. After hearing his stories, I know that I am also inspired to consider travelling again. Equally, Jamie’s life has certainly changed forever. Knowing how much he has achieved and how far he’s come, especially given the praise and astonishment from the perspective of us lowly desk-dwellers, he isn’t likely to be satisfied with coming home and settling back into “normal life”; he is now inspired to do more, see more and experience more adventures.

British Forrest Gump

  We know that running is only a good thing for us, aside from the obvious health benefits, runners also experience the rush of endorphins that flood our receptors causing natural feelings of euphoria. As a runner, you also get to see, feel, hear and even smell everything that makes up the place you are running through. You are free from the burden of queues and traffic fumes. It is time you invest on yourself, physically and mentally. Good deeds, bring only more good deeds.

  It is actually all very easy, something which Jamie said was a big point he wanted to make when telling people about his adventures. Anyone can do anything amazing, and running IS amazing. The world can never get enough inspiration, we need it to get through each and every day. Once you get into the habit of inspiring others, it becomes a bit of an addiction, makes getting out of bed a necessity 😉

The benefits of doing something awesome amount to so much more than the cash donated to your chosen charity (Jamie has raised over an amazing £17K for CALM, Macmillan and WaterAid so far). By pushing yourself to achieve your dream, you inspire yourself and others to do the same. The buzz from which changes your perspective permanently, and leaves lasting memories for you to be proud of.

What is life worth if not to be inspired by it? And if you haven’t found your passion, or means of inspiration, then all the more reason to go looking for it. Why not?

Jamie runs through London

You can read Jamie’s full blog here. Stay tuned for the book 😉

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