Running always seemed so dumb to me. I'd be driving around looking at people jogging thinking, these people need help! I ended up running because of a drunken bet. I ran 15 minutes that first time nine years ago and I nearly died. My lungs were raw from coughing and I wanted to vomit, I was so out of shape. I was a raging alcoholic and heavy smoker and the only reason I returned the following week was stubbornness. I kept doing it for a few weeks until I could run 45 mins by myself without stopping. That's when the runner's high kicked in. It was like floating. All the synapses of my brain were firing and both my mind and body synchronised in this state of hyper-awareness. I eventually ran a marathon after some ten-milers and half-marathons. People who've run marathons say your life is changed afterwards. I just kept on drinking.
Sitting on a tree branch in August 2010 with a noose around my neck, I had an epiphany. This was not the path my life was to take. After decades of alcohol and drug addiction, I got sober and rebuilt my life; brick by brick. That's when I got into ultramarathons. It's been said to me before that by quitting booze and taking up ultrarunning, I'm just trading addictions. I disagree. My alcohol addiction was an unhealthy fixation that had a detrimental effect on myself and those around me. Ultrarunning and racing has been edifying to not only myself but also my loved ones. It gives my life purposeful forward motion. It allows me to explore the very depths of who I am and to face the things I don't like about myself or need to improve. Alcohol masks who I am and tries to cover the cracks and flaws. Running allows me to wear those cracks for all to see.
Sobriety has enabled me to run everything from 50 to 100 miles, 12 to 24 hours, multi-day ultra endurance events, and raise thousands of euros for charity.
Desire + patience + persistence = anything is possible.
Comfort zones will do nothing for your personal edification. It's through challenge and repeated application that we achieve the unfathomable. Don't avoid the struggle, embrace it. And never underestimate what you're capable of! My hope with this site is to offer avenues of inspiration as well as practical ways that empower you to step into the best version of yourself. Honoured to be on this journey with you!