Our positive running story this time take a different perspective. This story is about a boy who had a dream, who lost touch with his dream, and then found a way to make his dream into a reality.
Let’s start by telling you a little about this boy. He loves to run. He says that he could run before he could walk, but his mother scoffs at that idea! From an early age, all that he wanted to do was run. He was smart, did really well at school, while his body couldn’t wait for break times so he could get outside and run. At junior school he would often kick off his shoes and run barefoot on grass so he could feel that sweet softness kissing the soles of his feet, the smell of newly mown grass lifting his spirits, while his light, fast feet flew across the ground.
He loved sports day and football, really anything that gave him a chance to be running outside. When he went to senior school, he learned about rugby, and quickly understood that his speed meant he could make an excellent winger. The ball would pass along the line to him, and he would relish that opportunity to fly past everyone else as he let his legs carry him as fast as they could go. He would daydream about running, and write stories about running in the Olympics as a 100 yard sprinter. One story drew a sharp response from his teacher, who reminded him that his time in training was just outside the then World Record! Ah, but it was so good to dream – his dreams were a place that this boy could escape and enjoy a wonderful reality of his own making.
He won every race that he ran from as far back as he can recall, up to the age of about 15. He loved running, and the glory of winning every race became what seemed like the most important part of running. Then the onset of puberty meant that other boys were developing larger muscles, and more power to be able to run faster than he could. Although he was growing too, he was still very lean, and although still fast, he wasn’t winning races any more. He ran as fast as he could, and would come in second, or third, or fourth…His spirits began to wane…with each race that took place, he saw his dreams slowly turning to dust in front of his eyes. He couldn’t understand why he had been given this dream, only to have it taken away from him. He began to sink, losing confidence, self esteem, and was lost in a world that he felt he had no control over. He still ran, but it didn’t have the same spark as it once did, and he felt resigned to a life that was looking very different from the one he had dreamed of.
During this dark time he discovered sex and drugs and rock and roll. While this gave him some highs, it also gave him many lows, so that he was on a downward spiral of attempts to escape how bad he felt inside that his dreams has been taken away. His health suffered, and he developed chronic breathing problems, bad skin, and bounced from relationship to relationship without finding what he needed to lift him out from depression and isolation.
Then one day he woke up and realized that if he carried on with the life that he had created for himself, he would not live the long, healthy life that had been a part of his original dream. Something needed to change. He thought hard about what he used to enjoy doing that he wasn’t doing any more? And then the answer came to him, he used to enjoy running!!!! He knew in his heart that this was the answer, so he put on a pair of trainers, opened the door, and went for a run. He ran some, he walked some, and when he came back home, he remembered why he loved running. It had never been about the winning, it was about the experience, that feeling that you get when your legs move in unison beneath you, and the wonder as you discover what your body is capable of. He remembered!
So, he started running. He became a member at a local leisure center, he started running miles to build his endurance base, and found that the leg speed he had developed on the track in the sprints stood him in good stead even on longer runs. He entered a few races, and started to see that he had some potential as an endurance athlete. He became friends with local runners, found others to run with, and enjoyed the shared time together that became opportunities to change the World. His health improved, along with his confidence, self esteem, and his depression became a distant memory that would return on odd occasions rather than be there constantly in the back of his mind.
He ran with some elite level athletes, and made huge strides in his training beyond his expectations. He also started coaching other runners. He discovered deep soul satisfying rewards from this, and felt the incredible joy that seeing people exceed their goals can yield. He was hooked! Fast forward a few years, and he decided to plan a life built around his passion, running! He and his wife created a new life in Colorado, holding training camps for athletes of all abilities, as well as coaching for 000’s of runners with Vacation Races, and being the visionary behind activacuity, the first guided imagery app for athletes. Now he has a life based around running, and has to often pinch himself to make sure he isn’t dreaming!
The moral of the story – when we dream big dreams, we are getting a message that is important for us. This boy’s dream was about running, and he thought that being an Olympic sprinter was the only way to realize his dream. As it turned out, the important part of his dream wasn’t the end goal, of being a top track runner, winning Olympic medals, it was the experience of running itself, and being able to share that dream with others. Once he realized this and centered his life on pursuing that dream, his life changed. If you have a dream, keep searching for ways to realize it. Keep positive, don’t lose hope, you will find a way. Keeping focused on your life mission can have many many incredible rewards, beyond anything that you have even imagined yet!
Terry provides positive coaching sessions for clients, working with athletes to enable a positive focus on their status and goals. He can also create personalized guided imagery sessions for clients, delivered as an mp3 audio file that you can listen to on multiple devices.