Yesterday, a runner who I admire hugely completed an iconic sporting achievement. Had they done it on their first attempt, I would have been impressed, but it wouldn’t have made a lasting impression on me. I would have added it to the list of incredible things done by amazing runners that have very little bearing on mid-to-back packers like me.
They didn’t do it on their first attempt. Or even their second. What has blown me away has been the determination, the tenacity and the sheer bloody mindedness that has made that runner try again and again until they achieved their goal. It’s an attitude that embraces challenge and accepts (however grudgingly) that failure is a sign of a worthy objective, not a personal flaw.
Watching the journey has been eye-opening and inspiring in equal measure. I hope that when the time comes for my next 100 mile attempt, I will cross the line in a blaze of glory and win the right to a buckle. But if my race isn’t everything I’ve dreamed of, I hope that I will echo their tenacity, pick myself up, dust myself down, and look ahead to my next try, and my next and my next.