How Do You Know If You Are Ready? 

Before you start reading you should know that I am not offering answers.  This is merely a starting point on something that I’ve been asked a fair few times this week, even though my challenge is 9 weeks away.

Almost every day I encounter a small voice.  It is the voice of doubt.  It starts as a small faint hum, and then grows to a faint whisper.  Alone, the imaginary sound of the sea at the end of my journey make short work of drowning it out.  The memories of the person I am running for cuts through the growing whisper, and the knowledge that there are people who have shown their support help keep the voice at bay.

Then the question come….

“Are you ready?”

The voice returns louder…

“You can’t answer that question can you?”

And it’s right!  I have no idea how to judge my readiness for something this big, and haven’t read any thing that actually spells out how you can possibly know.  The inner voice of doubt joins with the voices that I know are out there, and become more an inner negativity to push against.  The precept of martial arts is that you need to use your opponents force to attack their centre, meaning that if your opponent is relaxed, calm and focused you will have nothing to fight against and are likely to lose.  This collection of voices, all of which accompany me on each and every training run, are there as a force that allows me to push on, perpetually moving forwards to disprove them.

But the question still remains….

How can you know if you are ready for something, when you have never done it before?

Fueling The Furnace Of Stubborn Mentality

What in us causes doubt in others?

Why do we decide something’s are possible and something’s are not before, we have attempted the things we discount as impossible?

The biggest obstacle in raising the profile of this barefoot run I have planned is the doubt of others.  For me, it feeds something deep in my consciousness.  It builds and becomes part of my thinking and drives my actions.

In the same frustrated breath, I embrace the doubt in the whole idea that someone could travel the 1206 mile route between Land’s Ebd and John O’Groats barefooted whilst carrying everything they need and relying on the random kindness of strangers to get by.

I have no doubt about whether I’ll finish or not.  I have concerns about sections of the run, finding the right routes and paths, eating enough food, drinking enough water, coping with the lack of facilities on a day to day basis and falling into the trap of fighting against the clock from day one.  Thing is, failure is not an option as I have something to prove, and I have some guilt and sadness to shed.