The Point Of No Return

Ive read a few book that are true stories about some incredible acts of human survival, and I’ve wandered what they must have had running through their minds.

I’ve asked these questions of others and myself…

“When do you know you’re ready?”

“What happens if you fail whilst under the watchful eyes of others?”

I think I’ve reached a point where I can answer both.  Oddly, it’s dawned on me not when running, but when revisiting my old hobby of Tai Chi.

How do I know that I’m ready?

It’s hard to put into to words, but in short, there’s a certain clarity to my thinking and I know that even when utterly destroyed from a previous days running that I can still move and my body will respond by becoming more fluid with each step.  I know I can embrace the dark moments of doubt and use my persistent forward motion to break through them.  Staying in the moment, listening to the feedback my body provides and acting as much on instinct as is possible.

Then there’s the whole issue of failure.

This is the second part of knowing you are ready.  You accept failure.  The Hagakura (samurai code) describes the perfect samurai mentality as one who has already accepted death.  A little morbid, I agree, but I’m ready to fail, learn, train and repeat the whole thing in the following year.  It is something I will keep trying till it is done and borrowing the words of Edison, I will learn 99 ways not to run 1206 miles in barefeet and one way to do it. 

Enjoy your day 😊

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Acknowledging The Thresholds Of Potential Failure

1206 miles of running is not a small and easy task.

There is no plan for failure, but there are points where I will have to say it is time to stop.  The potential for failure because of random events gets higher the longer a challenge is, and a potential 6 weeks makes that random chance huge, but I’m not concerned with it.  Part of my training has been doing things wrong and pushing what is sensible to find what happens in a controlled way.  But there is one thing that I will have to stop for and I think I need to put the reason why out there…

I am a teacher and with that have responsibilities that I take seriously.  I teach and keep working hard because I genuinely want the best for the students that I interact with.  Doesn’t matter if they are in my classes.  I’m not unique in this.  All teachers have this sense of profound responsibility, which is why they work the way they do, and tend to put work first where others wouldn’t.

So, here it is.  I will have to stop 6 weeks after starting regardless of how close I am to John O’Groats.  There is not provision for teachers to have additional time off and even if there was, the impact it would have on the students that I look over as a tutor and those that I will be teaching in my classes is too high.  I’m sharing this so people understand early on that I will push my body and mind to the point of breaking just to complete this challenge, but when the decision to stop and return to work comes, I will stop!

It’s not a decision I’ve come to easily, but I know it is the right decision to make about the challenge.  I may be doing it for a good cause but is it more worthy than the potential future of the children and young adults I will be responsible for?

I think not, and I hope others understand why.