The heroes we choose can be powerful inspirations for us in our own lives. But are we looking for them in the right places?
Too often people seem to settle for celebrities no better (sometimes worse) than themselves. Sadly these idols are all too fallible and when they fall, we the public are far from kind. But there are people out there who are truly inspirational.
I am fortunate that two of my greatest heroes have also been my greatest friends. Sadly neither is still with us, but their legacies live on in the many people they impacted on (RIP again Matt and James). I have also spoken recently about the inspirational courage of Paul Pritchard, whose example I invoke at any time I feel truly challenged.
Today I would speak about another hero.
Peter Wheatley has recently completed a Month of Marathons, running 42km every day, raising money for clean water projects in Ethiopia. I am sure I don’t need to say much about how tiring, difficult and painful that would be. I have been lucky to run a couple of marathons myself and the soreness and fatigue in your legs takes days to go away. The idea of running another the following day sounds terrible. The willpower, commitment and fitness required to do this every day for a month is hard to get my head around.
It isn’t just physically tiring and painful either. Let’s not forget that some of the weather over this past month has been truly horrendous and Peter has been out in it every day. But like I said it goes without saying this kind of effort requires a supreme level of will power and determination.
What perhaps gets forgotten is the more tedious but equally important aspect of meticulous training, preparation that goes into an effort like this. Just building the fitness base to attempt such an ordeal would take months or even years of hard work. Whenever I finish a really tiring run (a marathon certainly qualifies) the temptation is usually to collapse as soon as possible and laze around. However in order to be ready to run again as quickly as possible, an athlete has to go through a length recovery of stretches and cool down exercises- which is absolutely the last thing you want to be doing at that time.
You can’t overstate the level of courage and commitment that it must have taken to complete a Month of Marathons. As well as literally bringing water to Ethiopian villages that need them, he gives inspiration to others that they too can achieve incredible things. Thank you.