Build momentum and keep the flow

The past 6 Months has been a remarkable 6 months for me. I feel I have learnt and gained a lot and through experiences, interactions and all of what life is offering me.

Raising funds for charity while training for and then running in one of the worlds most prestigious events, the New York Marathon, was a humbling experience. As hard as I trained (mentally, and physically), I also worked hard to attract donations to my dedicated charity. Instead of reaching my goal of $15,000, with the help of many of you, family and friends, we reached over $17,000 before the marathon.

Running the NY Marathon was a sensational experience. One I will never forget. I received so much support from close ones and strangers, young and old, rich and poor. The more I engaged my supporters on the side lines along the way, the more shouting and motivation I received back. For a tall runner, I had a pretty hefty goal to run the 42.2Km in under 4 hours. I had trained to be well within that time, including training 4 times each week – almost 70Km – my diet was as clean and awesome as could be (till I arrived in the USA a few weeks before). I started the race really well and at 30Km things went pear shaped. I cramped up 4 times in the last 12Km, something I had never experienced before. To me, it felt like labour contractions, it was so intense. I managed to go from being still yet in writhing pain, to slow walking and then back to an easy run pace before it happened again. ┬áThe motivation to finish was still there, I knew I had to finish, I had raised money from that many supporters and so many people on my support team, there was no doubt.

The reminder in all of this – “life is what is happening when you are making plans”. – things don’t always happen the exact way we plan so one needs to be versatile to be able to predict what one can do and how you will cope with it when things are not the way you expect. This should be seen in life, health, relationships, communications on all levels, finances and more. Have a backup plan and engage the support of the people around you, especially the important ones. This will help you keep on track!

As your year starts, use the plans you have made, the goals you have set, for work, for school, for family and friends and beyond and expect the unexpected. Know that you need to build and then maintain momentum and the moment that momentum is broken, find the easiest, quickest and most painless way to get you back to that.

So YES, I finished my Marathon. I did a personal best by 1 minute. It was not under 4 hours but I finished and had an experience that I learnt from and can always reflect on.

Wishing you and your close ones a happy, healthy and successful 2017. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of keeping your momentum in your health and life.

Dr Roy Smith

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