• Tom Crossland

Day 6 - Rest and the importance of impermanence

So after one of the hardest days ultra-running of my life I have spent today reflecting on why it was so hard and trying to absorb the learning from it, as well as getting reading for the upcoming days.

I have been reflecting on how much the knowledge that everything is impermanent helped me through yesterday.

A very strange thing has happened. The start back on Wednesday feels like a lifetime ago and even the run from Barking to Maldon is a distant memory, yet only two days of running ago.

I have been trying to work out why yesterday was such a hard time this is not because my legs were the most battered they have every been. It wasn’t the furthest I’ve done or the longest day I’ve been on my feet. It was something else. I was very emotional, from when I started needing a very big hug from Tim to get me going. I’ve done longer races and covered more distance in the same time and I’ve not experienced before. I think because this is my own project that means so much to me. However slow I was going or sad I felt the idea of stopping never entered my mind. I truly think that if this was a race I would have stopped yesterday. I would have convinced myself that that was the good option.

You will have gathered from the post last night all my emotions were very raw by the end of the day. I think that only yesterday, I really came to terms with what taking on such a large project outside really truly means. This is something that is outside of the controlled race environment, where the race director and course director do a lot of the heavy lifting mentally. I am so lucky I have my tribe around me and am learning that asking for help truly is the bravest thing you can do. Without my tribe and the people that joined the tribe I would not have got the end of the day in such good shape.

Tim was awesome and I know he is learning just like me and is probably spending a lot of time worrying about getting things wrong. There is no need for him to worry he is awesome (note to self: must ensure a good handover to new crew members note to the new crew members: you are all awesome people and I have total trust in you) and I think everyone who know’s us knows wholeheartedly that I could not have got to his point in life without Bex and yesterday, even though she was 200 km away (running my route) and had other things going orchestrated the superb support from the runners of Colchester.

Day on day, I am focus on experiencing this journey in all it’s glory and muck. I am really mindful not to try and dismiss the tough times and paint a perfect social media picture, that would do a disservice to future me. I am willing to experience this journey with all its harsh raw edges. I chose this I put myself in this position this is not forced. Ultimately I can stop any time if I chose to there are many people in much worse circumstances than me that have a choice between continuing on or death. I keep in my mind that there are 40.3 million people in the world that have no choice or control over their lives. That is why I am doing this. That is why I going through some moderate discomfort for a relatively short period.

As I mentioned last night, the impact of the help I received from the running community of Colchester cannot be overstated. It has shown me that however much I think I’m just out for a bimble other people are willing to take time out of their days to help me achieve this.

As a health professional and living with a teacher we are always being encouraged and taught to be selfless and consider the needs of everyone else before your own. Being selfish does not come easy to me and the idea of people who don’t know me spending their time. Time they cannot get back to help me achieve my goal just blows my mind. Of course if anyone needs crew or a pacer just drop me a line, I’ll be free in a few months.

Today has been super busy and yet restful for my. I think my tribe have been working hard all day and I know this is not restful and they are going to come out of this more tired than they went in. I have enjoyed the stay at The Ickworth Hotel and spent most of the day EATING ALL THE FOOD.

I feel deep gratitude to all my family, friend and the people that sending their good wishes to me. I am also hugely grateful of all the sponsorship that people have donated I am now closing in on £5000.

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