What The F*%K Was I Thinking?!

It was 2010, on a cold May morning.

As I walked through Sydney’s city center, heading towards Hyde Park, the 6am cold breeze was literally blowing through my body making me shiver.

All on my own, with nothing but my phone, a $50 note and an outfit that would be better suited for a balmy December afternoon, (shorts and a singlet).

Walking through the city, I was passing 2 types of CRAZY people.

One was the young 20 something year olds who were still out from the night before, drunk or just sobering up, and the other, like me, were thousands of runners making their way to the start line for the Sydney Half-Marathon.

What was I thinking!

I’ve never run a half marathon before.

I’m freezing my ass off!

I’m tired from not sleeping well the night before due to excitement/anxiety about what I had ahead of me.

My mission?

Run a half marathon in under 2 hours without stopping or walking.

My training leading into the race was not perfect. I was working full time in my business, and studying part time, and cramming in morning runs everyday to build my fitness and endurance in preparation for a 21.1km run.

I wasn’t sleeping well, or eating well.

And my body was feeling it.

Fighting through a bad case of shin splints, inflammation, and a lack of sleep, I’m surprised I even made it to the starting line.

But when the race started, for some reason I was energised!

The buzz of the thousands of people around me gave me a massive boost of energy and positivity!

I can do this!

The first 10ks? A breeze! I was slipping, dodging, and passing everyone as I powered up hills, glided down hills, and steadily cruised through the flats.

I was making good time, and well on my way to my goal.

The next 5kms weren’t as easy. But I managed.

I knew it was not going to be easy, and expected a physical, and mental battle. And I was ready to endure it.

Kilometer 10 through to 16 was just that. Tough as nails!

But I maintained, and with some motivating music in my ears, I got through the first big challenge.

Then came kilometer 16 through to 21. The last five.

The worst five.

The hardest five kilometers of my life!

My body was feeling pain. Not good pain either, BAD pain!
My right ankle literally felt sprained.

My left knee hurt with every step. I could feel the shooting pain drive up my legs with every thump on the ground.

My hips felt broken. I felt like I couldn’t straighten up my body as I ran. It reminded me of a really old man who’s hunched over looking at his feet with every step!

It was f*%#ing horrible.

The negative thoughts started to set in.

“Just walk the rest, there’s only a couple more k’s left”

“No one will know”

“Who are you trying to impress?”

“You’re doing damage to your body, just stop”

But as much as it hurt like hell, I couldn’t stop.
Something was making me run. It made no logical sense.

“Why are you doing this to yourself?” I kept saying to myself.

Then all of a sudden something changed.

My life flashed before my eyes. I thought about where I’d come from, and why I signed up for this race to begin with.

Just 20 months earlier I’d almost died from a rare heart condition called WPW-Syndrome. An additional electrical pulse in my heart, which actually DID kill me. For 2 minutes when I flat-lined at Concord hospital and was Defibrillated in ICU back to life!

It was that experience that brought me to that race.

I was lucky to be alive, and my mission was to never take my life for granted, and to put myself in the best position to be strong, fit and healthy, so I can live as long as possible with the best quality of health.

I knew running would make my heart as strong as an ox.

And in that moment, when I couldn’t think of nothing else but to quit, I remembered what I’d been through.

As I was running those last few kilometers I got an overwhelming feeling that rushed through my body and took over me!

Gratitude.

As I was running, my whole body started to buzz. Tears started running down my cheeks.

I was SO happy to be alive and well!

I was SO grateful to be able to be running a HALF MARATHON! Something that I never thought i’d do. EVER!

I knew I was alive for a reason. I know I had purpose in my life, and that I would go on to do great things!

And it all started with finishing that race!

My mindset instantly shifted from negative to positive!

And for that last 3kms of the race, I kept repeating the same words to myself over and over and over.

Here’s what I said.

“You have 2 options, RUN or DIE… What’s it gonna be?”

I figured either way, I had to run. So that’s what I did.

I removed all other options from my mind.

I made the decision, and I ran.

Then something really bizarre happened.

I got a surge of energy rush through my body!

I don’t know if it was from the thoughts of gratitude for being alive, or from making the decision that run was my only option, or a combination of the both.

But what I do know, is that last few kilometers were the fastest kms that I’d run in the entire 21kms!

I felt like I was sprinting! And When I saw the finish line, I went for it. Giving it my everything!

I bolted across the line and finished my first half-marathon in 1 hour, 58 minutes. 2 minutes under my target goal!

Success!

I was overwhelmed with relief.

Firstly, because I survived it!

And secondly, I hit my goal, and was so proud and happy with myself for that!

I had a little moment to myself, pulled my sh*t together, and walked back to the finish line to find my girlfriend (now my wife) Kate, and my friend Katherine waiting for me among the hundreds of spectators supporting their friends and family at the finish line.

What did I learn from that experience?

I learn’t that I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to, regardless of circumstances.

I learn’t that a positive mindset and thoughts of gratitude are a secret weapon to get you though hard times. Both physically and mentally (I was experiencing both in that race)

And I learn’t that preparation is everything when it comes to big challenges in life.

Since that experience, I’ve continued to challenge myself, both physically and mentally.

I’ve clocked up a total of 9 half-marathons since then, with my fastest time of 1 hour, 44 minutes.

And strangely, my personal best time, was easier to do than the very first one, mainly because I had the belief and positive attitude that I could do it!

When you think positive, life is easier. You attract positive things into your reality.

And when you go outside of your comfort zone, it changes you from your core. After that first race, I’ve had more belief in my self, and more confidence in myself than I’ve ever had before!

“If It Don’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You”

When we stop listening to, and believing negative sh*t that people say about us, and the world, we, and our world changes forever!

I want 2017 to be the year of change for YOU.

I want the next 12 months to be all about YOUR personal growth.

I want you to step OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. And I want you to have a mindset of positivity and gratitude for who you are, where you’ve come from, and what you want to accomplish in your life!

When negative people try to bring you down and break your spirit, it’s because THEY have a broken spirit themselves!

THEY don’t believe in themselves, and they don’t want you to succeed, because it makes THEM feel WORSE than they already do!

If you don’t grow and prosper, It makes them feel better about their life and lack of success, abundance, and happiness!

You can roll with a bunch of turkeys, or you can fly with a pack of eagles.

The eagles will support you, guide you, embrace you, and encourage and inspire you!

I’M A F*%KING EAGLE!

So are my team and SQ1!

So are our SQ1 Family!

And I want to THANK YOU for reading my blog, and being a part of our community!

2017 will be like no other year! It will be THE BEST YEAR EVER! And we’re gonna do it together!

Enjoy Christmas, enjoy the New Year celebrations!

And get ready for a F*%king Cracker in 2017!

Merry Christmas!

Sending lots and lots of LOVE your way!

Jai.