Why are we running?
I have found that running gives me time to think, running give me time to introspect and running helps me heal. I have embarked on all these journeys over the past 12 years for probably two main reasons. I suppose the first is the selfish side. It’s something I love to do, to push myself mentally and physically to the limit to test the mind and the body. But also to be out there where few have travelled and experience the real side of life. I feel that life is so short, and we need to get the most out of it, learning the simple life lessons and just appreciate what we have.
It’s on journeys like this that one realises how little we actually need to get through every day. If I look back, it’s shocking to see how wasteful and demanding we are on the planet. Through journeys like this, it’s not only the appreciation of what I have in life, but the outpouring of friendship from friends and strangers, that’s what gives life value. This is where a journey gets real.
No journey like this would be of much value if I were to come home with only the self-fulfilment of what I have achieved. The real success of any journey is when it is bigger than the individual. That we can now put out our hands and touch the lives and hearts of those around us, and make a difference in a stranger’s life.
I sit here writing this blog thinking about the interactions that Andy and I had in the haemodialysis unit in a hospital in Yulin. Row upon row of patients were lying there, attached to machines which have now become a crucial part of their lives. Screens flashing, dials slowly turning and the life blood that flowed through their veins was now being extracted filtered and cleaned and pumped back into them so that they can live a normal life for the next few days until the cycle has to be repeated.
As we walked between the beds, they would sit up look at us and give a welcoming smile. Even the patients that were asleep and were woken up, would sit up and their face would light up with a welcoming smile. The interaction in this unit touched me deeply and inspired both of us to go out and in some way return the inspiration that we received from the strangers to go out there and not give up. To fight for every day and make the best of it, not to complain and be thankful that we are healthy.
This is a message that we are now carrying with us as we run the wall: to inspire everyone we meet to get out there, be thankful and appreciate life. But, live a healthy life – it’s in your hands to take control of.