Two years ago, if someone had suggested going for a run with me, I would’ve laughed. Running? It wasn’t top of my list of leisure activities. It was nowhere near.
We all know the benefits of being fit and active, but I think we ignore the importance of it. I don’t mean the obvious benefits of weight control, having more energy or improving our health. I mean the big stuff.
And it was around two years ago that it hit me. This is it. This is my one and only time on the Earth and I’m already halfway through my journey.
When you’re in your twenties and thirties you feel you have all the time in the world, and quite rightly so! Who doesn’t want to enjoy their youth? But as I started to edge through my fifties the concept of this journey being finite became real.
So, how was I spending my precious time two years ago? I was working long hours, travelling constantly, missing time with my family because I was stuck in traffic or in a hotel room somewhere. It felt like that was what I should be doing, to support the people I love and secure our future.
But there is no future if you don’t look after the present. That’s what hit me. All of this effort for something intangible, when reality and the tangibles are here right now. What was I doing to look after myself? Not a lot in all honesty, and I wasn’t looking after my family by working all those hours either.
I’m not one for resolutions, but I made a promise to myself that my health and wellbeing would become my primary focus. Targets and business goals have their place of course, but I knew that if I looked after me, I would be a better husband, father, friend and business partner. I knew I would have more mental clarity too if I cleared away the stressful clutter in my head and focused on that one goal. Win-win all round.
Once I’d made the mental switch the rest followed.
My first run was a disaster, but I’d taken that crucial first step and the ones that came afterwards became easier and easier as time went on. I started to cycle and swim more too, and gradually I began to enjoy the exercise rather than endure it.
Fast forward two years.
In October 2019 I took part in the Ironman 70.3 long-distance triathlon in Nottingham. A 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and finished with a 13.1 mile half marathon. It took me 8 hours 17 minutes, but I did it, and the sense of achievement is genuinely overwhelming. It isn’t just that I’d completed the event, which is awesome in itself. It’s more that the event symbolised my change in lifestyle and mindset and my commitment to myself and those I care about to be the best me.
I’m living my life now.
Terry Gormley, Senior Partner
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