Hi all, Sam here!
Happy Wednesday and a lovely welcome to October - the chance again to re-focus and revisit Gratitude, which we will be doing over the course of the month.
We also have a challenge for you at the end of the email....
Myself and Ash both ran the Cardiff half marathon this Sunday. For Ash it was his first ever half marathon and he smashed it! With such a good time he's feeling very pleased with himself, and should be! For me, it was my 13th half marathon (7th of the year due to my self-imposed 12 in 12 challenge), and although it was one of the slower times this year, I managed to shave 10 minutes off the last time I did Cardiff so I am super happy :)
People run for many different reasons - for fitness, to improve mental health, or as a challenge. One of the things keeping us going during training and during the race itself is gratitude. The act of running itself can take you into a bit of a meditative state, allowing the mind to focus almost as much as if you were sitting in a silent room.
During particularly tough runs gratitude practice comes into play a lot for me, and I know it helped Ash out on Sunday too. This year in particular my challenge of running a race every month was inspired by one of my 'run-ispirations', a former colleague who managed to run 50 half marathons before turning 50 - 13 of which were over a 13 week period to raise money for prostate cancer which he lost his dad to the previous year. Sadly, my friend was also diagnosed at the beginning of this year and so, for now, treatment has prevented him from being able to run like he used to. As I push myself through the 13.1 miles I remind myself that I have a number of people in my life who, for whatever reason, are not able to run. I am thankful for my body and mind for pushing me through and being strong enough to let me to be healthy and happy. I am thankful to my friends who continously support my journey and I thank Ash, and other new runners who turn to me for support and advice as it re-confirms to me that running not only helps build a strong and healthy body, it creates stability in the mind.
So here is a challenge.... Ash got in to running after his fiance Simon secretly signed him up to the London 10k race this year (and you have all heard him say many times how much he hated running before!). We plan to do a Team SMASH 10k race next year and would like to know who is up for joining us? We will help with training and advice and all meet on race day to warm up :)
Please reply back if you would be interested in this so we can make plans and then confirm with everyone by the end of October :) If you aren't a runner or haven't done a race before, remember to try to take yourself out of your comfort zone and do something new. Trust us when we say that once you do this you probably will get the running bug!
Sam & Ashley
For Body For Mind For Life