Focus.... a word that's used a lot nowadays, not that it's new, but it's out there more and it's obvious that more than ever, people are taking control of their lives and aiming to work to live as opposed to live to work. It's the only way, life is short, we don't get a second chance, and if you're not careful, it will pass you by. We all have our own way of 'living' there is no right way, or wrong way, the important thing is, is that you do, and you do what makes you happy, every day!

I'm no different and as I'm writing this, believe me FOCUS is a word very much at the front of my mind. The one thing I've stuck to, almost clung to, my whole adult life, is creating a plan. Sure, the plan doesn't always work out, and on the whole, most plans are a moving feast, but what it does do that is constant, is drive you forward, even when sometimes you feel like you're going backwards.

A week ago I smashed my knee open on some lava rock whilst running on a trail on the northern coast of Corfu. I did a proper job, sadly I had to sacrifice my Chester Ultra Finishers Tee when my natural instincts kicked in and had to pack the wound and stem the blood flow. Once again I had to focus, focus on what I needed to do, don't get me wrong it wasn't life threatening, but I'd lost a fair bit of blood so it was serious enough that I could have done myself some proper damage. Then I had to focus on getting myself back to the villa which was three miles away! As a friend reminded me I would have done that, had my leg been hanging off, but again it required some fortitude. 

Here I am currently sat at my desktop, a week post surgery in a cricket pad brace not knowing what I'm faced with once the surgeon has had a proper chance to understand what I've done. I'm hopeful that as I managed to walk the three miles back (in relative comfort), that the rehab won't be to onerous, however, thinking about that at this stage, is like praying to the weather gods for great weather on a UK Bank Holiday, pointless! All I can do, is wait and hope, because for the moment I can't affect that, however, what I can do is focus. Focus on what I can do, not what I'm limited by with this current injury. I won't feel sorry for myself, I will look at races & events and make that my aim, because a plan without goals is like a ship that has set sail without a destination.

It's strange to think that twelve weeks ago we were close to finishing The 100 Peaks Challenge and when I look back, there are so many instances where it could have gone wrong, and the Challenge would have failed. So, although I'm sitting here now with a flappy knee, I'm thankful that considering what I've put myself through the last few years, I've been lucky and I know it. Sure, it might have been an innocuous trail that felled me, but better that than some of the ridges we took on during the Challenge, even the Fan Dance is capable of 'tripping' you as I've witnessed on many occasion. But again, I focus on the positives, it could have been worse, and I still get to make plans.

I'll freely admit, that The 100 Peaks was a massive indulgence on my part, when I dreamt the idea, I didn't give much thought to the impact it would have on my family's life for the two and bit years it took to plan and carry out. I was extremely selfish in my aim, that wasn't my intention, but I know that once I have an idea in my head that I believe in, I find it hard to not follow through. My reasons for wanting to take it on are well documented, but again without that focus, there is no way we would have achieved what we did.

Going forward, the plans and my focus are three fold, Family, Fitness and obviously World Domination! The last few years, life has been on hold a little to enable me to concentrate on the project The 100 Peaks became, and I owe a lot to my wife and son for their tolerance of me chasing that idea. It's time to build a better life for us all, but I also need to make that fit around the hunger that the last few years has given me. To quote a line from one of my favourite films, I've become "a man of focus, commitment and sheer will!" Don't get me wrong I think I've always been that way, but now I'm a little more John Wick, whereas previously I was a little more Joker, like a dog chasing cars!

Focusing on all three will take better juggling skills than I managed previously, so I need to find a way of combining being the best I can be in every way, for them, for me and for the plan to come. I'm not ready to give up on the fitness I built up, the base foundations that I created to enable me to take on a Challenge as demanding as The 100 Peaks, let alone all the other Challenges I've taken on. What I need to do is channel that into something sustainable that means I still get to pit myself against the most demanding challenges out there. That's what I need to focus on whilst I'm rehabilitating from this injury, I need to plan what it's going to take for me to be on the start line of some serious challenges over the coming years, that means I'm in the best shape I can be, and that I'm still being the best father and husband I can be and one that my son and wife deserve.

In addition to that I need to take The 100 Peaks idea and turn that into something else. Whilst the Challenge itself was a one off, in the format it was created, there is something there that the Challenge created that is worth pursuing and creating something 'permanent' from. I get a massive sense of pride from how The 100 Peaks impacted so many people, it is true that from small acorns, mighty oaks grow, but the idea itself is still a sapling, and we're far from being established. However, that passion burns bright still and I want to create something for everyone that comes in to contact with that makes them feel a hundred feet tall, that's what The 100 Peaks did and I'll be damned if I let that energy fade away. 

I've always been passionate, sometimes that passion has been misguided, however I have learnt that when you focus, that passion is rewarded in the right way, so....... everything with passion, if you believe in it, give it your all, there is no room for half arsed! Remember that you're anything but average, that you weren't made to blend in and have the courage to follow your dreams and make your plan happen. There will be hiccups and fails along the way, but you learn, they make you stronger, and as a result you grow and adapt. Be you, always and true to yourself, that's a hard skill to master but you must focus on your life, what you can do to make it 'your' life and be humble and kind always. Focus on those that matter and making a difference to their lives and know one day, you'll be able to look back and reflect that you did what you set out to do. So FOCUS on living, don't waste moments, create moments and make as many special ones as possible!

Big love all! xx


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