The continuing story
My first impression of Sussex from a lad aged eleven down from Surrey was apart from the sea it was nothing special, in fact I though the country side was rather bland.
But we live and learn, and gradually as Sussex became my home and Surrey a memory as my mind began to change.
My mum always had dogs and this is how I learnt to love the South Downs because I would go for long walks with the dogs for up to eight hours a time on weekends walking to Lancing Clump to Steyning across the fields, through woods and along the river. I would enjoy these walks more when on my own because whenever someone else joined me they would usually want to go home before I did.
I left home what I was seventeen, living with four sisters and three brothers as well as my mum and stepdad the house was a little over crowded.
I had also discovered beer, more mates, and a reckless lifestyle and found I was broke always with no money at least three days before payday. I did always pay the rents for my bedsits, I could never admit to failure and the need to return to the family home so I struggled on and learnt as I went. At least that was the plan, sometimes it felt like I never learnt a thing.
I was twenty-three when I decided enough was enough of going nowhere and I met a girl and we got married, and lived in Worthing.
Twenty three years and two daughters later we separated.
Life is all about turns and decisions, sometimes we have no choice about what turns we take they are sort of taken for us but often we do have a choice even if we don’t think we do.
At this point in my life the world seemed to be a mess of confusion and I was at the time running my own business as an independent quality management consultant.
Due to the stress of the separation when I felt a little lost, I decided to take early morning runs around Palentine Park playing fields which as luck would have was just behind my house, For the first few runs I struggled to run a single lap then when I did do two laps I was so pleased and stopped running soon after. Little did I realise that somewhere deep inside my person a little flame had been lit.
I worked away contracting and shared digs with guys who went to the gym and runs after work or early morning, I felt I should being doing that but could not be bothered to even buy some kit.
During this time I met my current wife, we decided we would like to marry this is when I learnt about divorce if it’s not painful it drawn out, they told us it is designed that way to give us ample opportunities to change our minds.
I took a contact working for NATS (National Air Traffic Services) as a Business Improvement Specialist, and this is when I met Carl.
Carl was my manager for this contract and we became friends, he is also a keen runner.
I was not fit, I did not look fit and neither did I feel fit. I was overweight and a bit lazy.
The sill thing is I had an ambition to one day run a marathon, which is silly because until then two mile would be my maximum and that would leave me feeling half dead.
It was one day in February 2007 when I spotted a poster by the Alzheimer’s Society to run the New York Marathon for Free (if you got enough sponsors).
The New York Marathon was not until November so I had a while to get myself in shape. I went back to my desk and suggested to Carl and another guy that we could enter the NY Marathon as a team and finish together, they laughed but agreed, or so I thought.