A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog called the importance of discomfort, a rather self-fulfilling advice giving, motivational monologue about seizing the day, getting out of your comfort zone, getting outdoors for all the health benefits we know about, and more importantly surprising ourselves.
Sitting up in Osprey HQ and musing over these loosely Osprey related topics it can be difficult to know whether anyone reads the blogs, and if so, what do people think? “Here she goes again pushing her own agenda!” I had a very humbling answer to this question delivered to me personally by one of our volunteers, Roger Keightley, who came by the office a week or so ago and told me how the blog had really resonated with him. Roger explained
“When I retired 7 years ago, I swam (breaststroke) reasonably regularly at the local pool and occasionally rode a couple of miles on my mountain bike. I enjoyed walking (whilst bird-watching of course) but hadn’t run anywhere for decades.
However, I was a year away from entering my 8th decade and playing football with my 4 year old grandson, when I realised he would only get faster whilst I got a lot slower and more quickly out of breath. There was also a combination of realisations about growing old!”
We talked about how easy it is to slow down, be comfortable, resort to an easier pace of life and not push yourself as often. We both agreed that the result is you lose your physical ability, your interest/desire to do new things. He turned a corner and decided to shake himself out of the rut, and try and train for something, something to work towards. He told me “Something had to change, 18 months later, I now swim (frontcrawl) 3 times a week, cycle a good few more miles on a more appropriate road bike and run on a treadmill or on the road weekly – in preparation for my first-ever Triathlon. I reached the big seven-ohhhh last November and hopefully by late June this summer I can complete the 3 discipline distances (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run) in one event at the Rutland Water Dambuster Triathlon on 22nd June.”
I laughed! This was everything I hoped for and more! I am a firm believer in the power of mind over matter, and I try and live the message myself, and was hoping to spread a bit of good news, to maybe encourage a few people out there to get a coat on and go outside in the rain for an hour’s walk… but this was another level of carpe diem!! Roger told me how passionate he’d become about his goal, and how he’d lost weight, got more energy back and felt altogether healthier. This triathlon is no mean feat, and he went on to tell me he planned to use it as an opportunity to raise money for a cause.
“I’ve been an Osprey Project Volunteer for 22 years and I’ve never done a challenge for charity. I would like to do this for the Osprey Project, maybe you could put something out about it?”
Roger, ‘the rabbit’… consider it a pleasure! This is one of the best motivational stories to come my way this year and I think you’ll all agree! If you want to support Roger on his mad adventure then head to his just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rogerkeightley
And of course, in this way you’re also supporting us! Keep up the good work, hope this inspires even more of you to challenge yourselves and see what mad things you can do if you set your mind to it!
Remember the mantra: ‘if it’s difficult, do it twice as hard, feel doubly good afterwards’