Thursday, 10 November 2011

Never Giving Up

Over the last 40 years of running the most important lesson I've learnt is not to give up.

With 400+ races I have experienced many highs and lows and successes and disappointments. I have had races where I have finished elated and have surpassed my expectations. There are others where I have fought injuries but battled on just to get to the finish line.

I believe the personal challenges I've faced in training in all kinds of weathers and battling the psychological voice that tells me ''it's all too hard and I should slow down or give up'' has made me a stronger and better person.

I have gained a lot of self belief and confidence from knowing that I have the inner strength to overcome obstacles and give of my best.

Through hard work I have gained countless provincial medals and national medals. Every medal tells a story of triumph over will and sacrifices made. They are extremely precious to me because they represent who I am as a person and running has helped me lead a productive and purposeful life.

Provincial Medals

New Zealand Masters Games - Wanganui

Athletics New Zealand Medals

One of the biggest challenges I have faced was in the World Half Marathon Championhips in Auckland in 2004. I had limited sleep the night before and lined up tired at the start line. It was to be one of the races of my life where I dug deeper than ever before.

I started at a steady pace and at 5km [3 miles] I had woken up and was in 4th place and starting to feel really good. A few kms later I was in third place but was developing a niggle in my calf. From there on the pain steadily got worse and I had to work hard to block it out. Knowing that this could be the only opportunity I might ever get for a world medal I painfully continued counting down the kms. Through a sheer sense of desperation but ultimately persistent determination I resisted the nagging call to give it away and held my place to the finish line. I have never been prouder of myself and the pain of walking afterwards was more than compensated for by the immense achievement of what I had accomplished under major duress. Not only did I collect the individual bronze but our New Zealand team took gold.

World Medals - Brisbane - Auckland

Victory is certainly sweeter the greater the effort in achieving it.

Have you ever had to push your body to the point of exhaustion to achieve something vitally important to you?


Lea said...

Wow! You have a lot of medals and you should feel so proud! I still think sometimes you are a bit hard on yourself...

I am absolutely amazed at your sheer determination despite the pain and it is not something I would have been able to do. You are a real inspiration!!!

I don't think I have ever had to push myself that hard, not in a painful way anyway. But I know when I start running again there will probably be many days that I will be very tempted just to give up, but I'll force myself to keep going!

Don't unplug your hub said...

Paul, you are an inspiration. I did once get badly beaten in a boxing match because I refused to get beaten by a guy I had no respect for.

Buttons said...

Paul I agree with Don't unplug your hub. You are a true inspiration.
I push my limits in farming which is very physical and snowshoeing which is new for me. I know how you feel in a very different way.
Thanks for you sweet comment on my blog. Smile my friend better days are ALWAYS just around the corner. B

Kevin and Ruth said...

What a great accomplishment. You have done very well with your running and have very reason to be proud of yourself. I agree with your never give up attitude. I always try to push my limits when trying to do something that scares me. I sometimes have problems with heights but have hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up with only about a 6' wide ledge and I have gone skydiving, having to throw myself out of a perfectly good airplane but I still have a problem of standing at the edge of a very high cliff or building and looking down, go figure!

Kevin and Ruth

Anonymous said...

hi mr.forster you have got alot of medls but you just need one more..... fine ill tell you the best techer medle since you will win it soon. i just now it oh and by the way this is anya and alisha

Anonymous said...

omg you have a lot of medals maybe even an entire wardrobe full of them!!!! Oh by the way this is James Bright

Paul said...

Thanks Anya and Alisha for being the best children. I like teaching you both!

Paul said...

An entire wardrobe indeed. Have suffered a lot to win them. Great to see you using glossary as always, James!

Anonymous said...

thanks mr forster we love you your the best teacher of waikanie school :] oh and by the way its anya and alisha :]

Paul said...

Hi Anya and Alisha
Glad you like me as a teacher. I do try my best!

Anonymous said...

thanks i wish i dident have to leve you oh and its alisha and anya

Paul said...

You will be missed girls. Thanks for the message.