Sunday, January 10, 2021

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

If like me you are passionate about Equality and Diversity, it is likely that you will have heard the name Verna Myers. Verna is a world-renown inclusion strategist, influencer, and catalyst for cultural change. 

She is also a legend. When asked to explain the difference between Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, she said….

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance”.

I think that is a great analogy. But what does that look like in the real world? The dictionary definition of Inclusion simply put is – “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure”. In many parts of our society people are simply not included. Some people are constantly subjected to various forms of inequality or discrimination. Some people become marginalized or victimized due to their physicality, race, gender, sexual orientation, or simply their Socioeconomic status. This Inequality permeates our world, affecting everything from day to day living through to our businesses, commerce, and government. We seem to be living in a "Me First" Society where community and common good has given way to "what's in it for me?

Many of us find this a sad state of affairs. However, there is an old zen Buddhist saying that I am fond of quoting, which goes, 

The world is not the way, I think it should be”.

We can lament that the world is not the way we think it should be or we strive to make a change. We live in a world filled with a wonderful diversity. Diversity is reality but inclusion is a choice.

So, how can we do our part to help make that change?
Well, a few thoughts from me, if you want to become a more thoughtful—and inclusive—a force for good in the world.

Spend some time in reflection. Think about how you view the world.
Take an honest look at how you feel about people who are different from you.
Be aware of becoming too judgemental. Slow down and ask the question, what if I was this person.

Explore your unconscious bias, it may surprise you. Do not be afraid to ask questions. They used to say that travel broadens the mind. These days we jet off all around the world but often we are like a tortoise and carry our cultural baggage around like a shell. Educate yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone. It might be initially uncomfortable when you are interacting with people who seem different from the person who you are. Knowledge and familiarity will enable you to respect and embrace the wonderful differences of your fellow humans.

 A finally, practice gratitude. Particularly when you get grumpy and feel that the world is not the way you think it should be.

Take care.

Friday, January 1, 2021



I normally don’t do New Year Resolutions. I do, however, set a few general and occasionally specific goals for the coming year.
This year I have set myself one definite goal. Promise not to laugh.

In 2021 my aim is to achieve a chess rating of 1,600. Currently, as a beginner player, I have a provisional rating of 400. Chess rankings go from 100 to, in theory, 3000.

The current world number one, Grand Master Magnus Carlsen has a rating of 2862. Anyone under 1200 is simply considered a Novice.

To put my ambition into perspective, a rating of 1400 is generally considered average club strength. 1600, intermediate. 1800, advanced. So, while1200-1400 is a respectable rating for most. 1500-1600 is what many consider "good." Players with ratings of 2600 or more are World Championship Contenders.  2400-2600 are where most Senior Masters (SMs), International Masters (IMs), and Grandmasters (GMs) are rated.  Whilst a rating of 2000-2200 is considered Expert. Most never reach 1800.  

First, I should say that I am not an absolute beginner. Like many people. I learned to play chess at school. However, I was not particularly good. I knew how all the pieces moved and understood the basic rules and the objective. The trouble was I never took the time to learn tactics and strategies. I simply reacted to my opponent's moves. When I found myself in a winning position, usually more by accident than design, I did not know how to finish off the game. I would miss winning positions and be blind to obvious checkmate opportunities. Because of this, the games would often end up with me losing or as a draw.  

So, I never really developed a love for “playing” the game. However, something obviously kept drawing me to the game because I never lost my fascination with chess. Over the years, I would “tune in” to the wonderful world of chess. Like millions, I was captivated by Bobby Fischer and followed his World Chess Championship match with Boris Spassky. (I am probably showing my age now). I bought the book so I could replay the games and was intrigued by the flawed genius that was Bobby Fischer.

I think perhaps I was in love with chess. I idolized it much like a young boy might idolize a film star. It was out of my reach. I felt it was unattainable. 

I would be attracted to books like “Chess by Stefan Sweig (a classic recommended read by the way) and The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (check out his story and the book/film, Searching for Bobby Fischer) where chess was used as a means of telling a story and not trying to teach me the unteachable. 

As you might imagine, discovering the Netflix series The Queens Gambit was a revelation to me. I devoured the episodes and, at the time of writing, have watched it from start to finish three times.

Normally, I would happily enjoy the experience of simply appreciating chess from afar before relegating it to the archives. This time however something changed. Why shouldn’t I convert my love of the game as an abstract concept, to a love and enjoyment of “playing” the game? After all, I am not a stupid person. I am, if I do say so myself, a creative person. I can study, I can learn. 

Most chess grandmasters began playing the game at an early age.
Some as young as six or seven years old. I will be sixty-eight on my next birthday. So, I do not hold out too much hope of achieving GM status.
However, I do not see why I should not achieve a degree of competence and with competence, hopefully, enjoyment of playing the game.
So, it is my aim for 2021 to achieve an appropriate chess rating and a standard of play that will allow me to compete and enjoy the competition.

 As New Year resolutions go it is not particularly inspiring or altruistic. It is not designed to make the world a better place or even make me a better person. I am incredibly happy with the person I am. It is, however, designed to challenge me. Chess is a beautiful game, but it is also a cruel game. I have already been spending quite a bit of time studying and I cannot begin to tell you the number of times it has made me feel stupid. When I first learned to play the game, the only way to improve was to buy and study chess books. Now, there are a number of online chess platforms to play and study. 

Many of them use spaced repetition as a learning tool. The problem with this is that it is causing me to largely memorize the moves without really understanding why they should be played. It is incredibly frustrating and demotivating when you constantly get the “incorrect” or “this is a blunder” message.

I suppose this is where the challenge is to be found. I know that, if I persevere, the understanding will come. Therefore, I need the “rating” goal to keep me focused and encourage me to keep at it.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


As one year comes to an end, our minds turn to the new year ahead, a chance for a fresh start, and the inevitable list of new year resolutions.  What can we do better next year? How can we change our bad habits, ditch our poor choices, and replace them with new improved ones? How can we re-make our life and become better versions of ourselves?

What if, instead of a “new” year, you were able to re-live the old one? You would have all the memories of the year’s events and be able to make different choices. If you have ever watched the movie, Groundhog Day, you will know the story of Bill Murray’s character who relives the same day repeatedly. Imagine if you re-lived, not a day, not even a year but a whole lifetime?

This is not intended to be a book review or promotion. However, last year I came across a book that had a profound effect on me and my perspective on life. It was a book by an author called Claire North. The book’s title is the first fifteen lives of Harry August. 

Harry August has an ordinary life. He is born in Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1919 and dies in a hospital in Newcastle in 1989. In the meantime, he has different jobs, various relationships, and tries to move on from his difficult family life. But when he dies, he finds himself as a child again, regaining his memories of his prior life. This happens again. And again.

It is a brilliant book. There are many books around the subject of time travel and stories of people that are immortal. But, apart from Groundhog Day, I had not come across a book quite like this.
It started me thinking, what would I do differently if I had my life to live again? Would I study harder to get into a better school? Already that would send my life in a different direction with different school friends. Would I choose a different career, travel to new places, learn new skills, learn new languages? Imagine your new year resolutions becoming “new life” resolutions.

I do a lot of work with children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is sad to see 14-to-16-year olds already giving up on themselves. I use this book in my teaching and mentoring.
I tell them the story and ask them to put themselves in Harry’s place. I ask them to just imagine, here they are going around again. Equipped with the memories of when they were here the last time, sitting in the same classroom. So, what are they going to do differently this time around?
Of course, It does not always work. Often the kids just think that I am a crazy old man and do not get the story at all. However, sometimes you see a paradigm shift occurring. A small light bulb moment and a realization that perhaps they can shape their own destiny if they want to.

In any event, I will highly recommend the book..

Saturday, December 12, 2020


Being tempered in the fire has only made me stronger.

I probably should not wear my heart on my sleeve as much as I do. However, I am going to share something personal with you all today.


On this day, 12th December, last year I walked into the Cardiac Clinic at West Suffolk Hospital for what I thought would be a routine Angiogram. I had been having some discomfort while out running and having had a heart attack while competing in a race back in 2010, I thought It better to get myself checked out. I did wonder if, during the nine years since my MI, my heart disease had got worse. I imagined that; I might be prescribed some additional medication or perhaps at worse have another stent fitted. What I did not bargain for was being admitted there and then as a critical care case diagnosed with advanced heart disease and fast-tracked for open-heart bypass surgery. I was in the hospital from 12th December until 4th January and then re-admitted a few months later due to complications. I finally “escaped” from the hospital to come home to COVID-19 and a national lockdown.

During my time in hospital and recovery, two of my oldest friends died within months of each other. Being classified as “high risk” I was shielding and unable to attend the first funeral. I “masked up,” socially distanced, and attended the second. I was damned if I was going to miss both.

Firstly, let me say that I am well now thank you. Close to being 100% and back running and functioning in the world. Secondly, I do not write this to lament what I have lost or to feel sorry for myself. On the contrary. I write this to celebrate what I have gained. Being tempered in the fire has only made me stronger and more resilient. Yes, I have lost old friends, but I have also gained new ones. I am alive when, due to this dreadful Coronavirus, an awfully lot of people are not. My priorities have changed, as indeed they did after my first MI in 2010, and I am now less inclined to rush around the country coaching and delivering workshops. However, the lockdown has encouraged me to convert much of my knowledge to a format suitable for online delivery. And this in turn has opened opportunities with training companies to deliver online workshops on their behalf.
So, like many of us I suspect, 2020 will not go down as one of my favorite years. Yet, far from feeling sorry for myself, I find myself feeling a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude for spotting the deterioration of my heart disease before the fatal heart attack, that was waiting in the shadows, struck. Gratitude for the skills of the surgical team who carried out the triple bypass operation. Gratitude for the nurses and hospital staff who cared for me. Gratitude for the love of my family and gratitude for all my friends who messaged me daily with words of encouragement. Gratitude that I had a degree of physical fitness and mental fortitude that sustained me and allowed me to make a good recovery. Gratitude that I and my family managed to steer clear of COVID-19 when many others were not so lucky.
So, as 2020 comes to an end, I look forward to 2021 with a positive attitude and a belief that things will get better for us all.

But, above all, I look forward to 2021 with sincere gratitude for still being alive and happy in the world.

Sunday, December 6, 2020


Why don’t men like talking about our Mental Health?

There are numerous reasons why many of us don’t like talking about our mental health. Upbringing and cultural heritage. Peer pressure, the persistent calls to "Man up," "Tough it out" and a general unspoken understanding that "Big boys don't cry." Then there are outside factors like the way mental health is portrayed in the media. All of these contribute to creating a stigma. It is that stigma surrounding Mental health and fear of discrimination that often makes it hard for us to be open about our mental health.

At the end of the day, we are all different and there might be any number of reasons why people do not want to talk about these things. However, the associated stigma and fear of being judged is, I believe, the thing that most often prevents people from voicing their concerns and seeking help.

Poor mental illness affects everyone, Men and Women. But here is a sobering thought. In 2017 75% of UK suicides were by men.

So why might that be? Well, I have had suicide intervention training and one of the first things that I learned was that most people who contemplate taking their own life DON’T WANT TO DIE.

They do not want to die. They just want this terrible thing, this horrible situation, this desperate desolation to end. And, because they cannot see any way that is it ever going to end, they figure that ending their own life is the only way forward. So, we that in mind, if you can just get someone talking that is the first step. But it is often the hardest.

Some men believe they will be shunned and alienated by their peers for having a mental health condition, so they remain silent, denying themselves the support and treatment available. Some men view poor mental health as a weakness. And, whilst it would be wrong to stereotype men. It is probably also true to say that many men are also wired to believe that they should not show emotion.

I do sometimes wonder if that Is true or are attitudes changing? Is it a generational thing and maybe younger men these days do find it easier to talk about their feelings? But to some degree it is understandable. I mean, it is hard enough to experience poor mental health, without having to face the fear of judgment, shame, and isolation that might come about from discussing it. 

Still, 75% of UK suicides by men in 2017 is still a shocking statistic.


Why Boo at taking the knee?

COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and for the first time in months, people were allowed back into stadiums to watch live sport. Fans bring energy and a dynamic to the game which is contagious to the players and fellow supporters alike. This dynamic is perhaps never better demonstrated than with football. Fans can bring support, camaraderie, positivity, hope, and belief that “our” team will prevail because we are “great” we are the “best.” There is nothing wrong with this. It is natural to cheer on your team. We, humans, are, after all, tribal by nature. However, sports fans are not a breed apart, they are made up of a cross-section of society with all the baggage that our modern society brings. That being said, it was still deeply troubling that a number of Millwall supporters were heard booing the players as they bent the knee before the game.

I felt angry when I saw this. I also felt saddened. However, my main reaction was confusion. I was genuinely puzzled as to why. Was it just a knee jerk (no pun intended) reaction? We Millwall fans are “hard men” and we don’t give a toss.  You do get the occasional rebels who will boo during various "minutes silences" in respect of an anniversary or remembrance.

Did they think the gesture too politically correct or “Woke” as seems to be the in-vogue word?  Judging by comments posted on message boards such as “Well done Millwall lads. Only club with the cohonas to sound out this left-wing claptrap”. And “Well done Millwall, enough of this claptrap posturing.” this would seem to be at least part of the reason. However, the crowd reaction came despite Millwall manager Gary Rowett and his players releasing a statement ahead of the game in support of the movement.
It read: "We are fully supportive of the efforts in ridding the sport, and society, of all forms of discrimination. It is our duty to reinforce positive messaging. Taking the knee, for us, is in no way representative of any agreement with political messaging or ideology”.

"It is purely about tackling discrimination.”
So, can we assume then that those Millwall fans who booed are not in favour of tackling discrimination?

Or was the reaction just another example of blatant racism?

Friday, November 27, 2020

The disconnect between physical health and mental health

I am fascinated as to how we think about mental health compared to how we think about physical health.  Where our physical health is concerned, we have no problem accepting that, during our lives we are likely to have periods were our physical health is not good.

Occasionally we will experience some periods of poor physical health. But when we do, what happens. We TALK to our friends, our colleagues, Goodness me, when it comes to our physical health, WE LOVE TALKING ABOUT OUR ACHES AND PAINS.
We talk to HR and take some time off to recover. Go home, get some rest. Feel better soon

Contrast that with how we view mental health. Ours and others.  If we recognize that we are experiencing poor mental health, and often we do not. So, we do not talk about it. We see it as a weakness and something to be ashamed of.

If we do get to the point where we must take time off, what are people going say? How are they going to react? And what is it like coming back to work when people know the reason you were off?  Your colleagues do not quite know what to say. Should they speak to you? Should they just leave you be?

Unless you work with some amazing, well rounded, well informed, caring, and compassionate work colleagues (Which I am sure you all do). You are unlikely to get a welcome back that is relaxed and positive. At the very least there is likely to be some degree of awkwardness.

So why the disconnect? Our health is our health, whether it be our physical health or our mental health. They are both on a spectrum. Just as we experience periods of good and poor physical health, so we can find ourselves experiencing periods of poor mental health. It should not be a surprise to us. Yet it is.

What influences our view of the World?

Our culture plays a big part on how we react to the World. People talk about our wiring.  If we are men, how we view women and vis a versa. We all have this thing called unconscious bias. If we are white, how we view people of colour and if we are from an ethnic group, how we view white privilege. So, our upbringing and cultural baggage can certainly influence our view of mental health.

However, I also think that outside influences play a big part.  We are being conditioned all the time by what we hear, see, and read. I teach a lot of disability awareness workshops. I find it interesting to see how societies attitude to disability has changed somewhat, whereas it is attitude to mental health has not.



Here in the UK, we have anti-discrimination legislation called, The Equality Act 2010

According to the Equality Act 2010, a Mental Health condition can be classified as a disability. For those of you that have done any disability awareness training, you will be familiar with the Social versus the Medical model of disability. 

The Medical Model of disability views disability as a ‘problem’ that belongs to the disabled individual.

So, if you take the example of a wheelchair user who cannot get into a building because of some steps, the medical model says that this is because of the wheelchair. The wheelchair is the problem and, therefore the person using the wheelchair is the problem.

The Social Model of disability, on the other hand, recognises the steps as the problem. It sees the steps as the disabling barrier because, perhaps, it is society that disables people through poor design and blinkered thinking.

So, if we apply “Social Model” thinking to Mental Health, perhaps we can start to get a more balanced view of mental health. Stop seeing the person as the problem and accepting that society, environment, working practices and attitudes and just life, in general, can contribute to poor mental health.  We should not be stigmatised because we have a mental illness any more than if we have a physical illness.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Let's talk about Mental Health - Part two.

I have facilitated many workshops, given lectures and had any number of public speaking engagements.  I’ve always delivered these on my own - Up until this week. On Thursday
I co-delivered a workshop for the first time. It was the first of my “Let’s Talk About Mental Health” workshops and my co presenter was an amazing young woman by the name of Ruth Fox. 

Ruth is a 19-year-old mental health advocate, footballer, author and public speaker. She is a rising star on Social Media (over 6,000 Twitter followers already) as well as appearing on traditional media including, Sky Sports, ITV, BBC and local radio. 
As those of you who follow my blog know, I am an inclusion coach with over twenty-five years’ experience working with hard to reach groups, including people experiencing mental health challenges. I ran a local authority program called “Invigorate” for nine years. This program utilised sports and physical activity to support mental health service users. So, I like to think that my experience in this field gives value to all my workshops. However, to have the inspiring story and life experience that Ruth brought added powerful context to the narrative and made for a wonderful first joint workshop. Having come through her own difficult experiences with depression, Ruth aspires to raise awareness of mental health across all sectors and particularly wants to focus on the Education system, the Mental Health system and raising awareness of mental health in sports coaches. 

So, she is an ideal partner to work with.
The combination of my experience
“working”  with the challenges and Ruth’s experience “living” with the challenges made for, I believe, a powerful workshop.  
We began the workshop by looking at how people view physical health compared to their attitudes towards mental health. Why do we take a person’s physical health for granted, yet talking about their mental health is a big taboo?
We covered many of the common and well-known mental health conditions and discussed the shocking statistics around the subject of mental health.
I person every 40 seconds in the world takes their own life.
800 million people face the challenges of depression worldwide.
84 men in the UK take their own life a week, that's 12 every day, 1 every 2 hours
Suicide is the biggest killer of men U50
1 person takes their own life every 90 mins in the UK.

We also spent a lot of the workshop discussing attitudes to mental health, particularly in the mainstream media.  It’s frightening that over a third of the public think people with a mental health problem are likely to be violent and headlines like these don’t help. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violent crime.
An interesting part of the workshop was where we explored the use of language. We asked the question, Does the language we use influence our attitude towards people with mental health conditions? Can it lead to Stigma?
It’s so, so important to be having these discussions. Only by talking about mental health openly can we ever hope to end the Stigma. 
Ruth and I plan to deliver more of these workshops and dates, times and venues will be announced soon.  

In the meantime, feel free to contact me for information on the workshops and thank you for checking out this week’s blog post.
See you all again next week.
Stay safe.
Steve Morley
Inclusion Coach

Monday, August 27, 2018

Lets talk about Mental Health.

Over the next few months, myself and some great mental health advocates, will be delivering a series of Mental Health workshops.
These events will be evolving (I love getting feedback from an audience and amending the workshops accordingly), bespoke events exploring topics like Mental Health and young people, Mental Health in the workplace and Nurturing and building resilience.

We will be sharing personal stories and experiences and the workshops will also be examining techniques and strategies, like utilising sport and physical activity that may have a positive impact of a person’s mental health.

Whenever I prepare for a new series of workshops, I devote a lot of time to research. I obviously want to ensure that the information contained in the workshop is accurate but I also want to include any new and updated
Lecture, theatre, talking, presentation
A number of my recent workshops have been dedicated to disability, so it was interesting to return to the area of mental health. However, I have been struck by the differences in terminology and perception between how we view disability and how we view mental health. 
We all have a view of what’s considered normal behaviour. We sometimes use the term eccentric to describe someone whose behaviour is slightly odd or pellicular. If this behaviour is non threatening, we might find the behaviour amusing or even endearing. We smile and dismiss the person as harmless, meaning that the person is not a danger to others or to themselves.
The term “Eccentric” is often seen as a polite, non-judgemental term rather than emotive negative words like “Crazy” or “Loony”
In the areas of physical and neurological disability, we talk about, the Medical Model versus the Social Model of Disability. We
speak about the use of appropriate language and are encouraged to avoid terms such as, “suffers from” or frames of reference that define the person by their disability. 
Lecture, theatre, talking, presentation
We appreciate that Language is important since it colours how we view the World.
Yet, it seems to me that where Mental Health is concerned, many of us are firmly rooted in the Medical Model view. 
I’m sure that people these days would feel that words like Lunatic are wholly inappropriate and yet we still
use phrases like “suffering from paranoid schizophrenia” or worse, referring to someone as a “schizophrenic” or a “Manic Depressive.” The fact that these are “normalised” medical descriptions does nothing to end the stigma attached to poor mental health. 
Perhaps we should even reflect on words that we take for granted like disorder and illness, used when referring to mental health conditions.
The following definition is from the website.
A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioural or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.  Mental disorders are usually defined by a combination of how a person behaves, feels, perceives, or thinks.”

women, talking, listening
Ok, that’s fine, but here is my suggestion. Just off the top of my head. I’m sure that it could be improved but it does avoid those negative words. How about we focus on describing the person’s state of being. For example, how about.....
A person’s mental health refers to their behavioural or mental pattern. A person can experience periods of poor mental health sometimes due to certain recognised mental health conditions. These can cause significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. A persons Mental Health is usually defined by a combination of how a person behaves, feels, perceives, or thinks.”

One of the great pleasures of delivering workshops is the wonderful conversation that you can engage in with your audience. I certainly feel that I learn as much as I am able to teach. And only by engaging in the conversation about mental health can we begin to end the stigma.
So, Let’s talk about mental health.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Running with a Wounded Heart- Revised Edition (a sample)

A Little sample from my book, Running with a Wounded Heart - Revised edition 2018.

Well, I finally did it. The long-awaited updated version of my book, Running with a Wounded Heart is now "Live" on Amazon. I published the first edition in 2011, so sorry about the wait. Life rather got in the way. Anyway, for those who buy, I hope that you enjoy it. 

For those of you who follow my Blogs, you will know that there are a few "Running" related posts. I get good feedback from those and so, this week, I've decided to feature a sample chapter from the book. The chapter I have selected is called, Coming back down to earth. It tells the story of the first "Serious" race that I competed in. 

Chapter 7. Coming back down to earth

The Sandringham race, I think, was around the September, October time and I immediately started searching for my next outing. At that time,
I had no idea where to look to find races and the next month’s copy of Runners World magazine didn’t have any races in my area. Looking back at local races held earlier in the year gave me a few names of local running clubs and I was able to go on to their websites and have a look at their race calendars. It was in this way that I found Wymondham AC, a running club about 20 miles from my home and proudly sent off my entry form for the Wymondham New Year’s Day 10k. Now you will get an idea of how badly I’d got the running bug if I was contemplating getting up early on New Year’s Day to run in a race. Encouraged by my Sandringham 10k race I duly presented myself at 9.00 sharp on a freezing New Year’s morning at the race HQ, ready to do battle.

Looking around at my fellow athletes, I was struck by three things. The first thing I noticed was that there were not hundreds of runners. Unlike Sandringham which had several thousand runners, the Wymondham 10k probably had a couple of hundred. Secondly, everyone looked pretty fit. 

Photo of runners dressed as fruit - fun runners
They all looked like they were serious runners. Thirdly, there were no runners dressed as Ducks, Penguins or Bananas. There were only well toned, lean men and women in full running kit sporting names on their running vests like, Stowmarket Striders, Gt.Yarmouth Runners, Cambridge & Coleridge Athletic Club and Felixstowe Flyers. It was at that point that the realization dawned on me, who else but serious runners would turn out on New Year’s Day to race.

Of course, by then it was too late to pull out. I went off too quickly which was a common fault of mine early on and puffed and wheezed my way around. The course was hilly, and parts were covered in snow. I had to walk up some of the hills, but I finished. I came home third from last in a time of 1 hour and twenty minutes. As sobering as the experience was I actually did enjoy it. Well, I enjoyed it when it was over at least. It was fantastic to get my finishing medal at the end and it only served to fuel my enthusiasm to do more races. In fact, began to get obsessed with racing. Over the next couple of years, I entered as many 10k races as I could find. Most I enjoyed some not so much. I got to discover what kind of courses I liked to run on. I discovered early on that I didn’t like hills very much. I still don’t. I am very wary of course descriptions that feature the word “undulating” In my experience this can mean anything from a few gentle inclines to a route akin to a walking holiday in the Alps.

I also got a bit smarter and started looking at the results from previous years when I was choosing a race. If my estimated finishing time was around the one-hour mark, I would look to see how many people finished in around that time or slower. If there were a lot of people slower than one hour I’d feel a lot better about entering. If, on the other hand, most of the field finished quicker than an hour then I’d know it was a higher calibre club race and probably not suitable for me at the time.
Photo of man running cross country

Having decided to enter a race I would make sure that I knew where I was going, and I’d prepare my journey in advance. I’d make a checklist and lay out all my running kit the night before the race. I really enjoyed this aspect of racing. I guess I really am a Reflective Pragmatist you see.

I hope that you enjoyed that short taster from my book. It is available now on Amazon. 

Well, they do say, that when you are on a roll, just roll with it.. No sooner is the revised edition of my book Running with a Wounded Heart "Live" on Amazon.
Than I am cracking on with my next book, "Too Old to Ultra" Sneak peek at cover here. Meanwhile enjoy #RWWH

Available to Pre-order from March 2019