In my mind, the chance of successfully running 3100 miles across the USA is about 5%. That may sound a bit negative but rest assured there are plenty of things that can and will be done (apart from the obvious running 12,000 miles in training!) to increase that number. For instance, I've always been a great believer in surrounding yourself with the right people.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. In fact, a certain Theodore Schumann once said "Surrounding yourself in your practice with the right people who have great attitudes is truly one of the keys to both success and happiness.". So with that in mind, I've been thinking about trying to get a proper coach and mentor to keep me on the straight and narrow and ultimately increase my chances of success. Mr Schumann explains further - "In order to grow in your field, you need a voice that understands where you're coming from and what your goals are. A mentor provides the wisdom you haven't yet achieved, or the motivation you need to take bold action. While you won't always agree with your mentor, you will learn to appreciate all he or she teaches you.".
On Thursday this week I met with 2 potential suitors - David Fairlamb (pictured left) and a mutual friend Mark Fleming (pictured right supporting me on last year's big run).
David runs a very successful personal fitness company (David Fairlamb Fitness) and Mark, who recently left Northern Rock, is studying to join his company.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of David's outfit; he currently employs a number of accomplished male and female trainers, a highly qualified nutritionist, masseurs, a sports psychologist and a life coach. His business motto is quite in keeping with the spirit of my next big run; "No goal is too high if you climb it with care and confidence.". I think it is therefore reasonable to say that David is extremely well qualified and established and there is no doubt that he will prove a key partner to the USA 2011 team.
Mark on the other hand, is just at the beginning of his fitness career. I think his real passion will eventually be to specialise in teaching fitness for golf. He has a lot of studying to do and qualifications to gain but no amount of text books and exams can provide what I think Mark can bring to the table. Without going into too much detail and bear in mind that this is from my viewpoint, Mark has given an unbelievable amount of care and support in a situation where all seemed lost. He has driven another person, in what has often seemed to be small painstaking steps, to reach their goals. If you read Mr Schumann's last quote above you would almost think he was talking with Mark in mind. Again, just like David, there is no doubt that Mark will be another key partner to the USA 2011 team.
The three of us met last Thursday to set out an initial plan and the first step is an initial consultation with David. One of the things I was asked to provide in that meeting was a list of all of my calorific intake between Thursday and the consultation! It's a good job it didn't start from Wednesday as I had a massive Chinese banquet that night! The consultation will be detailed and intensive and will look at many aspects of my health and fitness. The outcome should make for interesting reading!
After this, I will have regular coaching sessions with Mark which I've been told will not be easy. These will be a useful compliment to the current training schedule and should provide a regular benchmark as to my progress. I also have the opportunity to attend David's "Beach Bootcamp" on a Saturday morning in Tynemouth (pictured). This is a 45 minute workout on the scenic Tynemouth Beach. The sessions are open to everyone and all fitness levels are catered for. Running alongside this session is BeachKid Bootcamp for 6 - 11 year olds. What a brilliant idea!!! I might even get Jack along to train.
So, after having read this, I'm sure you'll agree that the chances of success are set to increase now that David and Mark are on board. Mark, I know fairly well. David, I only met for the first time last Thursday. It is easy to see why personal training is his field. He has an infectious motivational attitude about himself. I felt like I could be a world beater after the chat I had with him. That, together with Mark's drive and support means I may actually stand a chance of completing the required amount of training and ultimately the next big run across the USA in 2011.
As an added bonus, I've certainly got a few more training options on top of running, cycling, spinning and gym work. I'm looking forward to getting on the beach on a Saturday morning! Fish and chips always taste nicer bought from the coast!