How was your week last week?
Last week I shared with you how, during this challenging time that we are facing, we need to protect our mindset. In case you missed it, you can read it here:
I feel as though the only thing discussed these days is the Coronavirus – it’s on the news, social media and whenever I speak to friends or family, it's all we discuss. It’s almost like life has been suspended, and this is all we can focus on. I'm not saying that we shouldn’t stay informed, but I believe that by concentrating all our energy on this one topic we are creating a skewed perspective on life. And that skewed perspective is one of negativity, helplessness and fear.
To create some balance, I’d like to share a story with you. Apologies if you have already heard me say this story or if you have read this story previously – it’ just such a beautiful story that I wanted to share it again.
Roughly 18 months ago, I ran the Athens Authentic Marathon. The marathon is very challenging and is the original marathon. It's that same route that Pheidippides, a messenger in Ancient Greece ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks victory over the Persians.
Over half of the marathon route consists of rolling hills, and at the 10km mark, the course starts to ascent relentlessly uphill. At the 17.5km mark, there is an incredibly steep hill starting in the Attica region. I began to struggle at that point – it was unusually hot for the time of year (23c/73f) and my hamstring, which I had injured four months prior, started to scream at me in pain. The chronic pain made me feel miserable, and despite my best efforts, I struggled to hold onto an empowering mindset.
Just as I was beginning to question if I would be able to continue running for the next 30+ kilometres, I looked around and caught a glimpse of my surroundings and the spectators.
The earth was scorched black, with the land having been ravaged by wildfires. The Attica Region and the town called Ravina which I was running through, had suffered from terrible wildfires a few months prior, with 100 people perishing in the fires. The community had been destroyed, yet despite this, the remaining people living in the area came out to cheer us marathoners on.
All marathoners had been asked in advance to wear a specially designed green scarf through the fire-stricken area to create a “Runners Forest” to convey a message of solidarity and hope to the community, and to support the reforestation process.
Given the heat, I had taken the scarf off, however, as soon as I reached the devastated area and saw the crowds of people, I waved the scarf proudly and blew kisses to every spectator I saw. And with every kiss I blew, the crowd blew kisses back and cheered “Bravo” as I ran past. I realised something as I ran the 5km though that community – that at the end of the day we are all one and we are all connected by kindness and our shared humanity. With all the negativity we see on the news these days it’s easy to forget that.
Unfortunately, I do not speak Greek, yet I was able to convey my love and compassion to that community through smiles, kisses and gratitude, and the community was equally able to convey the same message because KINDNESS & COMPASSION IS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.
The community in the Attica/Rafina region made me forget all about the injury in my hamstring and the heat – they restored my faith in our common humanity. And because of this, I carried on and finished the marathon.
Remember that kindness, love and compassion are all around us.
Remember that today is a fresh start, a fresh day and a fresh week for a new you...
a new you that doesn't need to be consumed negativity and fear.
You are not alone. We are all connected.
As always, if you need help, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Lots of love, Claire xxx