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​What is your Why? - Graham Smith

Blog post   •   Jan 16, 2018 12:59 GMT

Welcome to my first Resolution Run blog post. Relax, the hard work is done as you’ve made a commitment, and you’re taking action. Keep doing whatever you’re doing as you move towards your goals.

A little about me. My Dad died as a result of a stroke in 2014 and my Mum had one shortly before she passed away in 2017. Because of this I decided to raise money for the Stroke Association to support their dedication to conquering stroke. Although stroke is still the fourth largest cause of death in the UK, the good news is that survival rates have doubled in the past 20 years.

Starting on 10 August 2017, my original plan was to run a minimum of 10km a day for 100 consecutive days, but the Stroke Association has kindly given me a place on their team for the Virgin London Marathon in April 2018, so 100 days has now become 256. As I write this it’s day 118 and I’ve covered 1,218 km so I have some experience of the challenges you are no doubt facing.

I don’t come from an athletic background as most of my running has been a by-product of chasing a cricket or football. Despite being 56, and with the effects of a full and active life (including nine broken bones and numerous tears, pulls and dislocations) I wanted to do something way outside of my comfort zone that struck a balance of being challenging and achievable. I’m a firm believer that we are capable of much more than we think, and I hope you take great delight in surprising yourself as your running adventure unfolds. Take it easy. You have plenty of time.

The post title is ‘What is your Why?’. Here’s mine. I run to preserve the memory of my parents. I run to keep my blood pressure and cholesterol down. I run to give myself the best possible chance of walking my daughters down the aisle, if and when the time comes. I run to raise the profile of the Stroke Association so they can support others. I run to prove to myself I can go beyond what I tell myself is possible.

I’d love to know why you run, regardless of how far you go, how long it takes you and how often you do it, so please share your stories. Understanding your why will help you when the doubts creep in, when there’s an easier option, and when you lose sight of the finish line. Knowing your why is your affirmation.

One of my favourite Christmas films is The Polar Express, and as we look forward to a new year full of adventures and opportunities I am reminded of these lines.

‘One thing about trains: it doesn’t matter where they’re going.

What matters is deciding to get on.’

I look forward to sharing my journey with you, and hearing all about yours. Welcome aboard!


What are your reasons for running? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #MyResolution