EVERYONE needs a goal.
“A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder,” philosopher Thomas Carlyle famously mused.
For some, achieving these goals comes effortlessly, for others their ambitions need a gentle nudge to spur them on and over the finish line.
For me, I need an almighty kick up the backside just to get out of bed in the morning – especially where running is concerned.
Never has this been more apparent that on one of my many agonizing and aimless dawn jogs battling against the unforgiving Burnley drizzle.
I am Carlyle’s rudderless ship. Nothing to run for and nothing to aim at. Just plodding along the rain-soaked pavements morning after morning, dodging the dog muck and stopping for air every 100 yards.
I always ran because it seemed like the right thing to do to keep fit, to lose weight, or whatever.
But it was always a grinding chore ploughing a lonely furrow along the dark and wind-swept Padiham Greenway at 7am before work.
It was clear I needed a goal - a purpose to keep pounding the streets and something to put the fun back into running (or at least something to stop me throwing my running shoes under a bus and giving up).
Scott needed the Antarctic, Hillary needed Everest and by gosh I needed some (marginally less extreme) kind of fitness challenge beyond the realms of trying to outrun the hungry-looking dog on my street every morning.
And then there it was. The Pennine Lancashire 10K run – all shiny, inviting and perfectly-formed. A ready-made goal to strive for, happening right here in Burnley (The Antarctic can wait, for now).
I’ve never entered a competitive race before - marathons never interested me and I still get flashbacks from the grim Somme-like cross-country runs forced upon us at school.
But the 10K sounded nice. It may not be the longest, hardest, or fastest race in the world but every journey starts with a first step.
The late Jane Tomlinson is testament to that. Jane’s first step came after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged just 36. This first step took her on a path that saw her run marathons, tackle Iron Man challenges and even cycle 6,781km across America.
Her unparalleled ambition brought hope and inspiration to thousands of people and raised millions for charity, leaving a lasting legacy of For All Events which hosts running events including Burnley’s Pennine Lancashire 10K.
It’s amazing what having a goal can do.