‘Runner’ with Lizzy Hawker, June 5th 2015
Last Friday we were honoured to host an inspirational talk and book signing with one of the greatest ultra distance athletes in the world – Lizzy Hawker.
What can you say about Lizzy….? She has won numerous races in the last 10 years, created new world records, pushed the levels of ultra distance running to new heights etc etc. But she herself said during her talk that the reason she runs is not for any of this. Not for the medals, the podium, the records or the acclaim. She runs because she loves it and through her running she learns and experiences the depth of her own capacity, her limitations which she can overcome and her fears which she is realizing are not forever binding – if you wish you can just let them go.
I am sure most of us came to her event to hear about running and her adventures, but what we got was much more. She did share many stories. Her adventures doing the Ultra Tour de Mont Blanc, her “journey runs” from Everest base Camp to Katmandu, her Commonwealth 24 Hour race in Llandudno in 2011 where she came first overall, beating all the men and running 153.5 miles, a new women's world best for 24 hours on the road, and setting a British women's 100 mile record en route. These were all incredible stories.
She has struggled with the ups and downs all runners face – the injuries, the disappointments, the unpredictable situations that take you away from your so called 'plans', the immense inner turmoil that goes on when your body is in so much pain during a grueling mountain race covering miles and miles and miles. But Lizzy showed us that running for her is a way to journey through life and discover more and more about herself. All the myriad emotions and experiences that running takes her through enlarge her as a person, as a human being. Other people will do something else, whatever awakens their deepest joy, whatever makes them feel so alive.
Lizzy is strong. You can see it and feel it. Such grit and determination is needed to accomplish the types of races that she loves. While she was speaking I could see that deep down she has an incredible strength that she must draw on that when those tough times come.
For Lizzy, running is simplicity. She loves it for that. Anytime and anywhere she can open the door and head out for a run. She loves to be in nature. She is obviously pulled to the mountains, especially in Nepal. She has only just come back from Nepal and she shared her experiences of the recent earthquakes. She works hard to help the relief aid programs that are helping so many people.
Before the talk ended Lizzy asked us all to take a moment before we leave to think about our own life journey and what is it that drives us, beyond the material illusions, beyond our fears, and to shine a light on the essence of who we are and what we want to become.
She shared, “The joy of life is not about reaching the destination. Life is an eternal journey. We should enjoy the journey. There is no destination.”
Thanks Lizzy for a truly inspiring evening.
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