Saturday, 15 January 2011

15th January 2010

         The parish is a mental challenge. More than a physical challenge. So much more. The first time I finished the Parish made me a much better person, both physical and mentally. I set out the first time, determined to walk the 85 miles. I told everyone I know that I would complete it, and the humiliation of telling everyone I'd failed spurred me on to the finish. I didn't want to face my family and friends and say that I had not completed what I'd set out to do, and this, more than all the training and preparation got me over the finish line of my goal. All the pain and suffering, no matter what it threw at me, pushed me on to the eventual prize in my mind. That's what you need to concentrate on. I set out to finish. And whatever your goal, you should set out on the start line with your goal in mind. Whether its the first church, Peel, Bride or whatever, give yourself a goal. That gives you the incentive. My incentive now, as it has been for the last four years, is to beat my goal, which is now my last result. I'm as proud of my first parish finishers trophy as much of my last, if not more. If people ask me now, what is my greatest achievement in life, my first Parish comes close to the top of my list.
        Life is about goals, and  you cannot think about standing on the start line thinking "Maybe I'll see how I'll do." Go for it.
       If you are intending to finish, good for you. Go for it. You will suffer pain. Probably more than you've suffered before (Except maybe childbirth, I can't vouch for that. My wife says its smarts a little...) and it'll hurt for days afterwards. I had to start for a toilet break an hour beforehand the first three days after my first Parish, with the humiliation of my family laughing at me while I tried to stand up. But, when I eventually got to my feet, I was smiling, saying, "at least I'ved finished the Parish!".
     It will hurt, and it will push you to your limits, but the knowledge that you have a Parish walk finishers trophy will be worth it......and so much more!

Happy training.


  1. Hi Richard,

    Well done for your training and your blog.

    I had to laugh about your toilet troubles.

    After the 100 miles, following a couple of hours in bed, I had promised to have Sunday dinner with the family.

    A couple of mouthfuls in, I realised that digestion wasn't going to happen and made to make a dash for the bathroom.

    Unfortunately, I just spewed all over myself where I sat as I'd failed to give the muscles advanced notice that they were required to move.

    Apologies to anyone reading this on a meal break.

  2. I spent the sunday after my first Parish lying in agony, barely able to move and unable to find a comfortable position, on an inflatable mattress on Helen's living room floor, and she still jokes about watching me try and stand up, which mostly involved rolling grunting and wincing. It's amazing how much punishment the body can take. (and how much we give it!)