It is amazing how you can have a conversation with a complete stranger only to find out something truly awesome at the end of it. Yesterday I was on my normal gym shift and came across a gent foam rolling and stretching - we started chatting about fitness and eventually got onto the topic of marathons. He mentioned that he had met a chap called Ben Smith who is doing something called the 401 challenge, basically 401 marathons in 401 days.
My mind was instantly blown! I mean people prepare for months to run just one marathon in a decent time, let alone 401 in a row! Needless to say I was interested to find out the driving force behind Ben's marathon challenge and his story is a really inspiring one...
Ben's teenage years were spent regressing from an, "outgoing and excitable child into a very shy and under confident individual." Ben moved into a boarding school life at a later stage than other kids; he was thrown well out of his comfort zone and became the target of bullies. His life became even harder from that point on; battling to understand his sexuality and surviving two suicide attempts he tried to make sense of the world. A few years ago at the age of 31 he decided to take control of his life again.
Ben started running as a way to help lose weight and reduce his stress levels; since then he has developed a huge passion for the open road which, in turn, led to the 401 Challenge coming to life. Ben is on his way to raise £250k for two charities and bring inspiration to all the people that he meets along his journey. As you read this Ben will probably be setting out on the wintery streets of Watford for another 26.2 miles, you can track his progress online (www.the401challenge.co.uk) and even show your support by offering a bed, a warm meal and even a hair cut! You can even meet up to run with him, how cool is that? There has clearly been a lot of planning and effort that has gone into getting him through the last 83 days/ 83 marathons and I wish him all the best going forwards, I hope you do too!
Let's bear in mind that I have never met Ben, and only came across his story in the last 24 hours but I feel that he is truly an inspirational person. He has come back from the brink, faced his demons head on and has made himself into the person he is today by deciding to act and is stronger and happier for it! Ben was initially inspired by people in the London marathon, something thousands of people do every year changed another person's life. This is a perfect example of why we should try to inspire the person next to us, why we should strive to be the best versions of ourselves each and every day. Our minds and our bodies are capable of so many amazing things! If we decide to act, to chase our dreams then we can truly say that we have lived a good life!
Have a great week and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
If you found this post inspirational then feel free to share it with your friends, and let's help Ben through to his final marathon!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.