Monday, November 5, 2018

More Awesomeness

Every so often someone new appears on the marathon circuit and then you see them so many times that you notice them and you wonder what motivates them.  Some people run for charity as I do, others are running away from things (eg bad relationships/divorce, alcohol/drug addiction, depression) or perhaps to lose weight and/or get fit in the process.

One of the people I noticed was Lesley Morrill who only started running in middle age and completed her first marathon when she was 62 years, 4 months and 25 days young. That's very precise isn't it; and there's a very good reason for that which will be revealed in due course.

Here's a bit of background: Lesley is a horsey person and has a gorgeous 20 year old Dutch Warmblood dressage mare named Risabella, a fellow redhead.

Gorgeous girlie!

But her passion goes much further than just owning and caring for horses, she's a Sports Coach specialising in teaching physically disabled children, from 3 yrs to young adults, to ride.  She told me she has always felt the need to challenge herself especially as she puts these children on top of half a ton of horse and expects them to get on with it!  Her challenges have included tough events such as being part of a team completing The 3 Peaks Challenge and climbing Mount Toubkal (she doesn't like heights and had just 4 weeks to prepare!) to raise money for Riding for the Disabled & Cancer Research.  So we already have a picture of a very gutsy and determined lady don't we.

Then back in 2014 she decided she needed a new challenge and mentioned this to her boss David, himself an accomplished  runner, who suggested she try the Brighton 10k which was taking place before the Brighton marathon.  So the seed was sown and has lead to some magnificent achievements.  There was a sense of inevitability about it especially with David to chivvy her along.  As he was injured at the time she kept him company walking at the back which is how she just happened to complete an accidental marathon in 2016 at the beautiful Ranscombe Nature Reserve which has featured on here so many times as I can't help stopping to take photos of the plantlife whenever I run there!

That was it, she was hooked and after she'd completed a 30 mile event a colleague at Hope in the Valley RDA Group suggested she complete a 50 mile event to raise money for their group which would be 50 years old in 2 years time.  Well Lesley is clearly a girl who cain't say "no" and so she started booking lots more marathons.  A girl after my own heart she prefers trail marathons for the stunning views, plantlife and dogs as she loves seeing different breeds.  Like so many of us she was encouraged by the wonderful Traviss who has pushed me way beyond what I thought I could achieve and she sent me some of his words of wisdom that had inspired her:

It’s not about the shoes, it’s what you do in them that counts.  
It’s about not breaking, when you’re broken. 
It’s not about glory at the finish, it’s about belief at the start.  
It’s about endless hard work, when nobody is looking.  
It’s not about entering events, it’s about committing to them. 
It’s about going as far as you can go, and then taking another step. 
 It’s not about having the courage to fail, it’s about having the patience to succeed. 
It’s taking what you have been given, and making something better. 
It’s not about the medals, it’s about the memories.  
It’s about measuring yourself in miles, then marathons and finally, in character.... 
Traviss Wilcox/RD/Marathoner.

I have seen first hand the amazing support and encouragement David Brett has given her and she has been very lucky to have such an incredible Boss and friend to help her achieve her goals.  As his injury began to heal they didn't run/walk together as much but he still gave her lots of support, pushing her that bit further than she thought she could manage.  I should mention that David has completed over 340 marathons, which include 100 or more ultra marathons and he's very modest about his amazing achievements.

Lesley realised that by pushing herself that little bit more she could achieve so much to link in with her charity (50th marathon, 50k, 52 marathons in 52 weeks, 50 miles.....) and she hasn't stopped there as she's on the cusp of completing 100 marathon in 100 weeks which is a phenomenal achievement.

Lesley is on the left sporting her 52in52 shirt with David 3rd from the right wearing a black top

Whenever Lesley is struggling during a marathon she thinks about the youngsters she coaches.  They have pain and live with great difficulties all the time and she uses their strength to motivate herself to get the job done.

A short while ago she finally got her hands on the coveted blue and yellow top and joined the 100 Marathon Club as a full member.  But that isn't all - she also set a new Club record for being the oldest woman to run her first marathon and get to 100 marathons!  She will be 65 later this week and I think she is a shining example of what we older ladies can achieve.

Lesley, you rock and I can't wait to see what your next challenge is; be it running or anything else I know it will be suitably challenging!

Bits and Bobs

Some of our Winter visitors have arrived:

This pretty Grey Wagtail was pottering about on the patio when the ducks arrived and chased him off!

They have so much yellow about them that I always find it difficult to distinguish them from the Yellow Wagtails!

The Green Woodpecker has been busy searching for grubs in the orchard.  We didn't see any babies this year.

The young Moorhens are very brave this year and are coming right up to the house.  I chuckled when I spotted this one trying to reach up to the nut/seed feeders.  Sorry it's a bit blurry - I must clean the windows!

We took a walk along one of the footpaths near Bodiam Castle the other day and I loved this view showing the turrets just peeping out of the trees.

After our circuit we ended up outside the Tea-rooms which were open so we had to have coffee and cake to sustain us for the walk back up the hill to home.

I don't think I've shared this driftwood horse before.  It's been there for several years now and still looks beautiful in all seasons.
On the knitting front, I've just started a new jumper but wanted to share this photo of me wearing the Allie shawl.  It had its first outing in Tunbridge Wells the other day and 3 people stopped me in the street and asked me where I'd bought it (haha!) and a lady in the Yarn shop took a photo of me wearing it.  I loved wearing it although I'm not very good at styling it properly and kept getting the pointy end tangled in my hair!

I treated myself to a copy of the latest Laine magazine, issue 6 as I really liked the look of several jumpers.

This is the first one I've started; Hryggir by Helene Magnusson

I have more than enough yarn in my stash and after a rummage around I found 4 balls of a laceweight yarn from Fiddlesticks knitting that I'd bought to make a Wedding shawl for my friend about 10 years ago.  Why is is still in my stash?  Because the wedding didn't happen as no sooner had they become engaged, her fiance did a runner with her best friend.  Good job I hadn't started the shawl then!

Further rummaging revealed several different balls of Kidsilk Haze as options to use in the main body.

My test swatch worked out perfectly despite Tilly's attempts at sabotage (top left!).

Not me mum!

I've just finished the neck ribbing and am about to start the lace pattern for the yoke.

No comments: