Commitment is everything!##
We met up with Mark having heard he'd completed the Marathon De Sables. We wanted to know what inspired him to take on such an epic task and what's next! Here's what he had to say...
What were your goals##
To find out the maximum limitations of both my mind and my body, both in terms of its physicality (body) and its ability to continue to drive forward (mind). The mind is definitely the winner!
What inspired you to pursue your goal##
The inspiration is multiple; my father was (and still is) crazy about sport, in particular running and football. My Grandfather was also big on sport but he was always more of an adventurer which I think was born out of his career in the army. I guess I have combined both of those influences and ended up doing things a little bit more extreme. I also went through a phase in my late 20’s and early 30’s of being very unhealthy and I seriously disrespected my body. I wanted to correct that before I got too old!
Tell us your story##
I am a 40 year old Sales Director and I work for the family business. I have an honours degree in Economics from the University of Liverpool and completed my Master’s Degree at Henley Business School last October. I have been married 10 years and have a one year old! My friends would describe me as an adrenaline junkie but I like to think I take considered risks! In particular I like to undertake physical and mental challenges that other people do not ordinarily do. I guess do not like normal. I believe I have a low boredom threshold and I think it might explain why I seem to have a new hobby every week!
I used to smoke 30 cigarettes a day and be a pretty heavy drinker/party animal. I used to eat incredibly unhealthily. Unfortunately, my Grandfather died of lung cancer in Dec 2006 and I quit smoking a few months later. It has been since his death that I have started to look after myself much better but also do things a little bit more extreme. I miss him greatly. I often raise money for Cancer Research (approx. £7,000 to date) in his and other family member’s honour that have sadly passed away due to Cancer.
What was your response to anyone who told you to give it up or it wasn't possible?##
Initially I would feel a little hurt and discouraged but I think that was a normal reaction. However, now that I am more confident in my own ability I ultimately choose to ignore them. You have to be very self-determined and courageous. Experience has taught me that trying to change people’s opinion with words is very difficult. But action on the other hand is incredibly powerful. Those around you will start to believe in you too when they see you out in the rain day after day training hard and showing commitment to your goals and dreams. You have to earn them after all!
What are your future dreams and goals?
I have 2 current goals, firstly to complete my first single stage 100km ultra (Race to the Stones in July 2013) and secondly to qualify for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. This is a 168Km single stage race through the Alps covering France, Switzerland and Italy with other 30,000 feet of elevation gain. It is incredibly tough and would require some serious training. Currently I have 5 points but I need 2 more points to qualify and the ‘Race to the Stones’ Ultra will give me that. However, even then you go into a ballot so a place in the UTMB is not guaranteed. If I get a place it will be my ultimate challenge to date.
What motivates you -##
Fear of failure.
What one single thing inspires you?##
If there was one message to pass on to anyone reading this what would it be?##
Please don’t listen to people who tell you that your goals are not possible. Surround yourself with friends that are positive thinkers, it makes a huge difference to the attitude you will carry forward in your training. Commitment is everything!
Thanks for sharing your story Marc.
Are you a positive thinker?
What one single thing inspires you?