Tuesday, 15 April 2014

What's your Motivation? (and GIVEAWAY)

Iva Barr - Bedfordshire News
On Sunday, I was dipping in and out of the TV coverage of the London Marathon – in awe of all the people who were attempting it. As a Psychotherapist (and now a crime writer), one of my keys areas of interest has always been 'motivation'. In psychological thrillers, it’s about what drives someone to commit despicable acts; in therapy I’m curious about what gives people a purpose in life, a reason to carry on against the odds.

I heard that the oldest runner in this year’s Marathon was 86 years old. Now – to me, that is phenomenal. Iva Barr is from Bedford, raising money for Whizz-Kidz, which transforms disabled kids’ lives across the UK. Iva started running marathons at the age of 55, and has run 23 in all. ‘I sometimes forget how old I am and that it takes me a little longer to recover these days than it used to,’ she says in an interview last year. ‘I’m just so lucky to be able to do it.’ She doesn’t look or sound like she’s 86...

What is it that makes her turn up again, in 2014? Her inspiration comes from the children she supports, who, she says ‘…are outgoing and articulate when sharing their hopes for the future – they’re just so inspiring!’

There was another guy who was mentioned on the radio – I didn’t catch his name – but he had fractured his knee cap a week before the race. Bad luck – maybe next year – you might think, but no, he was doing it all on crutches. He, like many others, finds motivation in the charity he’s running for.

Many runners have lost a loved one and pound the streets with them in mind, to raise money. Others set themselves the challenge, feeling it is justified for them to endure hardship, either because their loved one fought against all the odds to survive a debilitating illness or set back – or because they died. ‘I’m doing it for my father,’ you hear people say. ‘I’m doing it, because if my brother could get through his dreadful illness, then I can do this.’ For others, it’s about doing something they consider worthwhile in the memory of their loved ones.

Photograph: Balint Hamvas | Cyclephotos.co.uk

Personally – I think anyone who runs the marathon is a hero. It’s an incredible feat, whatever your age (to do it dressed as a hippo with 10kg of extra weight – that’s the weight of  ten bags of sugar -  is beyond unthinkable!).

 Martin Neal who did just that this year, says: ‘I'm celebrating my 20th marathon, so it felt appropriate to really challenge myself.’ Simple as that.

Whether your motivation in life is gratitude, hope, passion, being inspired by or for others – keep it firing on all cylinders in the areas that are important to you.

My self-help ebook, THE SELF-ESTEEM JOURNAL (writing as Alison Waines), is on offer at only 99p until 21st April – so if you fancy trying some gentle exercises in remembering how special you are – take a look at it. (All *5 star* reviews on original edition - for some reason they weren't carried across to this new edition - I have asked...)

GIVEAWAY - I've got 2 FREE hard copies of THE SELF-ESTEEM JOURNAL for two lovely people (UK only - chosen at random) who post the following Tweet to their followers:

Low ebb? BOOST your SELF-ESTEEM 'The Self-Esteem Journal' Alison Waines *99p* until 21st April! http://amzn.to/1gGBgBH @AJWaines