Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Need Inspiration (or just like 'feel-good' stories?)

I love this story. It’s not about writing, but in a sense it could be. It’s about Transformation, turning your life around, trying something completely different and giving it a go.

Here’s the Inspiring tale:

Steve Way, 40, from Bournemouth, describes himself as an 'ultra runner'. Self-coached, he finished 15th in the 2014 London marathon, the third British man over the line behind Mo Farah and Chris Thompson. He ran in the Commonwealth Games, on Sunday, coming in 10th, breaking the British Marathon record for 40s and over.

Steve with Bradley Wiggins (Image: Steve Way)

But Steve hasn’t always been an athlete. ‘At school I was the guy who hid in the bushes with my fat mate during the first lap of the cross country and then rejoined the field when they came round again,’ he said. In 2007 he was 16 stone, a heavy smoker and a lover of junk food. ‘Towards the end of 2007 I could hardly sleep at night. I was coughing and waking up because of the smoking and it was impacting on my wife too.’

One morning he said he looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw. ‘Everyone has scope for improvement,’ he said talking to Gary Lineker on BBC TV. If only more people had this kind of wake-up call – not only about fitness, but about any area of their lives. There would be fewer unfulfilled dreams, wasted groundhog days, destructive lifestyles.

My own story

When I qualified as a Psychotherapist in 1995 and started building a private practice, I loved it, but I also knew something was missing. I relished the work and found it challenging and fascinating, but I was always looking for ‘something else’. Emotionally, I couldn’t work with clients every day, so I created a space for this ‘other thing’ that never materialised. I wrote two self-help books and that process was engaging and stimulating, but it wasn’t ‘it’. Only when I began writing fiction in 2008, did everything come together; my love of words and imagery (used all the time in therapy), my interest in psychology, my desire for escapism. I was able to sink into my imaginary world with the perfect excuse to revel as an Introvert, instead of fighting against it. I could spend hours in a room on my own transported into fantasy-land, making stuff up – what could be better than that! Finding fiction writing was like ‘coming home’.

Steve now runs around 130-140 miles a week while he holds down a job in a bank. He led the race at the Commonwealth Games for most of the first six miles, before finishing in a personal best time. Inspiration indeed.
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AJ Waines is the author of Psychological Thrillers:  The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.

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