Every runner has a reason
It’s that time of the year again when we watch the London Marathon on our television screens and feel inspired to tackle a big challenge.
Watching those runners crossing the finish line, in a variety of conditions, it’s a great reminder that every single runner has a reason for taking part.
Some are raising money for a charity close to their heart.
Others run in memory of a loved one.
There’s a hardcore of marathon-addicts, including a growing number who have run more than 100 marathons to date.
I suspect a few were watching it this time last year, thought “That’s a jolly good idea,” and got ‘lucky’ in the ballot. More than 414,000 runners entered the ballot for the marathon this year, hoping for one of fewer than 40,000 places.
My own experience of the London Marathon was six years’ ago, a year after starting a major health kick and running for the first time in my adult life.
I’m not a natural runner. Born with one leg longer than the other (mostly corrected with surgery as a child) and the running form of a severely injured baby Gazelle, every mile was hard work.
I had two reasons for running.
One was to raise money for charity. The Jigsaw Trust had kindly given me their charity place, on the understanding I would raise a fair wedge of cash for them.
They do excellent work for children and young adults with autism, which made the agony of running 26.2 miles just a little easier to manage.
My other reason was to prove I could do it.
As a regular sufferer of imposter syndrome, unless I’m finding and completing a big challenge, I’m never really satisfied.
Watching the TV today, I managed to spot my friend Chris running across the finish line.
Chris is special. He’s one of only 11 London Marathon ‘ever presents’, having run it each year since it started in 1981.
He also holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive London Marathon finishes in under 3 hours; as far as I know, he’s only gone over 3 hours in two years.
Chris had a bit of a nightmare Marathon last year. About 3 miles in, someone clipped his foot from behind, he fell and broke his arm in four places.
With a sling fitted by St John Ambulance, and after popping a couple of paracetamols, he went on to finish yet another London Marathon.
After such an exciting day last year, it was even more uplifting to watch him finish this year in under 3 hours – with 14 seconds to spare!
Every runner has a reason for running a marathon. Every Financial Planner has a reason for doing what they do.
Identifying, understanding and articulating that reason might not be as inspirational as some of the stories driving the marathon runners today.
I’m yet to meet a Financial Planner who has a ‘why’ based on injury, sore muscles, and hours of long slow training runs.
But the stories are there. The reasons are there.
Finding and talking about your story is essential as you market your services.