The voices around me

The people around you, both at work and socially, often have the biggest impact on your goals and the success you are in life. This was my conclusion as I completed my final lap around the track at training on Saturday morning.


Coach had us running 400m’s, then 800m’s a couple of times but I was so preoccupied thinking about the week that was that I hardly noticed the other runners lapping me. My head was swimming with thoughts about the people I work with, about the daily challenges I’m facing and the deadlines on the horizon.

As I started on that final lap, I heard the familiar voices from behind as they passed me, “Well done Bron” and “Keep going Bron, nice work!” My fellow runners.

TrainersThis is definitely the one thing that stands out for me as one of the biggest benefits about training with other runners; the support of one another. When they catch me running my warm up out on the road, they’ll slow down so that I can (try) and keep up. They encourage me when I’m struggling to complete my last lap. They inspire me to run as fast as I can and constantly keep me motivated.

They build me up, lap after lap…

If you have a similar environment at work, you’re really blessed. Because it’s the people that make the difference. I’m not saying that every day is rosy and that every training session is easy. But I’m truly grateful that the colleagues I work with are who they are. I’m grateful that I have a manager who makes time for me, appreciative that I can laugh (mostly at myself) with my team and blessed to have work friends who care enough to support me daily.

And I’m especially grateful to be surrounded by such an awesome bunch of runners every time I train!

Surrounding myself with greatness in 2013

I did not start 2013 off with a bag of New Year’s resolutions like I always do. I decided that this year, there’s only one thing which I will focus on: It’s to ensure I surround myself with positive people, those that want to see me succeed and those that encourage me to reach my goals.

Let me tell you a quick story…

In 2010, I did not make the Two Oceans 3 hour half marathon cut off time. I missed it by 6 minutes. I can still remember the route clearly and the sections where I struggled most and desperately needed that extra push. But instead, I was surrounded by “supporters” who let me down. You see, running at my pace of 8mins/km, I’m typically at the back of the pack surrounded by the backmarkers and walkers. It’s not usually a big crowd but stragglers who are huffing and puffing. On this particular day, as I was running along, desperate to make up time, I passed many people standing along side the route who did not realise that whatever they said was heard by every runner passing them.

  • “These guys will never make it, they are too far behind.”
  • “Oh no, look at these so-called runners. Why bother if you can’t run at a decent pace?”
  • Shouts of “Stop walking, run. This is a running race, not a walk!”

I let it all get to me and it was very difficult to push myself being surrounded by these negative statements. I allowed myself to believe what they said, and I gave up. By the time I reached University Drive and KK came running down to meet me, I did not have enough energy to give it that extra push and try beat the clock. I just cried. I did not make it. No medal. DNF.

When I look back now, I realised that it was my own fault. The lesson for me is that I should not have listened to them. I should’ve believed in myself and pushed myself. I should’ve drowned them out with the supporters that were cheering me on, wanting me to have a good race. But in life, how easy is to allow the naysayers to break your spirit. How often do we listen to people who are negative and do not believe in us? We allow them to plant those seeds of self-doubt. We end up not believing in ourselves.Surround yourself

So in 2013, at work, at home and especially during the races, I will seek out those ‘supporters’ who cheer me on. The ones who believe in me and get me to that finish line so that I reach my goals! Here’s to a fantastic 2013!