Juliet's Journey: Legends and Legacies
The past two weeks have been bittersweet for the running fraternity. The passing of Mr Two Oceans, Chet Sainsbury, left everyone in a state of profound sadness because this giant of a man in the world of road running has left a void that is impossible to fill. I use the word “bittersweet” because despite the bruised and aching hearts, those who knew him reflected on the incredibly positive impact that he made on their lives and the indelible imprint he left on their hearts.
Being a 6 month newbie to running, I never knew Mr Sainsbury, but reading all the very special and poignant tributes of a life well lived, it is abundantly clear that this man was a legend. He has left behind the most incredible legacy for many thousands of runners everywhere.
This got me thinking about who I regard as legends in my own life, both on a personal level and on this incredibly amazing journey of cycling and running.
Who has made an indelible mark on my life, heart and soul?
Who has accepted me for who I am, cared about me and reached out to me?
Who has stood by me, supported me, believed in me and helped me believe in myself?
Who has walked beside me & encouraged me not to give up?
Who has forged a path that inspires me to want to attempt the adventure?
Who has taken the time to teach me, guide me and share with me?
Who has realised that this life journey is not so much about taking credit for what they have achieved, how much they know, or what they have done - but rather that it’s about using that moment, that platform, that experience to love, inspire and encourage the next person to reach for their own special spark of awesomeness?
These questions prompt my definition of a legend and I am abundantly blessed to be surrounded by many such beautiful people, in my marriage, in sport and in life.
I began this journey with the hope of inspiring others to reach for life and to rekindle their dreams. With only 16 days to OMTOM2016, I am honoured to push pause and express my heartfelt thanks to every person who has, in one way or another, shared a ray of their inspiring sunshine with me.
Thank you, Mr Sainsbury, for reminding me that I too shall pass through this life but once, and that it’s never too late to inspire, love, bless, reach out and make a difference. Thank you for challenging me to always strive to ensure that my legacy is one of love and light.
It will be an honour to tackle Chet’s Hill on 26 March 2016 and even if I am absolutely exhausted and in tears by that stage, I will pay tribute to every legend and angel I am blessed to have in my life.