Just before Xmas I reached out to Sophie Radcliffe after struggling with the break up from my wife. Challenge Sophie as she is known online, is an adventure athlete and I’ve been following her blog for some time and the inspirational things she gets up to.
I remember reading one of Sophie’s blog posts which was about a break up she had previously gone through. I revisited the post and this time it had a totally different meaning to when I first read it. This time around I felt everything she had written and it was exactly how I was feeling.
I wanted to learn more and so I emailed her for some advice. Most online personalities don’t even respond, but not only did she reply but her advice was spot on. I learnt that I had to take each day at a time and accept the ups and downs as they came and eventually it would get better.
The Special K #PoweringYou Campaign & the Great Manchester Run
A couple of weeks later Sophie posted about a competition which was being put together in partnership with Kelloggs Special K and their #PoweringYou campaign. Five places were available to be mentored by Sophie and to win a spot on her team for the Great Manchester Run in May.
This was my entry:
In 2019 I want to be an inspiration to these two by taking on various challenges throughout the year. I also want to find myself and become the person I know I can be. A few years ago I signed up to take part in the great north run. The week before my mum passed away which meant I couldn’t do it. I said in 2019 I need to take opportunities as they come, so I’ve decided to write this to enter my self into the @challengesophie @specialk_uk competition to run in the great Manchester run and I’d like to do the half marathon. 2018 has been tough and this challenge would help me get back my focus #SpecialKxSophie
Sophie, despite her own breakup had flipped things around by taking massive action in doing what she loved. I had to do the same. I could not miss this opportunity as I knew it would come with more than just mentoring. It would be an opportunity to do something different and create experiences with new people. I also wanted to be an example to my kids as I’m always telling them never to miss an opportunity.
On 17th January 2019 I received this from Sophie:
Hi Andy! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have won a place on my team to take part in the Great Manchester Run May 19th! I LOVED your entry and your story about why you wanted to take on this challenge and be part of my team. Such an exciting few months ahead! I can’t wait to meet you and get started. Please send me your email address and feel free to post about this and comment on my post that’s going live tonight!
all the best, Sophie #OneLifeLiveIt #SpecialKXSophie #PoweringYou
So, I’m sat on the train coming back from London and I’m writing this post because of the people I have just met for the first time who have shown belief in someone they don’t really know yet.
I had travelled down the night before and had a wander around London after dinner. There is something empowering about exploring different places alone and it was a fantastic evening. I love London!
This morning I joined Ben for breakfast who I’d met and got to know when returning to the hotel and we were shortly joined by Jemma and then Kerry. We then made our way to Battersea Park through London and it was a chance to have a good chat with Kerry.
Meeting Sophie Radcliffe
Sophie is a bubbly character and as we walked towards the meeting point she sighted us coming and immediately engaged with us. She introduced us to her colleague Chloe who was from the Gleam Futures management team and immediately made us feel at ease.
Sophie had asked us to pack light for some goodies she had brought for us all. She said they were not small but not elephant sized either, but will help you with your training! We all racked our brains as to what they could be.
Sophie then presented us all with a bag full of goodies which contained a selection of muscle treatments, a wild running book and a blooming FitBit Charge fitness watch! OMG! We were all blown away by her generosity and the thought.
5k Run Around Battersea Park & Photo Fun!
We were then joined by Hannah and we set off running around Battersea Park. It was great starting to get to know everyone and having small chats whilst we ran a steady pace around this wonderful park.
Sophie’s obligatory GoPro selfie shots were part of the fun and we all ended up having a great time getting some shots and video footage for the campaign. All this in a great setting and by the side of the river Thames, it was turning out to be a fantastic day.
Brunch & Inspirational Stories
We were all at a point of feeling comfortable with each other and any anxieties we had about meeting everyone and the meeting itself had hopefully gone. It was perfect timing from Sophie to ask and let us tell each other about why we were here.
We were all there for different reasons and listening to everyone’s stories on why they wanted to take part was inspiring. Despite the different reasons, there was a common denominator with all our stories.
It was the way we thought about our stories and the way they made us feel.
I always have a certain amount of anxiety and nervousness about travelling and doing new things. It’s only natural. Doing things you have never done before can send the brain into protection mode and release adrenaline and raise you heart rate, causing butterflies.
As always, this passes when you see and experience it for what it is. The key is to not let this stop you. Its good to feel a little anxious, it makes you plan and prepare.
Opportunities come and go and it’s important to take action on any opportunity that presents itself. You never know what it might lead to. Not only opportunities to do something different, but opportunities to meet new people. Listening to the stories of normal everyday people can be very inspiring. Everyone has a unique story to tell.
Today has been a very inspring day and I’m really looking forward to meeting the team next month for a new mini adventure.
Lastly, make yourself accountable and avoid putting things off. Kerry said she wanted to see a post from today and rather than make excuses, I’ve made myself accountable to write more on my blog despite it filling me with fear. As with this run and this post, I don’t want to let myself down by not delivering on what I’ve said I’ll do. There is a lot to learn in this.
If you want to follow our journey on Instagram, follow the hashtag #SpecialKxSophie