17 DAYS TO GO #AGAINSTALLODDS
Many of you will have heard the saying "fortune favours the brave" and its one of my favourite motivational lines, however over the last few years I tend to work with "fortune favours the bold" as its personally a more challenging motivational line for me.
When I sat down at Christmas to write out my goals for 2015, just over 9 months ago, I wanted to set the bar higher than ever before this year. I wanted to come up with challenges, that on a personal, business and exercise front, would get me out of my comfort zone. Over the last 18 weeks I have achieved that goal with my #Againstallodds campaign, and in 17 days time I will face, the final challenge, number 6 of 6 in 20 weeks, which is regarded as one of the toughest challenges a man can face in the IRONMAN.
Not for the faint hearted, I will be lining up along with 3000 other International athletes to take on what I think will be a 14 hour race for me. It kicks off on Saturday 26th September in Majorca at 7am with an open water 2.4mile swim in the sea, followed by a 112mile bike, and then a marathon to finish off, all one after the other with no breaks. Its going to be extra special for me as my family will be with me to encourage me to never give up and cross the line. This has been an almighty effort and I'm very grateful for all of the support many people have shown to me over the last few months.
I've come to understand over the course of my 38 years, that unless you work hard on every aspect of your life, its going to be a struggle, thats my take on it anyway. There is no better example of this in relation to my own Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis in 2007. I can tell you that I absolutely work tooth and nail to stay in control of my MS. I do this with a disciplined plan involving meds, food, exercise and attitude. Every morning I get up I am ready for my MS war throughout the day ahead. It wasn't that long ago that a trip to Tesco was a real challenge for me. I remember saying not that long ago that I would love to be able to run for a few miles, even just once. I remember as it wasn't that long ago, the many weeks and months I couldn't sleep with restless leg syndrome and stress and anxiety torpedoing every vein in my body. I remember those times very clearly as it wasn't that long ago.
I am hoping through my campaign and my Ironman challenge that any of you who come across this story, will take some inspiration from it. Its important to be able to understand the challenge you face, then put your own plan in place, no matter how far the odds are stacked against you.
Had someone said to me in 2011 that I would be doing an Ironman in 4 years time I would have said they need locked up. I never would have thought it possible at that time given my deteriating health situation. However by keeping an open mind and stretching my thoughts, little by little I started to get stronger, very slowly, but surely. Drive, determination and downright stubbornness, has been some of the qualities I have had to embrace to continue to stay in good health.
Majorca is going to be a surreal moment for me, and I believe a turning point and the start of a new chapter in my life. I am very grateful for everything thats going on right now, and many things are difficult, but I am determined to stick with my plan as I really do believe that FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BOLD.
If you think my story is worth supporting, I would be very grateful if you could donate some money to my just giving account : www.justgiving.com/conor-devine2
All monies go directly to the MS SOCIETY
Thank you very much