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Who I Am...

2008-04-05

I am a 54 year old English immigrant currently living in Estes Park, Colorado. My given name is Terry, but Spriit Runner describes me very well these days with what I am doing in my life. I have loved running for as far back as I can remember. In a recent review of this I reckon I've been running for 42 years, with a 10 year sabbatical from age 18-28 while I experimented with how much substance abuse my body could take. I used to look forward to summer holidays on the south coast of England with my beloved paternal grandma - the car door would open and I would dissapear into the forests - little did I know how prophetic that would turn out to be now.

School days and running was all about sprinting - 100m and 200m for me - 11.6 and 25.0 PB's, except I'm pretty sure it was all in yards those days! I enjoyed getting out on cross country but internalized peer pressure meant I didn't want to show that I enjoyed it - crazy. I left school and stopped running - a dark period in my life. 10 years later I woke one morning to the realization that my life needed to change and running was something I used to enjoy - so I went for a run! A while and several blisters later, I was hooked again.

I ran on my own mostly, sometimes with friends. As I became faster and endurance built, I joined a group that included a friend of mine who was an elite women's marathoner. She was an amazing runner - Karen McLeod. A crazy Scot - affectionatley known as the flying haggis! Running with her took me beyond what I thought I was capable of. She was 16th in World Championships Women's Marathon in 1993 and went to Atlanta representing Great Britain - sadly she went out with an injury that was never propertly treated and she suffered. Running for 2 hours with Karen on her long easy runs gave both of us company and the miles clocked up quickly. Running and training with her and her coach, husband John Davies, gave me an insight into how to motivate people to explore their limits, and beyond. It was a lesson I never forgot and I will always be thankful to them for.

After the breakup of my first marraige, I decided my life neeeded some change of direction. I went back to univeristy and completed a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Sports Studies / Leisure Studies at DeMontfort Univeristy Bedford - home running club for Paula Radcliffe! I had a blast and couldn't get enough. Major pathways were Sports Psychology and Sports Physiology. I learnt so much - started my own business as a health and fitness consultant. Loved it but wasn't making enough to feed and house my new family, so I went back to being a suit and then planned my way forward to the next level.

10 Years later it was all in place - my wife Jacqui and I sold our beautiful miners cottage near Bath in England, packed in our comfortable and well paid steady jobs, and moved to a rental apartment in Boulder, Colorado - February 2006. We were following our dreams and we've not looked back since. Our dream was a concept where we owned a house that active people could come and be active, and enjoy altitude, physiological benefits, fresh air and, most importantly, mountains and forests! The dream had been inspired by a number of people, top among them being Liz and Martin Yelling - both outstanding elite athletes and now good friends! 3 months later, we owned a 7 bedroom house in Estes Park, very close to Rocky Mountain National Park, and home to some of the most beautiful views and amazing trails anywhere in the world.

Active at Altitude was born - see more on this wonderful retreat and training center in the group. I have fallen in love with trail running here - it has enabled me to connect with mother earth, others, and myself, in a way that I hadn't been able to before. These mountains, and the trails that lead to them, are my spiritual home. One of my joys in life now is to see the awe with which visitors view being here - I feel truly blessed to have been able to listen to my calling and to have responded. My life now is about encouraging others to do the same, to search inside for their own "dharma" and to have the courage and trust to explore their rightful place in this world.

I am also keenly interested in eating healthily and in a way that delivers consistent energy to keep my mind and body active. I believe in treating myself, every human being and every living thing with respect. I cannot believe that in this century with all that we know that we still use force to get our own way.

 

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Favorite quotes

"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes"
Buddha Guatama

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant. gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"
Marianne Williamson

"Our greatest honour is not that we never fall down, but that we pick ourselves up again each time we fall."
Engraved on rocks near Font-Romeu, France, quoted in Paula Radcliffe's book, My Story So Far.

"True spirituality is to be aware that if we are interdependent with everything and everyone else, then even the smallest, least significant thought, word and action have real consequences throughout the universe."
Unknown

"Give people a fact or an idea and you enlighten their minds; tell them a story and you touch their souls."
Hasidic proverb

 

 

Videos

Women's Running Camps 2010 - Active at Altitude
Active at Altitude - Video Documentary
Estes Park Marathon
 

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