When I was younger I wanted to be everything but ordinary and create a life which reflected that, motivated by making it as different as I could from the one I knew of little aspiration.
I pushed and worked every hour I could in my 20's to do just that, which I am so proud of, but it was only as good in that fleeting moment as the last thing I'd achieved. For so long I couldn't accept that my ordinary was good enough because it was 'me' and I was and am good enough because in each moment it's the best I could do and be there and then.
Living today's life, unless you have a career, kids, marriage and run a marathon not just once but every week, do it standing on your head whilst writing a book and learning a new language at the same time as painting the bathroom and recording it all on social media (because after all without posting it, it doesn't count), then you're really not 'living your best life.'
The pressure and desire fuelled by the perfect world played out on social media can leave us feeling inadequate. What if in doing our ordinary we find our extraordinary? It's that deep sense of being at ease with ourselves, and there is nothing more powerful than that acceptance.
This is why I got together with one of my closest friends, Matty, to disrupt the conversation for the sake of all our mental health and came up with the concept Ordinary Athlete.
We had many late night chats whilst I was normally driving down the motorway juggling my life, my expectations, and the demands I put on myself or over a cuppa whilst we reminisced over 90's dance tunes.
Ordinary Athlete has also been inspired by my amazing social media community, our running friends and the mental health group I set up in March, #mindtalk.
We hope that it inspires you to do what is right for you and know that whilst the noise of comparison goes on in the background it doesn't matter because you've got this and whether it be a 5k run or a walk around the block you are proud of what you could do and who you are today.
I am Ordinary. And my Ordinary is enough.
Charlie and Matty
“When you think about it, becoming ordinary is just as difficult as becoming special. I’m constantly thinking about which things are ordinary. Is it being of average height? Having an average face? Behaving in an average way? No, It’s not that simple. There is no such thing as an average life. Whether brilliant or mediocre, everyone’s unique. Which is why it’s so complicated to love in an ordinary way, be nice in an ordinary way, meet and leave people in an ordinary way...''