INSPIRATIONAL STORIES BY EVERYDAY PEOPLE
“WHY CLUB 6713” by Colin Jamieson
“Club 6713 won’t mean anything to anybody right now but my hope is that in the future it will.
Over the past couple of years I have formed the firm belief that the social and economic future of our community is dependent upon the promotion, education, and access to healthier ways of living.
When I read the words of Mahatma Gandhi; “the future depends on what we do in the present”, I thought about my belief and considered my present. Initial thoughts on my present were shut down quickly due to the short-sighted view that my existence was controlled by my successful but demanding career in hospitality, and family responsibilities. When and how could I possibly change the future?
I am an ENFJ-A, which is a Myers Briggs personality type that suggests that I am a Protagonist; a diplomat and master of people. This I figured is probably why I have found myself leading teams of people for much of my career. I take pride and joy in developing potential in people; influencing behavioural change with intelligence and authenticity.
I revisited my position on Gandhi’s quote and realised that I was equipped with the fundamental skills to effect a positive change on my belief. That thought was all I needed.
To answer the title of this article, ‘why club 6713’, I need to take you back to the 4th of July 2003 when my dad unexpectedly passed away aged just forty-eight. During his life he combined his love of the outdoors and his selfless nature to participate in challenges for charity, one of which was hiking the West Highland Way in just three days.
To mark the 10th anniversary of his passing, together with two of my closest friends we set off on the 4th July 2013 to emulate this, whilst raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. One of my friends had to pull out of the challenge on the first day after a recurring injury became too painful for him to carry on. On the morning of the third and hopefully final day my second friend was unable to start due to his foot swelling so much he could not put his boots on. That left me with some thirty-two miles still to complete on my own. Now for anyone that has known me over the past couple of years and the distances I have ran and cycled you’d think that’s nothing to me. That maybe the case now, but back then I wasn’t as physically or mentally fit as I am now.
The most significant point of that third day and one that has influenced my life ever since, was after I emerged from the climb out of Kinlochleven. I had just hiked a tough 16 miles on my own, I was wet, cold, everything ached, and the view ahead was like looking into Mordor. It was as far to go back as it was to go forward and I felt completely beaten; I was the personification of misery. Thinking back I believe it was the no glossing over it view ahead that made it all seem so unachievable. I was letting my mind defeat me, my chimp brain was winning. I reminded myself why I was doing it and I thought about all the donations and kind words of encouragement that I’d received and that got my feet moving forward again. I broke the remaining distance down into manageable chunks and rewarded myself each time I completed one with a sweet, a drink or a new playlist on my iPod. I spoke to myself aloud; “each step is one step closer”, “the quicker you go the quicker you’ll finish”, and on the descents I would say “oooh free miles” as I felt gravity doing the work for me. My mood lifted as did my energy and focus, and I started to vividly imagine my dad was with me which was really emotional. I had no GPS tracking watch or 4G phone back then and was working just from a map. At one point I realised that I was a few miles behind where I thought I was but after shouting a few expletives I kept reciting the same mantras in my head and beasted my way to the finish. I was so much in the zone in fact that I walked past the finish then had to walk back.
Since then I have completed numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, 10miles, and half marathons, 50K, 40mile, 42mile, 52mile, and 55mile ultra-marathons, and countless cycling events including the Ride London 100. Just like my dad I completed some of these events for charity and was humbled and honoured to have been invited by Great Ormond Street Hospital to attend their Halloween Patient Party to meet with patients and their families to see what difference my fundraising made.
The 6th of July 2013 – 6713 – was the day I had to dig deep and truly find my inner strength and has positively influenced my life in so many ways ever since. My hope is that people connect with Club 6713 because they either already have their number, they’ve had their dig deep day which has inspired them to pursue a healthier and more energetic lifestyle, or they want me to help them find their number, have their day.
When creating a Facebook page for Club 6713 I really struggled to label its business type. I had to settle on Personal Trainer as that is the core service on offer, but to me it is so much more than that. The experience of an individual’s personal training shouldn’t be limited to the length of the paid session. Club 6713 will bring individuals together as a club; a community. They might never meet in person, but online they can share the story behind their number, share top tips of their good days, and seek motivation on their down days. The experience is what will set us apart from the rest.
I was at a gig in The Shed in Glasgow last weekend and the band did a cover of It’s My Life, by Bon Jovi. I’d heard the song loads of times but the lyrics really resonated with me that night….
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
Mahatma Gandhi said “the future depends on what we do in the present”…. Today is my present. Today – 14th September 2018 – I have left my career of 20 years, changing my life to make positive changes for others through Club 6713. What are you going to do today?” Connect with me and let me know: