Endurance, Courage and the Human Spirit

This last week can only be described as life changing for my wife Helen and I as we welcome our first child, Edith into the world. Not only am I overwhelmed by a new sense of love, contentment and purpose, I have also found that the experience of witnessing Helen deliver our baby has made me think a lot about the power of the human body and what it can achieve and overcome.

In the lead up to Edith’s arrival, Helen felt strongly that she wanted to give birth with minimal interventions in a calm, peaceful, non-medical environment and after almost 50 hours of contractions, Edith was delivered naturally with only a little gas and air weighing 9 lbs 12.5 oz.

I have always been fascinated by the subject of human endurance and there have been countless occasions where I have been in awe the incredible achievements of other athletes and found myself inspired to go out and explore my own capabilities. At 1:10 pm on Sunday the 29th March, my concept of what it really means to keep going in the face of fatigue, suffering and my perception of true bravery in the face of adversity was redefined.

To draw parallels between what Helen achieved and endurance in a sporting context feels a little inappropriate. The former is driven by love and the latter seems somewhat vain and egotistical by comparison. However, whilst I know I will never come close to the levels of courage and determination that she showed, It will serve as a new and irreplaceable source of inspiration to keep going and take another step for the rest of my life.14

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