4 September 2016

What keeps you going?

Money, fame, power? Or making a difference? For me, it is the latter.

Lawrence Jones and family

Walking around Dunham Massey with my wife and friends. These ladies are always my reason to do what I do!

Whilst I am motivated every single day to make a difference to someone somewhere, every once in a while I receive a reminder of why I spend my time doing what I do.

This week has been particularly special for this and there have been plenty of these reminders. The most frequent of them come in the form of the extraordinary number of people sharing their exercise progress with us over social media, sharing their PBs for today’s Salford 10k run, which UKFast sponsors.

Now that UKFast is in the position where we can give back to the community in a variety of ways, it is mind-blowing to see just how many people we can reach with sporting events like this. Motivating people to be the best that they can be is something that I will always try my best to do.

I hope everyone taking part in the Salford 10k today has an amazing time and collects some goodies from the UKFast stand.

Also this week, we’ve also been joined by the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation over at UKFast Campus, where we supported and hosted their coaches and team development day.

The Sports Foundation (DMSF) is a truly extraordinary charity that I am proud to have supported for many years. They help young people get on track – often literally onto the running track – through sports and education. I have met some amazing young people through this charity including steeple chase athlete Aimee Pratt. Aimee has created an extraordinary story – growing from a child in difficult circumstances to an athlete who represents Team GB and is certainly on her way to the Tokyo Olympics.

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Walking in the hills of Verbier with Aimee Pratt.

Alongside the athletes, I have met so many young people working with the foundation with incredible ambitions – one of whom aspires to be the next prime minister!

And then, yesterday, I received an email from someone I had not spoken to in a little while. The last time we’d spoken this lady had been feeling so unwell and was at a real low. Now she is embarking upon a 50 mile bike ride through the Lakes, climbing to the summit of Helvelyn and kayaking 3k!

Her email read: “I would honestly say that meeting with you last Christmas has changed my life, so thank you.

“Since that meeting I have also written down my goals, changed my mindset and smashed most of the short term ones I have written down… tomorrow when we complete that challenge and I am standing at the top of the mountain, I know it’s going to feel amazing so thank you again for everything!”

Wow. What an email to receive. Humbling, really. I am so very proud of this lady – I won’t share who she is as, it’s not for me to tell her story, I am sure you’ll hear of it in time to come.

She has transformed her life over the past year, and whilst she thanks me for being a catalyst for that change, ultimately that change comes down to her own commitment, mindset and attitude.

In life, it is these occasions that count. I’ve said it before, but when you’re on your deathbed – like I very much was during my avalanche accident all those years ago – you are not thinking about how much money you earned or the reputation you built; you are thinking about the people around you, the people in your life, the people who you helped along the way and the difference that you made.

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