Now, I love a motivational soundbite as much as the next person. If you can dream it, you can do it, and all that. But if you really want to make something happen, there comes a time when you have to stop reading the inspirational quotes and, well, Just Do It.
That’s how Ryan Scott and I came to be the organisers, originators, makers and conveners of Glasgow TrailFest, Scotland’s Festival of Trailrunning. TrailFest is a one-day celebration of trailrunning that brings together runners of all abilities and experience, from ultra-distance athletes to 10k-heroes. It’s not a race, it’s a festival: runners come together at TrailFest to train, run, share stories, ask questions and talk trails. Pure trail indulgence. (And OK, yes, there is just a tiny bit of racing thrown in for good measure …)
Back in July 2015, TrailFest was just a dream. We didn’t know if we could make it happen, or if anyone would believe in it if we did. We’d never done anything like it before – but, scary though it seemed, we saw that if we didn’t try, we’d never find out.
It wasn’t easy last year: I was pregnant, and beginning my slide into ante-natal depression; Ryan was struggling with depression himself. We were short of time and money; I was sick. The time was certainly not right for creating an ambitious new kind of trailrunning event. But somehow we did it – last September we hosted our first event, Glasgow Trailrunning Festival 2015 – and people came. Speakers, sponsors, volunteers and guests. What’s more, they loved it; they believed in it, they supported it … and this year, they’re coming back and bringing their friends. Slowly, slowly, our dream is growing into the reality we hoped it could be.
TrailFest2 – the 2016 edition of our event – is themed Building the Dream. We’re celebrating all of the men and women out there who have pushed their limits, challenged their boundaries, and discovered their own extraordinary through lessons learned on the trail. Our 11 speakers and trainers, from record breakers and adventurers to everyday heroes, are some of the most inspiring characters we know. With them on the bill, we’re confident that TrailFest2 is going to be epic.
The making of TrailFest2 has been yet another rollercoaster ride: planning and organising the event in amongst having a baby, raising a family, renovating a house, working in busy jobs and juggling a hundred and one priorities has never been easy. Every day it’s a steep, steep learning curve; it’s an experiment; it’s a hefty shove beyond our comfort zones. But on Saturday 15 October – that’s less than 2 weeks time! – TrailFest2 will become a reality. With a bit of help from our friends (you know who you are, and we’re grateful to all of you!) we will make it happen. And that’s our very own, real-life experiment in Building the Dream.
So I’m signing off with my own no. 1 tip to add into the mix of soundbites on Building the Dream and Making it Happen: do it now. Of course, read all the inspiring stories and motivational quotes you can get your hands on, if that builds your confidence and keeps you going. But when it comes to building YOUR dream, nobody else out there can give you the permission you’re looking for. That’s down to you. Don’t wait until the time is right: it never is. Do it now. If you wait until you’re sure you’re ready, you’ll wait forever.
And if you want to come to TrailFest2 and join the celebration, there’s still time! Tickets are still on sale. You won’t regret it …