Your one stop shop for no bullshit advice and support on all things endurance, running and adventure. Let’s fill this world with runners.
Let’s live a life less ordinary.
It all started when i got another email that had the words “i REally want to, but I don’t think I can” in the title.
The Title, PEOPLE!
That was the straw that broke the camels back. It made me think of the golden rule of life. The mantra of the awesome. Something we should all have printed out and stuck on our fridge.
Those basic people are not you, friend. They are the people that tell you that you can’t. I am telling you that you absolutely can.
I get loads and loads of messages from people about running, adventures, mental health, kit, favourite dogs - all this stuff, and I try and reply personally and properly to all of them. Sometimes it goes too far, and I find myself on the phone to complete strangers, talking to them for an hour about how they can regain their motivation or how they should take the plunge and say yes to something that they think they can’t do. Sometimes it’s talking them back from pulling out of an event because of an afternoon spent picking themselves apart, and sometimes it’s giving them the tools that I have used to make myself believe I can do ridiculous things. Usually we become friends and I speak to them often. I give them advice and tips on everything from mental mindset to bags, shoes and snacks. I spend time doing this because I know what it’s like to achieve things you never thought possible. It’s life changing. I do it because a little belief goes a long way.
The best bits are the moments of glory. People coming through their first marathon or ultra, citing the blogs or the advice and planning as part of the reason they got there. That’s the clincher. Those moments make me feel more proud than I ever did when I worked in music. I am not a trained coach or mental health expert. I have no qualifications at all when it comes to this stuff. But whatever I’m doing to try and help people, I seem to be doing it right. It’s taking up half my week, every week and whilst I need to earn the dollar for the man, I don’t want to stop doing it. And so here we find ourselves. Ultra Awesome has been born!
I want Ultra Awesome to be the go to place for anyone who has ever felt afraid, scared or frustrated about their running or about themselves.
This is for everyone. people considering taking up running, people who want to DO SOMETHING THAT RIGHT NOW SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. It’s for people who want to take on adventures and push boundaries AND People who are looking for mentors, collaborators, INSPIRATION, advice or just a kick up the arse every now and again. This is for the practical dreamers.
I’m HERE for anyone who has ever doubted how awesome they actually are. ultra awesome aims to tap into the strength and power found in this amazing community we call runners and harness it. I want everyone to own a slice of a life less ordinary. I WANT everyone to see they have more in them.
ultra awesome can and will help you do that.
Here are my top 5 one liners from the emails/messages/yaps down the pub that I get. Be honest, how many of these are you?
"I could NEVER do that"
"I don’t want to hold others back"
"I’m not fit enough"
"I’m too slow"
"I don’t know where to start"
"I’d love to, but……"
These assumptions about the self, stem from a fake world; a made up world that manifests itself in magazines, the internet, on the TV and in your head. A world where people that do epic stuff are honed athletes and SAS warriors. A world where everyone is faster, better, stronger than you. Here’s the spoiler….
This “can’t” situation breaks my heart a bit. Don’t get me wrong, once upon a time I felt the same. Sometimes I still do. I am not perfect or all knowing. When I first started doing longer distance stuff, I really struggled to find people to back me up. I struggled to find anywhere to to go on the internets that didn’t feel like it was riddled with judgement or people that were ‘better’ than me. The internet is full of better, faster, stronger. Real life is full of people that either aren’t interested or think you are mental.
I got a lot of advice thrown at me that I simply didn’t understand, because I wasn’t the person that wanted to win or get better times or have my life taken over by cross fit classes, track or pilates. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t understand, because the resulting jargon based conversations made me feel even more like I couldn't do stuff.
I was the person that wanted to experience and complete, not win or be the best. I just wanted to have a go. I was the person that wasn’t sure if signing up for these events and adventures was something that was going to change my life or ruin it. I really didn't think that I had the mental strength to complete 100 miles straight or a 5-day slog through a jungle. I didn’t have anyone there long term to support and encourage me. Nobody to hold my hand and steady me when I wobbled.
That was then. This is now. Trial and error is very underrated as a learning technique. All the stuff I know is stuff that I learnt on a course or through my therapist. It is something I learnt through experience. And it’s something that I can pass on to you wonderful creatures. I know I can, because I have already been doing it for the last year.
Sometimes people write to me saying lovely things about how I’ve helped them. Sometimes they make my eyes leak a bit. I still don’t really believe them, but thought I would add a few in here because that’s what you do when you’re trying to get people on board with something, right? You can have a read of the long old odes to Bailey here. But I have also made some pretty excerpts and put them here in boxes, mainly to break up the text on this page. Look, at least I’m honest right?!
Reading stuff like this shuts the little man that sits on my shoulder up. You know the boy. the one that tells you you’re shit and everything you do is awful. It makes me feel very proud, like I am doing something right. It makes me genuinely happy to how that there are other people that have discovered that actually, life doesn’t have to be shit and you CAN achieve astonishing things. I want you to feel like that too.
In an ideal world, Ultra Awesome will help change the game. It will eventually become a community full of people that not only help to support me to keep giving the advice, writing the blogs and getting ‘the book’ finished, but also to help support each other. It will be come a community of people achieving extraordinary things and helping others to go the same.
ThIS sounds quite good. So how does it work?
Ultra Awesome is a subscription based community that lives on the internet and in my house in Shepton Mallet. There are two tiers to it, and you can choose how much of your hard earned cash you part with depending on the level of support you want or need. The subscription model works because it give me the time to support you whilst you are supporting me. I’m running this through Patreon. Sorry it’s in dollars - ‘Merica innit.
You sign up for a set fee per month and this is what you will get….
So there you have it. Your choice - and you can unsubscribe at any time if you think it’s rubbish. I won’t be offended. But it won’t be rubbish. Does what it says on the tin.
To start off with, I’m mainly going to work around a closed Ultra Awesome facebook group and a monthly newsletter, with all sorts of gubbins in it, but in time I’m are also going to be organising some larger scale ultra running projects and adventures in collaboration with subscribers (that’s you). These are projects that anyone can get involved with and will be our ‘case studies’. They are the action to our words. They will illustrate what Ultra Awesome is all about. The first project is in the bag and will be announced in the next few weeks and it’s amazing. That said, there will be loads of opportunities for you lot to get involved. Right now you might think it’s impossible. It’s not. I promise.
I’m in! How do I subscribe?
Hit the button here and let’s be friends forever!
How much do the two tiers cost?
The two tiers are Ultra Social and Ultra Awesome. They are $10 a month and $30 a month respectively.
What’s the difference in the two tiers?
Ultra Social gets you access to the facebook group and the monthly newsletter. That means you can ask questions in the group, get advice and support and also have something nice to read on the toilet once a month. Ultra Awesome gets you access to a lot more including my time and advice, first dibs on projects and trips and sometimes a surprise or two in the post. Exciting!
What’s goes on in the Facebook group then?
The group will be made up of people just like you. Some of them will be mega experienced, some of them will have no experience at all. Some will know stuff, others will know nothing. But all of them will be members of the Ultra Awesome crew. It is only accessible to subscribers, and is looked after by me! It’s a place of inspiration, support, ideas, creation and advice. It’s where I will post content that won’t be on my normal socials, group ideas, projects, and trips that we need victims, sorry, PARTICIPANTS for and stories that will make you realise how awesome people are. It’s your support group and your hub of all things running. No question is too stupid, no story is too small. This is a collaborative group that aims to inspire and support you through your journey whatever that may be.
What’s in the Newsletter then?
Loads of stuff. Some people aren’t on facebook, so there’s a recap of what is going on in the group plus some lovely special offers from race companies, online stores and probably some nice vegan food places. There will also be details of forthcoming projects you can get involved with and hopefully members stories that will kick you up the arse to get out of the door. There’s also going to be some LOL features that I am working on. Suggestions welcome!
What are these other ‘benefits’ you speak of?
LOOK ON THE PATREON PAGE! No seriously. Do. Mo’ money = mo’ benefits. Whilst I am always about on the facebook page, I really like to be able to spend proper time with people. The Ultra Awesome tier means you have email access to me, and can arrange a call once a month to chat through anything you are worried or anxious about running wise – I can then give you advice and/or point you in the right direction be that a coach, a race or just to tell you to put your big girl pants on and get outside. Sometimes we all need that. I’m always about, but this gives you the option to get some Bailey facetime if you feel like that's what is missing from your life.
Why are you charging a subscription?
There are a couple of reasons really. Well three.
Reason One: I need time to do this and time is money, people. Picture it this way. You have a friend who is a lawyer. Occasionally that friend gives you the odd bit of legal advice that’s gratis because they are your friend, right? But when you end up in a pickle and need them to take on a big old case do you expect them to do it for free? NOPE. Same difference. I’m good at this, it’s what I do well. I shouldn’t have to worry about the bailiffs coming round because I spend half my week talking to people about running. Fair? Fair.
Reason Two: The book. There is a book. It’s all over the place. It’s in 254,000 different bits scattered across my desktop, and I don’t have time to write it. I need to make time and I am hoping you can help me do it. If you want to help me write the book but NOT become a member that’s cool. You can buy be a virtual cup of coffee here instead!
Reason Three: I want to make this big. Like super big. I want to focus on this full time and make it as amazing as it can be. Future plans include weekend get together’s with talks, running, camping and hangs. I am not, and will not, use the word “retreat”. In the words of David Bowie (aka my real dad) “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring”.
What if I subscribe and realise it’s not for me?
That’s cool – I won’t get offended. Much. If you tell me to do one, then I shall, but you won’t be allowed to play in the facebook group anymore or get nice emails from me. And that would be sad for everyone.
Any other questions, you can email me here!