Are you having an uninspiring day?


I’m sure we’ve all had times (especially at work!) when we just don’t feel like doing anything, except drinking endless cups of coffee and surfing the internet (but not at work of course : ) Don’t get me wrong, I love my ‘down time’, as my brain regularly needs to reset and reboot itself, but not if it starts to go on for too long. I think we all know what it feels like when we get to that point where continuing to do nothing just doesn’t feel good anymore. To me that point comes when I get bored with being bored. So what do I do to get out of a funk? Well, it’s not always as easy as simply getting up of the sofa and doing something active, as all momentum for forward motion, expect to lift the TV remote, has ceased long ago. I usually require some kind of strong emotional trigger, which is about 50% guilt at realizing I’m being a really lazy git and 50% inspiration that I could be doing something out of the ordinary too. Fortunately, the effort to source such inspiration (and guilt!) is very conveniently linked to one of my down time activities. Yes, it’s the internet!

After some 5 minutes (ok, it was actually 20) of intense mental effort, I ended up googling ‘LA marathon’. I often browse marathon and ultramarathon sites looking for the next personal running challenge, especially one that involves travelling to other countries, because running and travel are two of the most inspiring things I can think of. My search, not surprisingly, came up with the official website for the LA marathon, but what I found lurking within was even better. I came across the story of a 36 year old Danish woman, Marie-Louise Stenild, who has decided to run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. One of those marathons would be run over the LA marathon course. Basically, after some 5 years of planning, she is set to become the first woman in history to achieve this feat. She is going to start her multi-marathon challenge on October 30 in the Falklands and finish in London, where she resides, on November 5th. One marathon along the way will be run in Cairo at nighttime, which certainly sounds like a whole heap of fun! Marie-Louise says that she loves running on her own as it is time she has just for herself, but she said that during this marathon challenge, she will be joined by local runners who will run the various courses with her, which she was very appreciate of as she felt she couldn’t do it on her own. However, she won’t be running for herself, as she will also be raising money for a charity to help children with cancer and adults with learning difficulties.

What I also found interesting was some (maybe very tenuous) personal connections I share with this event. One of the cities she will be running in is Sydney, which is my home town, and she will be finishing in London, where I just spent 10 days on a work trip where I myself did a 60km run one chilly Saturday morning (note: my motivation for that was to do as much sightseeing as possible without having to pay for a tube ticket). Also, I found out that one of the sponsors of her multi-marathon challenge is Ice Power, which actually owned by the company group I work for in Finland. I immediately contacted them to ask about it and they just said “Yeh, didn’t you know?” Basically, I was being told that paying more attention to what was happening around me at work might be useful. However, I prefer to see it as proof of just how intuitive and magical google is. Either way, I still ended up at the same place. Anyway, if you want to follow the Marie-Louise’s  personal challenge, you can find her own website and blog at

So there it was. I had now downed an evenly balanced cocktail of inspiration and guilt and I was ready to run again. It also left me with a craving to now go and do something out of the ordinary myself. Not sure what that is yet, but there is nothing like a 3 hour run to help get the cogs turning. I’ll let you know what I come up with. It would also be really interesting to hear anyone’s own personal stories of how you get inspired or if you have happened to come across something really inspiring things that someone else is doing.

Jyri Manninen
FAF Director of Education