Surviving corona – an ultra not a sprint

Corona! I am surprised at how scared I feel as I sit here in my home in Imlil, keeping away from  my neighbours for 14 days because I have been on a plane. The information from the internet, media, friends, family is whirling through my head and  churning in my stomach. I feel disappointed in myself – I have just walked across the Sahara for goodness sake. One thing is for sure – I truly regret watching seven seasons of The Walking Dead.

Then, in the midst of this turmoil, a call from Charlie, my MDS buddy, gives me pause. “Alice,” he says, “it is like running an ultra.” A lightbulb moment! He is right and I have survived and even thrived in ultra races when I am a terrible runner. The same rules apply – so, here is my list for survival.

Ultra rules for the corona race

  1. Do your research and make sure you have the right kit.
  2. Take it one step at a time, focus on the now and don’t look ahead to the finish line. That is too far ahead to even contemplate. Break it down into chunks of time and just reach the next mini goal.
  3. Practice self care. If you have a small niggle either mental or physical, stop and work out what it is and then treat it.
  4. Buddy up with someone who is the same kind of level as you and who has the same kind of attitude. You will meet brilliant people along the way.
  5. Understand that it is going to hurt and that you are going to suffer but don’t let that overwhelm you. It’s a fact, take the emotion out of it and get ready. 
  6. When you think, ‘This can’t get any worse.’ It will. Be ready for that and keep going.
  7. Eat and drink regularly even if you don’t feel like it.
  8. If you start to feel exhausted or negative, stop those thoughts early. Don’t give the voices a chance to take hold. Remember how strong you are.
  9. Lift your head and look around you and be grateful for what you have and where you are right now. This may be one of the best moments of the rest of your life.
  10. Never, ever give up.

Stay safe everyone. 
And if you need some distraction, why not cycle across Africa with me? Or maybe you fancy Timbuktu more? Or if you’re cooking and need something to listen to – check out the podcast.

23 comments on “Surviving corona – an ultra not a sprint

  1. Dagmar Basche on

    Thankyou, your advises are great and useful in most if not all kinds of situation. Love from locked down marrakech.

  2. Kathryn Bullock on

    Couldn’t agree more Alice. Nice article. The key thing is to be community minded and support our friends and family. Together we’re stronger. I’m sure all that desert sunshine will be of use right now in boosting your immunity. Stay well and safe.

  3. Raymond Hill on

    Thanks for the great advice – really enjoyed listening to you last weekend on Saturday Live. All the best. Raymond

  4. Naima on

    Thank you so much Alice for this motivating post which describes my feeling nowadays! and thanks for your directive, calming comments 🙂

  5. Tara Frankel on

    Love this article. What a great analagy. I’ve never run an ultra or even a non-ultra but great to have a plan. Thanks…

  6. gregory waggett on

    Saw your article in the D Tel. Fascinating. Indiana Jones for girls, eh. Well, an alternative to Bridget Jones, I guess. Nearest I got to Morocco was Libya in the 80s.

  7. Sooze Hodgin on

    I LOVE reading/hearing/seeing about your adventures Alice & am just about to start listening to your podcast, in the sunshine on my terrace, in Tafraout.

    My friends all think of me as a Moroccaholic & are not surprised, I’ve decided to stay in Tafraout instead of going back to UK.

  8. Linda on

    This is a great list. I’ve typed it up and put on the fridge – to remind myself. Especially the part about when you think it can’t get harder – it does. Thank you. Wise words.


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