Ten years ago, on a cold dark night
Someone was killed, ’neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
That the slayer who ran looked a lot like me – The Long Black Veil, Johhny Cash
Ten years is a long time in business, in life, and in health.
This morning I took the elevator down from my Interim Bureau in Hong Kong to the gym three floors below. Since arriving here, I’ve thrown myself into an early morning fitness routine in order to combat the immense pressure of not only the day and night job that running The Moodie Davitt Report has come to represent but with a Virtual Travel Retail Expo thrown in for good measure.
The latter is a massive undertaking to which my team and I, and our brilliant partners at FILTR, have thrown ourselves at with every ounce of commitment we individually and collectively possess.
It kicks off next Monday and whatever the result, I am supremely proud of my colleagues and the FILTR team for what they have acheived, backed by extraordinary support from so many partners.
Back to the dateline. More than ten years ago (closer to 11, in fact), I completed our ‘Miles for Smiles’ 10k fun run in Dubai in just over 46 minutes. We raised a lot of money for cleft charity Smile Train but I can tell you the rest of the experience wasn’t much fun at all. I would have raised a great deal more money if I had gone under 45 minutes (not bad at the age of 53) as I had aimed to do (and attracted numerous pledges if I could do so). But on the day I somehow just didn’t feel right, and though I was super fit and ran hard, I had to stop twice and simply collapsed over the finishing line.
Something was wrong. I couldn’t understand it but I would soon discover the cause. I had been carrying with me a decent-sized stomach tumour that would prove to be cancerous and lead to a full gastrectomy (stomach removal) on 5 October 2010.
So now you know the relevance of the date. My elevator ride this morning to my daily workout came precisely ten years on from me taking a similarly short journey in a lift at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, on that occasion to the operating room where a 7-hour operation awaited me.
If you had told me as I lay alone and very lonely in the prep room curled up in the foetal position awaiting an epidural that ten years hence I would be able to run a pretty decent 5k pace (albeit much slower than my Miles for Smiles days) or even be there to run at all, I would have taken it.
My business back in 2010, conversely, was in great shape. We were eight years into our journey, now well-established as the market leader, and great days beckoned. Roll on ten years and my business, like so many others, is fighting for its life, but I am in rollicking good health. I know which scenario I prefer.