hakuna-matataOnce again I have been very lucky to attend the London Marathon Endurance Camp to Iten in Kenya. Although this was my third visit to Kenya, Iten and the locals never fail to inspire me.

Scientists and sports gurus have proposed all sorts of explanations over the years for Kenyan prowess in endurance running: from their high-starch diet, to the altitude, to genetics. However, I think their mental toughness and outlook on life gives them a trump card. As a nation we tend to always dwell on the things we don’t have. The Kenyan mentality is to be happy with what you do have (which in the grand scheme of things is not a lot) but I’ve yet to meet a miserable Kenyan!

At Lornah Kipligat’s High Altitude Training Camp (HATC) we are well looked after by Willy Songok (a big Newcastle fan) and the rest of the staff. Willy has also adopted the Geordie phrase it’s canny man so I always feel right at home whenever he is around. He also has some sound advice to follow when in Kenya and perhaps we could all take something from it.

Willy’s Rules to being happy. .

Rule #1 Good Training
Rule #2 Good Eating
Rule #3 Good Sleeping
Rule #4 Good Socialising
Rule #9 Good Internet

I’m not sure what Rules 5, 6, 7 and 8 are (I’m not so sure he does either) but you get the picture or as they say in Kenya Hakuna matata – no worries, be happy. As you can see from the list, internet isn’t really high up on the agenda, if only that was true here at home!

So with my new rules I endeavored to enjoy and make the most of the opportunity training in Kenya, after all I can’t really think of a better way to be spending my time. I think we could all do with appreciating the simpler things in life.