Earlier on this spring, I planted some lavender seeds.

I cared for the seeds, photographed the pot every day to chart the journey from seed to blossoming bee-trap.

The seeds didn’t grow.

My infamously un-green fingers (sorry Nan) have let me down again… At this point, I usually give up, but not this time; all because of someone I met at the Barnes Fitness Woodley 10k last year…

I LOVE to be a tail-runner. That means volunteering to finish a race last. The tail (or sweeper) serves as a marker to the marshals so that they can stand down and can often find themselves supporting the final runner along the course, as the speed-dæmons disappear from view and the final kilometre feels like a 3-mile hill-climb.

Last year, I had the very great pleasure of helping a gardener to the finish. They admitted that they weren’t fully fit and were struggling. So, I found out what they’d be doing with the rest of their day and we talked about gardening.

They spoke so passionately about what they grew and we ate up the distance smiling and laughing. They told me that the best bit about gardening was not knowing what would grow and what wouldn’t. They said that it was ok if things didn’t grow, “It’s not time for them. When they’re ready, they grow.”

It made me  think about the runners I coach, the NQTs I’ve mentored and the people I’ve supported through various challenges.

Like the plants, they need some solid foundations and a suitable environment. Like the plants, they need nurturing. Like the plants, when they’re ready, they grow.