Last weekend saw me take on one of my biggest challenges yet, 65km of the Surrey hills. It may not sound much of a challenge to some, after all it is just a case of putting one foot in front of the other, but with very little time to train I was slightly concerned I might not make it. Especially when I saw the training plan and the practice walks some of the other ladies were doing.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good challenge, signing up for a half marathon four months after a C section with no training is the sort of thing I do, and every time it’s sheer determination that gets me through.
The weather was perfect and the views of the Devils punch bowl were absolutely stunning, I was almost a little annoyed at myself for having never been there before despite the fact I lived in Aldershot for such a long time.
It was physically demanding and there was a moment in the last five miles that I really I thought I might not make it, which would have been awful considering I was so close to the end, my mind wandered to Chester and to CF and although I was in a fair bit of pain and wasn’t feeling to great, all I could think was that he doesn’t have the option to give up and stop, every day he will have to fight and that is what got me through those last miles; that and my wonderful team mates (and knowing there was a toilet at the finish).
Then there we were at 2323hrs crossing the finish line 15 hrs 57 mins after Jenny Agutter (call the midwife) sent us on our way. We crossed that line in the pitch black, arm in arm; the ladies that have been there for my entire CF journey were there with me for every one of the 80,000 steps I took that day for our babies.
I am always so humbled by the kindness of others, my best friend taking the time out of her day to surprise me with an emotional “Hello” at a checkpoint, knowing that I would only have a few minutes to spare before I would have to set off again, my mum driving to be there for me at the finish. All those people that were kind enough to donate and share our stories.
We raised £17,500, a truly phenomenal amount of money and the total is still rising. I cannot say thank you enough.
I am often asked why I take on these challenges, and the answer is simple really, CF has no cure, so other than the daily routine of meds and physio to keep him well, there is nothing else I can do, being incapable of doing much else and feeling completely helpless most of the time is one of the hardest things to cope with, so I step up and take on these challenges because I feel raising money and awareness are the only things I can do.
There is so much work going on and medicine is advancing and I live in the hope that perhaps that extra £1 I raised is the one that pays for the research that ultimately finds a cure.
As I sit here looking at the remnants of a blister on my foot which is beginning to heal, I am busy planning the next challenge, and am even considering doing it all again next year, I am proud of myself for what I achieved and I hope one day my little boy will be proud of me too.