I managed to complete a half marathon and under 2½ hours at the beginning of September!
As a lockdown runner, I did the Couch to 5K as a way to get away from the computer. Running also gave me some time and space to think.
I never thought that I would keep going and get this far! I did it to raise money for Scoliosis Association UK.
National Fitness Day – This is #Fitness2Me
Through lockdown, the government allowed us to leave the house to exercise for an hour a day.
I chose running because it was free, because I didn’t need any kit, and because I could fit it in around work and children. I also wanted to make sure I stayed fit and healthy in case I caught the virus.
Soon I’d replaced what would have been my morning commute with a gentle jog. And eventually I was able to run 5K!
2020 was a year of change. Running was my way to relax and refocus.
Since then, I have just kept running, slowly increasing the distance and time. I entered the Cheltenham Half Marathon never having run that far or for that long. But I wanted the challenge, as I felt ready for it.
A Cause That’s Close to My Heart
Scoliosis is a cause that’s close to my heart.
Since my daughter Sophie was born, she has faced more challenges than children her age should need to cope with. At six weeks old, Sophie was diagnosed with hip dysprasia. She wore a corrective harness until she was three years old. Although it was a difficult time it worked, and her hips are now well.
When Sophie was eight, she was suffering with leg pain. A referral back to the hospital led to the sinking news that she had Spondylolithesis. The slip was severing her spinal cord. Without treatment it could have resulted in paralysis from the waist down by the age of 21.
At nine years old she had her first spinal fusion. At 12, she had corrective spinal surgery.
Now Sophie is 14, and waiting for surgery for Scoliosis. But due to lockdown, this surgery has been delayed. This will be her third major operation. Even though she has been through so much she is a strong, determined, caring and inspirational person.
Although it hurts, she has managed to achieved her goals one step at a time. She’s completed two triathlons, she’s climbed Snowdon, she’s got her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, and she’s gained her GCSE and grade 4 piano.
As her mum, her positive attitude and how well she manages fill me with pride. Equally it tears me apart to see her go through so much and see her hurt emotionally and physically. If could take away her pain, I would in an instant. But I can’t.
So, this is my small way of helping. Starting with the Cheltenham Half Marathon, I’m raising funds for those living with spinal conditions so that support can be given to families. Also, new funding means new techniques to improve lives, so that everyone can achieve their own goals.
Learn more about National Fitness Day and #Fitness2Me here.