Where it all began.
I've spent a long time in my life trying to be the best I can be. Focused on my career and aiming to be the one who does better, wins, comes first. That is and has been exhausting for me. But I don't regret any of that time in my life.
It wasn't until life became a little more challenging that I needed to take stock of my life. I was tired, not looking after myself and not considering those around me enough. My mum's health was poor and as she was getting older, I knew that she would need us as a family more than ever.
Sadly she died last year.
I have not been one to exercise and take the best care of my health. I would say that I eat generally well and I walk. But the gym or doing anything on a regular basis I simply didn't have time for. I wasn't taking care of myself properly and it showed.
The irony is that I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2007 with Hodgkins Lymphoma and was subjected to many months of life saving treatment - thankfully I did recover and continue to be well. But the craziness of my work life balance was not conducive to staying well long term.
So I started to run. Couch to 5k... and it built from there. I didn't really enjoy it from the outset, there is always a reason not to. It rains. I'm tired. I don't feel like it. I'm too busy. I heard myself saying that and knew I had to push through it. Easier said than done sometimes.
I've injured myself. I've cried through pain and I've not trained when I should have done.
But nothing is as tough as the illness or the loss of people you love. So I use that as my focus. Nothing I push myself to do physically will ever be as bad as those things. Our bodies can do amazing things and others have pushed themselves to the limit.... so why can't I?
So when my friend Sam spoke to me about doing an ultramarathon I laughed. Seriously - me? No chance. But it stuck in my mind, I googled it. I thought about it. I watched the YouTube video. It seemed ridiculous.
Sam asked me again - the next day I booked it.
On the 2nd October 2021 I flew to Jordan. I will ran 250km across 5 days in desert terrain and 30+ degree heat. I will finish it. I've practiced and I am ready. Wadi Rum in Jordan is where the epic Laurence of Arabia was filmed. I'm not expecting my picture to be as glamorous!
Anything is possible in life. If YOU decide you will achieve something and train, focus and push - you can. Our minds not our bodies limit our belief. If I can - then anyone can do something extraordinary. We are only here for such a short time - make it count and do those things you dream of, scare you and make you gasp. I've learnt a lot about myself. I'm more disciplined than I thought, I can push myself further than I ever thought - I am capable of much more than I thought.
I have surprised myself (and those close to me too!).
I'm raising funds for Cruse Bereavement Care. They support people of all ages when someone dies. They offer support, someone to listen and resources to help at the some of the toughest and darkest times in their lives. If you'd like to contribute to my fundraiser you can do so here. Any amount makes a difference to someone who needs it.