Tag Archives: justgiving

A mile in your shoes…

I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan. When I re-stumbled upon this Dumbledore quote, it gave my challenge new purpose. I’m doing this for Dad. And, with Dad, I can do it.

It is the Easter holidays for 2 weeks. I’m half and half on how I feel about them. Part of me really loves having the bigger girl around, shes funny, helpful, kind & chatty. The other part of me misses the structure of routine, the silence of nap times, the flow of the day. The biggest change of all is my morning walk.

Every morning, after school drop-off. Baby & I head off for a 3-5mile power buggy walk. In the beginning, it was to get her to nap. Whilst that is still my primary conscious concern, I didn’t realise until this week just how much *I* rely on it.

We’re still heading out for walks, the 3 of us, but they are slower, shorter, more stressful. The usual 9.02am eye-closing is replaced by a fraught crying & yelling & 9.18am eye closing, because baby has spotted her big sister & thinks it is play time. Poor big girl has to walk ahead of the buggy, out of sight – this makes me feel bad.

I’m conscious that I need to let baby sleep for her half hour nap (or else all hell will break loose), but also that 6 year old legs can’t walk as fast or as far as mine – though, to give her credit, she has powered through miles in rain & sun without a single moan & joyful exclamations about how “fit” she will be.

I miss the head-space afforded by 40minutes of zoning out.

I’ve realised that I am governed by times & timings. I *think* that my grief & post-natal hum has been, so far, managed by strictly controlling each portion of my day. This explains my unease at things (or me) running late, of baby not napping or eating on time, at people phoning during meal or nap times, the horror of someone wanting to “pop in” at an unarranged time. And I know people look at me with a “wtf” expression when I can’t do x, y or z because of naps, feeds, etc, but you can’t understand how someone else copes, you can only ever understand how you would cope. You cannot judge someone based on how you would handle a situation. You cannot walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. You can only support them. Judging them or using condescending or negative tones isn’t helpful. You are an expert of your own experiences only.

I digress… back to the walking. I’m a numbers nerd. I love the data that my fitbit gives me. Each week, I try to better the last (another mental battle I’m trying to “be cool” about this week). I try to ensure that I reach at least 5 miles a day, every day – with 5 weekday walks & 1 long weekend hike in place, slowly building up the miles. I’m SO looking forward to the challenge & truly believe it is totally achievable.

I’ve been clocking up 6, 7 & 8 miles regularly, but I now need to start chasing double figures. Dad, being a military man, always said “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” & so, I’m doing my very best, with the time & resources I have.

Grief leaves a huge hole in your soul. I feel as though different types of grief are digested and managed in different ways. No grief is more or less important than others, but some leave a much larger gap.

My hope is that the fundraising achieved through doing this challenge, will go someway to help find a cure or treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. I hope that it may fund a specialist Parkinson’s nurse. A valuable piece of equipment. Anything that might ease another family through a turbulent period.

Nic & I have been truly astounded by the generosity of those that have donated, we really have. To think that so many of you have been so thoughtful is truly heartwarming & we really appreciate every single donation, Really, every pound makes such a difference. If you’d like to donate to our 50km hiking challenge, we would be thrilled. You can find the justgiving page here.

Thank you all so much. Be kind to one another. xx

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A moonwalk with a difference!

Long time no post – lots has been happening. I’ve qualified as a personal trainer & am now 31weeks pregnant & still continuing to train. This last weekend saw (probably) my last event before baby number 2 arrives & it was my sister and I taking on the London moonwalk, but this time the half moon, at 15.1miles.

Saturday and Sunday, our Halfmoon Challenge!

Saturday and Sunday, our Halfmoon Challenge!

Our fundraising page has reached £290.50 & we’d obviously LOVE to break that £300 barrier! You can find our page here!

Here’s how the story goes:

Good evening all!
I think we are both on the road to recovery today, but obviously very tired! It’s amazing what a huge impact missing one night of sleep can have on you. Having said that, being able to watch the London sky transform from a deep, deep blue to a wonderful & beautiful baby blue is such an awesome sight & it really helps you push along the last few miles!
Our training for the event started right back in January. Taking in long routes and trekking the Sussex coast and countryside. It’s certainly not an event that you can just rock up to & do, your actual skeletal system just won’t allow it. It isn’t the distance, or muscle power that is the limiting factor in these events, it is the mental obstacle & the bone-on-bone grinding of the latter stages.
The event was enormous, thousands and thousands of people had turned up. Some of the bras were outstandingly decorated & some groups of people had entire costumes & makeup based around the ‘carnival’ theme. I’ve got to say, the atmosphere is wonderful & a whole heap of careful planning makes the event village buzz with energy (& the smell of pasta – which you get  to eat before you walk!).
The walk itself was very hard work. We were both so surprised at how tricky it was, considering that we did an extra 11.1 miles on top of the distance last year. We figured that part of it is that mental barrier, your body instantly responds to the enormity of a challenge, once it knows the end point – so 15.1miles became our new 26.2. This was evidenced by how long it felt to reach the first mile marker, last year, it appeared after what felt like a few steps!
The walk was made slightly more tricky (& a lot longer) by the fact that we hit quite a few bottle necks between miles 1&2 – we were stood still, or shuffling for a good 30minutes, followed by a few more bottlenecks along the rest of the route – usually on the run up to big crossings. This was something we didn’t hit last year, so I’m not sure if the route was busier, or that we were walking faster, or that we left earlier, but it did make keeping a pace quite difficult.
Thanks to having a 31week baby hugging my bladder, we did have to make 2 toilet stops, both of these added 20-30minutes on to our time – we managed the full distance last year without a single stop, so again, keeping a good pace was difficult.
A couple of other issues we faced were joint and muscle discomforts. Not surprisingly, carrying out the same motion (like walking) over and over for hours at a time, leads to some insanely uncomfortable areas. Nic was getting shooting pains from her glute, right down through the hamstring, we both had aching lower backs & hips & feet. We made a few stops to stretch out, instant relief to move your self in a slightly different pattern, but the relief is then instantly removed once the walking starts again! These little stretch stops added a little time on to our route again, as did our little 5 minute snack stop at mile 10, where we sat on a bench, over looking the river & the lit-up London eye. Beautiful, but still 5.1miles to cover!
We seemed to find more of a pace once we had cleared mile 11 & although we were tired, aching & desperate to finish, your body allows you to slip in to almost a robot state, where you kind of unconsciously continue walking, driving one foot in front of the other, only conscious of the mileage left & the various aches & pains coursing through your body. Everything else is almost a blur, as though you are in a little bubble. This really helps towards the end, you just concentrate on that dropping mileage, the support from friends and family thorough our donation page & that glorious feeling of crossing that finish line.
In total, the entire 15.1miles took is just over 6hours – crazy to think that we managed the full 26.2 in 7.5hours last year! However, until you have walked continuously for hours at a time, it really is difficult to imagine how grueling it can be. Add in some shooting pains, burning feet and the enormous additional weight & discomfort that already comes with being over 30 weeks pregnant & I guess even just finishing the walk is an achievement in itself.
We were both so worried that we might not finish. We really really didn’t want to let our sponsors down. We knew that we had to get the course done, not just for us, not just for our wonderful sponsors, but for every single person that will be helped by our efforts.
The money raised is for such a wonderful cause. To be able to move ourselves in order to help those touched by the evils of breast cancer, is truly humbling. We are both so happy that we are in a position to be able to help. For each ache, pain, sigh & expletive uttered under our breath, we feel blessed that we are physically able to pound the pavements to raise money to help those who wish they could even stand, walk more than a few hundred metres, see London by night or even just still be with their friends and family. For you guys, we did it, for you guys, we’ll always do what we can. Without our sponsors and supporters, we would be nothing, so we send enormous thanks to each and every one of you. You have each helped someone in need & collectively will be making a huge difference to so many. As the reverse of our medals say:
“We can be heroes just for one day – David Bowie”
So, time to pin our medals up, wash our clothes, slip back in to a ‘normal’ routine & look forward to our next challenges… I’m guessing my next big hurdle is labour, but you don’t need to sponsor me for that, haha!!
Thanks once again & for those that forgot/missed our event, there is still time to add a donation to our page!
Ta ta for now!

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