I have been called inspirational a lot of times today. I am not bragging, I actually find it a little uncomfortable. I always think that inspirational people are extraordinary and I’m not doing anything that anyone else couldn’t do if they had the desire (and were crazy enough). A request for a retweet (I’m obsessed with retweets) turned into an article in the Warrington Guardian, an interview with a very lovely man from Wire FM and a lot of posts and comments from some very supportive people. I really enjoyed that today I was given a platform to talk about the invisible disabled and the importance of raising awareness of movement disorders and MS. I’m also very chuffed about all the lovely comments of support from friends, family and strangers but at the same time it’s pretty overwhelming to be honest and I feel is somewhat undeserved.
I don’t really get inspired by Elite athletes, I couldn’t tell you what Paula Radcliffe looks like and I only really know of Mo Farah from the Quorn adverts. It’s pretty great that they can run fast but that’s all I know about them and to me they’re pretty much just doing their jobs. I might get lynched for saying this but I respect them as people in the same way that I respect anyone who does a great job like my bin men, Dyson put togetherers, Ikea designers, BB8 and the guys who change lightbulbs in streetlights (I used to want that job when I was little). I respect them all, but they don’t inspire me. My latest inspiration is Ben Smith who is running 401 marathons in 401 days to combat bullying. It’s an amazing story and you should read it if you have time. I wanted to go and run with him when he was here in Warrington but it wasn’t meant to be. What is really inspiring about him is that pretty much each day he posts on Facebook to congratulate the first time marathon runners that joined him or the people he has had adventures with. It’s about the experience he and the people around him have created and he’s a pretty amazing person (There’s a petition coming round at the moment to get him included in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year thingy. I would sign it but I think it’s the most stupidly named award there is. How can you vote for someone’s personality and what makes someone’s personality better than others. You can’t even know someone’s personality without personally knowing the person so to me it’s pretty defunct. If it was the most inspiring sports person of the year I’d sign it in a heartbeat. Rant over, feel free to make up your own mind).
Back to Ben Smith, there are some people who do incredible things against the odds and then use that experience to influence and possibly change the lives of other people and that is inspirational. I just like to run, I don’t inspire anyone to do anything and I feel a bit like I undermine the really amazing people if I say otherwise. People who have to struggle every day, that don’t have help and support, people who never get to stop fighting. I don’t feel like I’m one of these people because first off I’m very lucky, my illness made me into a better person and I have good days where I’m completely fine. It sometimes feels like I straddle both sides not completely in either. What I think I’m trying to say is that I think a lot of people have it a lot worse and I’m not doing anything that anyone else wouldn’t be capable of. I seriously believe that anyone can run a marathon if they want to. Couch to 5k, train up to your first 10k, do a few halves, build up your distance every week and then just do it. If you’re head wants you to do it then it will as long as you physical can (It’s rubbish that anyone can do anything they set their mind to because they need a body that’s able to do it). As long as I’m able I’ll keep doing it because that’s what stops me being miserable and feeling sorry for myself.
I am very grateful to both Warrington Guardian and Wire FM for letting me speak about and help raise money for an issue that is very important to me (as well as letting me rant about my love of running). Adam Everett and Paul Doward have both been amazing in allowing me to add to the voices trying to raise awareness. I’m very thankful to everyone but it’s been a very crazy day.