Tuesday’s marathon was tough. It was too hot, my feet hurt (need new trainers) and was really tired. After the 4th of 8th laps I really starting to feel it but I didn’t have a choice but to push through. Just Giving have started a campaign called #poweredbypeople. I keep seeing it all over facebook and twitter (marathon season always brings up these things more) and it got me questioning what keeps me going.
We all pretty much hate sponsorship. Don’t get me wrong, raising money for a charity (especially one that means something to you) is an amazing amazing thing and should never stop (especially in the current climate where more and more people who relied on government services to help them have been pretty much cut loose so public funded charities are all they have left). Everyone has their reason for why they are supporting a specific cause and whilst Phoebe from Friends proved that there are no selfless good deeds (as we get the satisfaction of helping), all efforts to help others should be applauded. The part we hate is asking other people for money or being asked. I wonder though if people realise the impact of their actions when they do donate?
Part of what gets me through every race is the faith and believe that other people show in you. Friends, family and complete strangers can have such a massive impact on your ability to succeed. Even though they are not physically with you they have already ensured that you have to succeed because they’ve paid there hard earned money for you to do so. They stop you being able to consider quitting, they’re your determination. Then you think of all the other people around you also never quit, who go on regardless of the struggle, and they give you the inspiration. Now I’m not going to say that with determination and inspiration you can do anything (I know for a fact that’s not true) but it certainly gives you the kick to try and try and try when everything else tells you to give up.
What I should really start doing though is thinking of the people who might be helped be raising money for the charity. I’ve made it very clear from the start that my fund raising efforts are pretty selfish, I want them to find a cure that may help me one day but now that I’m a quarter of the way through my challenge I should start to look beyond that really. I remember that when I was on the train coming home from Blackpool after doing Preston parkrun and the Stanley Park 10k I got talking to a man whilst we waited for the train to come into the station. He asked me what I was doing (not generally, was wearing running clothes so was curious) and I explained my challenge to him. I said it was pretty tiring and his response was “So’s MS”. I keeping thinking about his comment during races.
I don’t want my friend Derek to get out his tiny violin, but suffering from an illness with no name or diagnosis can make you start to be pretty isolated in regards to other illnesses. I have similar symptoms to both Parkinsons and MS (as well as a few less known ones) but I don’t suffer from either so I’m always on the periphery and so my therefore my link in regards to fundraising has done the same? I think I probably need to immerse myself into the life stories of MS suffers (there’s plenty out there in forums and blogs) and then have that be what powers me too. You can never have too many people to power you after all.
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