Today signals the start of a marathon which I will conquer, a marathon I never signed up for.
2013 was a great year for me. I was settling into life in Edinburgh, work was a passion where I met loads of inspiring people and I had made a whole new crew of friends. In addition to this I set a target of running my first marathon in Loch Ness. I loved the months of training especially in the Summer Sun. I found myself running on the sandy beaches of Fuertaventura, the down town streets of Toronto and, more often than not, the promenade at Crammond. The feeling on race day was electric! I was terrified but confident. Being a self confessed control freak I had created a rigorous training plan and diet which I was committed to. I knew I deserved to conquer my goal – I knew I could run a marathon, I just had to prove it. I found the experience of running exhilarating. I was surrounded by hundreds of other runners of different ages, sizes, runners with their own motivation, their own agenda. I would often find myself reading other runners vest which told of fundraising stories, people touched by disease or battling a cancer. I chose to raise funds for the Craig Gowans Memorial Fund in partnership with the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. I chose this because of a close friend at the time and many of the children I work with are involved with Sick Kids. The support of family and friends helped me raise over £1000. I was overwhelmed that my small efforts could raise an impressive amount for such a worthwhile cause. Upon completing the marathon, in an annoying 4 hours 17 minutes , I knew I had to do it again if not only to get a sub 4 hour time. The whole experience of setting a goal, working towards it and smashing it was so rewarding: it is genuinely one of the best feelings I have ever had. In the the following months I allowed myself some time to calm down from the training. (In addition to training for hockey and coaching boccia I spent the majority of my free time running) I dubbed the month of October ‘Yestember’ where I had to say yes to any social opportunity that came my way. Not so surprisingly this included a lot of drunken nights. On one occasion I met a very funny boy. This funny boy asked me on a date and despite saying no initially I remembered it was Yestember. We shared our first night of giggles over Beverly janes which is something we hev repeated over the past 6 months. So, yes 2013 was a great year for me. Loving life in Edinburgh, smashed a marathon and I met a funny boy who I am proud to say is now my funny boyfriend.
We are now in the fourth month of 2014 and it is safe to say that this year is proving to be a bit more challenging. Saying goodbye to my gran, realising who my true friends are and then there is that dark day in April. On Tuesday 8th April I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. An appointment which lasted less than an hour turned life as I know it upside down. I am currently on route to the hospital for my planning meeting which will decide my treatment. A meeting which will impact the following months with a strong goal at the end: beat cancer! There are a lot of similarities between cancer and a marathon…
– You can’t prepare yourself for it overnight
– It will take time and you have to take the ups with the downs
– You’ll discover you are much stronger than you imagined
– You’ll be overwhelmed by the people who are there to support you, to love you and help you conquer your goal.
So, did I sign up for it? No but I LOVE a challenge. What’s more I LOVE my life and everyone in it. Just like the marathon, I will beat cancer.