Done. Finished. Completed.
Running 5km a day for 50 days to raise £5k and to finish on my 50th Birthday.
I just wanted to do something to celebrate my half-century, to try and make a difference in other peoples lives and to, perhaps, learn a little about myself.
I’m not sure what I entirely thought this challenge would be like. I did know that there would be days when I would think – “there is nothing worse that I could think of doing than go for a run when its cold, wet, rainy and I’ve had a crap day at work”. And, of course, those days came.
But here’s the lesson I learnt. I learnt that when you really don’t want to do something, just do it. Push yourself. Take yourself outside of your comfort zone. Those days that were the most satisfying. It was those days where I came in after my run feeling energised and feeling so satisfied that I’d bothered to make the effort.
And I think this is a lesson that I will take into life (even though its taken me 50 years to learn it!). Push the boundaries and just do it.
I’ve read about headspace and people finding time to think and de-stress, and how running can be a fantastic outlet for this. I’ve read about it, but never really got it. I’ve heard people talk about it, but never really listened!.
But now I get it. I had times when I had had such a rubbish day, or couldn’t get my head around an issue or a problem and running was a huge help.
I initially found solace in evening running in the dark with just the beam of a head torch to concentrate on. Somehow this focal point was my meditative place. My place to think logically and my place to think. It worked particularly well with motivational podcasts.
As we got closer to Spring and the clocks changed we finally got some kinder weather (rather than constant wind and rain) and then the headspace preference became cross country. Countryside. Good weather. Natures reset button.
On a deeper level this challenge was about improving peoples lives. Helping those families in We Love Football Academy in Cape Town, and trying to help fund improvements for them.
We set off at pace and raised funds quickly in the early days, but then things changed.
Suddenly we all began to focus on something that will affect our lives forever. Something that we will never ever forget and that will, more than likely, have the biggest impact on our generation – Coronavirus. Covid-19.
At this stage we’re into the second week of “lock down” with no idea as to how long this will last and how many deaths globally will occur. With this as a background, suddenly the challenge changed and, instead of being a push to help those worse off than us, we began to think about our own lives and frailties.
Of course this meant that donations slowed down, as did the effort to drive them. Suddenly it didn’t feel quite right to be sending emails and/or social media requests for more donations when families we’re thinking more about their own jobs and livelihoods.
And so that takes us to the end.
50 days have passed. 50 days of running every single day.
I have loved it. Become “a runner”, and learnt ways to find my own space.
I have welcomed guest runners – initially running alongside me and then, as social distancing came in, running with me virtually chatting on WhatsApp and even sharing video. This is where I’m running, show me your view and I’ll show you mine!
To date I have raised over £2000. Thats 45,000 ZAR which will make a huge difference.
I intent to keep the donations page open and keep pushing and, hopefully, will be in Cape Town in December this year handing over a cheque for £5k -100,000 ZAR.
But for now, a HUGE thank you for all those that supported me, ran with me and generally given me encouragement.
50 days run. None left.