Monday, January 16, 2012

The maddest idea I've ever had

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. Eventually I was bound to wind up having an idea of my own that doesn’t get vetoed by my wife.

Which is a shame really because she really should have vetoed this one…

In April, my brother-in-law will be running the London Marathon which is, of course, insane. Paul has run this race once before, back when my ten year old son was still in a pushchair and slept during the day. He vowed never to try it again.

Paul never was very good with promises.

I’m in awe of people who run this race. Every year I sit glued to the TV, nibbling on a pie in amazement. People with the most unbelievable stories are there overcoming horrendous struggles to wind up running for twenty-six miles. Others aren’t content with just running that far, they also have to dress like a hippo or hop backwards. People are incredible.

Meanwhile, I can’t even jog faster than treacle runs downhill for more than two minutes.
In order to secure his place, Paul is running to raise money for the CF Trust, which is a very well-known charity in our lives. If your life has never come across Cystic Fibrosis in any way at all then you can consider yourself very lucky indeed. This genetic disease not only kills people at a very young age, but it first of all makes them suffer.

CF attacks the lungs, filling them with mucus. It also causes a whole host of other problems leaving sufferers weakened and breathless, yet they seem to become some of the strongest people you can know – because they have to be. Getting your lungs pumped out on a daily basis, while living with the knowledge that you will be very lucky to live past your thirties, kind of forces you to be strong.

My friend Anthony had it. We were classmates at school. I can’t remember anyone at school who was happier, or more fun to be around than Anthony. Nobody complained less. Nobody smiled more. And yet he could barely talk some days. He could never run anywhere and mucus had to be painfully pumped out of his lungs every day, but his would be the first grin that you would notice in the mornings.

Anthony died while still in his Teens.

My wife’s cousin – who is the reason Paul has chosen this charity - was an incredible woman. From the very first ‘family’ get together I attended with my wife, Cheryl stood out. She would be the centre of the fun. The only clue you ever got for the suffering she endured would be the occasional wheeze. Meanwhile Cheryl defied convention by doing exactly what the doctors told her not to do. She had not one, but two children. One ‘should’ have killed her – it didn’t.

The next thing Cheryl did was to live. And Cheryl lived well with her family. Sadly, we lost Cheryl two years ago at the incredible age of 45 – a seriously impressive age for a CF sufferer.

So Paul is running the marathon and to do so he needs to raise money for the CF Trust which is where I come in. I figure it’s time I got off my backside and did something too.

I’m not running the marathon and I’m not sitting in a bath of beans, or climbing Everest dressed as a polar bear, but I am going to try something that in my current physical state of disrepair and neglect seems impossible.

Not impossible for you I should imagine, but trust me when I say that it scares the willies off me. I may have failed to run more than one single Kilometre only a couple of weeks ago, but I’m going to run 10 of them in April.

Here and now I do declare that on April 12th I intend running 10K (over 6 miles) across London. This means I have three months to go from the jelly belly mess that I am today into exactly the kind of person that I’ve been avoiding all these years – a healthy one.

I have not run further than 2 miles since I was 19, some 21 years ago. I sit here now and shake at the thought of it. However, deep in my brain I know that it is realistically possible. People run marathons; people do so much more than this with a million better reasons as to why they shouldn’t be able to do it than ‘just because they like pizza too much’.

But it is daunting and it most certainly is going to challenge me in a way that I have not been challenged since I joined the military.

I will be starting my training now, and will of course be updating my progress right here. Also (as you’ve probably guessed) I’ll be begging for sponsorship. Hey things are tight at the mo – I expect nothing, especially from anyone who has already supported me in the Movember scheme, so please don’t feel pressured. Just come here and read without shame. As the days go by I will also be giving details of the route and of where the finish line is (cunningly next to a pub near a handy train / tube line as it happens) so if you just happen to be in the area…    Why not?  Want to join me on the run or just mill about in the pub next to the finish line? All proceeds of sponsorship are to go to the CF Trust VIA Paul’s Marathon donation page – to clarify, the reason for this is simply to apply these funds towards his target but ALL the money does go to the Cystic Fibrosis charity directly from the Virgin donation page.

The run is not an officially organised race, it’s being planned by me but I intend being as open as possible. I have two fitness types who have agreed to run with me and validate the distance, though I am trying to get more runners – the more the merrier, mainly for the whip in the pub afterwards if I’m honest.

So do you live around London? Want to see the sweatiest man in London crawling towards the heart of the City? If it helps, my two fitness types are worth seeing – their moobs are actual muscle and are called Pecs apparently, so they don’t need a bra for them like I do.

Glen’s Life CF 10K – coming soon.


C-PAT said...

If I may quote the great Ice Cube: "YOU CAN DO IT PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT"

Maxabella said...

Bloody good cause and I'm impressed that you're giving it a go, Glen. Of course, I was even more impressed reading the first half of your post because I thought you were going to join Paul and run the full marathon... maybe next year?

Good luck with your training. x

Samantha said...

Best of luck, one day at a time.

Glen said...

C-Pat - I lost track of popular frozen water based music after Vanilla Ice.

Maxabella - Marathon? I'd have to be insane to try that - oh, see your point

Samantha - thank you and indeed.

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Woah! You mentalist. I have always wondered why people want to run, especially when god invented cars. But hey, it is for a good cause - so count me in as a sponsor. Can I come and watch you do it, and wave a weedy flag?!

Glen said...

Thanks Annie - much appreciated and yes of course you can - route and details of the finish line lager shop will be coming out soon...

Katie said...

"Every year I sit glued to the TV, nibbling on a pie in amazement."
It's been WAY to long since I've come to visit.
That line about did me in.

Kudos on the new goal. You run. I'll eat pie. Deal?

Barbara said...

I'd have liked to have come and laughed, er I mean waved at you but you appear to be doing it on a Thursday when I will be limited by school runs and the like :-(

I shall have to be content with sponsoring you and whoring you out on facebook.

Karen said...

I actually wish I could fly in to be there and join!
I have a very dear friend, a 20-year friendship, with a 37-year-old woman who has CF, and she aptly fits your decription :-) She is so strong, and joyful, and kind, and truly does help and work to make this world a better place. I always, always feel so blessed and lucky to have her as my friend.

Glen said...

Katie - meat I hope

Barbara - shame

Karen - "I always, always feel so blessed and lucky to have her as my friend" bang on - exactly! thank you.

Tracy said...

What a wonderful goal you have set for yourself! I'm exited to read about your progress. You can totally do this!

I am having a lot of fun reading your blog...... it really gets me thinking. For instance, when you wrote "The maddest idea I ever had." I thought "He has an angry idea?". You mentioned treacle and I had to google it. When you talked about "eating pie" while watching the marathon, my mind went immediately to apple or cherry. I then discovered in your comments that there are pies made of meat.

I've learned a lot!