Poor old Monday! It gets a bad press for being unfortunate enough to host the first day of the working week so people seem to forget about how good it is at regailing the sporting stories that can transport, motivate and inspire us on to bigger and better challenges.
And what a couple of pearlers Monday has brought us this week.
Yesterday Jenson Button showed us all just what determination can do when you never give up. He had a collision with his team mate, was on the wrong tyres at the wrong time, had a drive through penalty and still managed to come from last place, all the way through the field, to take the lead on the last lap and win what turned out to be one of the most action packed (albeit with a 2 hour gap of nothingness in the middle!) races ever. If it wasn’t for his self belief and the fact that he never gave up there is no way he would have been standing on the top step of that podium.
And today, Andy Murray continued the theme by coming from 1 set down, and being taken to a tie break in the second, to win at Queen’s. Let’s hope he can carry the form and the determination into this year’s Wimbledon Championships and give us Brits something to cheer about!
Personally, I had something to cheer about today.
After an uninspiring day at work I decided to call it quits on time for once and headed home so I could get my Juneathon run in earlier than normal. After the busy weekend I had selected my swift 3km lap to see what speed was left in my legs. I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to complete the loop in just 12 seconds over my best time set last week even though I was panting like a dog on a hot day!
The bigger achievement was that this run marked a very special milestone for me: I have now clocked up 25% of my target 800 kilometres for Maggie’s Cancer Centres!
I was unlucky enough to find out about Maggie’s and what they do a couple of years ago when The Wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Churchill Hospital in Oxford, where the wife has successful surgery and a myriad of post surgery treatments, is lucky enough to have the support of a Maggie’s Centre, even if it is an interim centre in an old portacabin out in a back corner of the hospital grounds. Maggie’s are there for anyone whose life is touched by Cancer. You don’t have to be a cancer patient to get help from Maggie’s – they are there for anyone who is touched by cancer and needs some help, advice, information or perhaps just someone to talk to. Whether you are a patient, friend, relative or survivor Maggie’s are there, free of charge, door open and kettle on!
Equally inspiring is the architecture that Maggie’s employs at it’s full blown centres. Maggie was wife of Charles Jencks, an architectural theorist and writer, who has been able to use his network of contacts to encourage world famous architects, including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers to help Maggie’s by designing sensational buildings to compliment the support offered.
So when my company announced that Maggie’s was to be our Charity of the Year I knew I was going to be getting involved! So not only did I volunteer to join the Fundraising Team but I set myself a personal challenge:
To cover the distance between the proposed centres in Oxford and Aberdeen, the centres closest to my office in Witney, Oxfordshire and our Head Office in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, within a year.
I decided I didn’t want to do it as the crow flies but instead I wanted to “virtually” travel up the country. So using the trusted Google Maps this works out to be 800km, or 500 miles, in those of you prefer to use old money.
My first 10k of the year (and first since September last year) in Carterton on March 27th was used to kick off my challenge and I have been clocking up the distance on training runs and treadmill sessions ever since, including three 10k runs in the wonderful New York City Central Park! I also have the Thame 10k and British 10k London Run coming up soon.
I am now a quarter of the way through my journey (which would put me just approaching junction 16 of the M6 at Crewe if I were running it for real) and have received donations and pledges so far totalling £321. I hope to at least raise £800 to match the 800km travelled (another reason for choosing kilometres over miles for measuring the distance!) so please visit my JustGiving page (http://www.justgiving.com/800kmForMaggies/) and donate what you can afford, or at the very least please forward the link to this blog, retweet, post on facebook (or whatever your social networking weapon of choice is) to as many people as you can to help spread the word about my challenge but more importantly the wonderful things that Maggie’s do.
Thanks for reading (and thank you in advance for any forwarding, retweets, facebooking etc).