I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a young boy and grew up managing my condition with inhalers, steroids and antibiotics. For 30 years of my life I believed I was limited when it came to physical activity and that I would always be susceptible to illness.
At 12:30am on 1st of January 2017 I left the New Year’s Eve party, changed into luminous yellow clothes, popped on my well worn running trainers and headed out to run my first mile of 2017. This year I’m raising £2 for every 1 mile I run throughout the year, with all funds donated to Asthma UK – and I’m aiming to run 1000 miles in total.
How did this come about?
In September 2016 I ran my first marathon. I thought about fundraising at the time but there was a big part of me that didn’t think I would ever make it to the starting line let alone finish the race, so I ran the Nottingham marathon for myself. As the weeks and months passed my confidence grew and about a month before the race I started to believe “I can do this”. The race went well and I finished under my goal time but I was not prepared for the post-race blues.
Six months had passed between signing up to the marathon and crossing the finish line, so it had become a significant part of my life. With it being over, I suddenly felt like there was something missing. I signed up for other races but I soon realised that it wasn’t having a race on the calendar that I missed - rather I was missing working towards something I deemed to be impossible.
The most enjoyable part of my marathon experience was training, going out for a run and knowing that the miles were adding up to something. With that in mind and an impossible dream I said YES to a new challenge. This year, I want every run to mean something and I also want to challenge myself by running 1000 miles which is double what I ran in 2016. Bring it on!
Having overcome my own limiting beliefs, I hope that my story – and the next 999 miles I run this year - prompt other people to ask themselves what they think they can’t do and go out and give it a go. it’s true that success doesn’t always come overnight but with hard work I firmly believe we’re all capable of achieving more than we think.
I’ve made a rough plan for the year and by May I aim to have run more miles than I ran throughout the whole of 2016. After that point it’s all new to me and with that comes some fear. I’ve given up plenty of times before and to prevent this, I want to be held accountable for reaching my goal which is why I’m selling each mile so that I’m focused on running the next mile for whoever owns it.
I look forward to reporting back later in the year to let you know how far I’ve got. You never know - maybe we could go out for a mile at Yestival?!