Since announcing I intended to run a marathon I heard two words quite often; amazing and hard. Both the training journey and the run itself have, indeed, been amazing (one month on from race day and I still tingle with the memory of it).
But was it hard? To be honest, I’m not sure it was – and not because I am so physically fit that I can run 26.2miles without breaking a sweat; that is definitely not the case. My body struggled and occasionally I questioned whether I would even be wearing my trainers on Marathon Day or whether I'd meet my fundraising target (which mattered a lot to me). My doubts, however, were never able to take a real hold.
During my training I was surrounded by people who were willing me to succeed and prepared to help me in any way they could. From the CEO of the charity I was running for, family and friends to acquaintances and strangers, I was surrounded by generosity – emotionally, practically and financially. Be it childcare while I did a long run, sidekicks for event planning or bacon buttie chefs; there was always someone who would or who knew someone who could.
The reason I was running though was because of the opposite; the times when we aren’t sure that everything will be okay, when our doubts are overwhelming and life feels hard.
As a young person, your family, friends and school might not always be not be the ones who can help; it’s complicated but often, somehow, they are all too ‘involved’. In these times, counselling can make a real difference. If you are feeling lost or adrift, perhaps not knowing exactly what you need but knowing you don’t have it, you might need to reach out. And so I was running for Youth Concern Aylesbury to support their counselling service for young people, so more young people can access counselling.
Thank you to everyone who made my marathon journey far more amazing and much less hard and who have helped to fund counselling services for young people through Youth Concern Aylesbury.