Contrary to popular belief I don’t enjoy pain. Almost one year ago today I wouldn’t have considered running 4 miles with good feet possible let alone the 11 I ran on Saturday that got them to this state in the first place. I certainly wouldn’t have considered running on feet that look as ugly and torn up as those in this picture (and apologies if this turns your stomach or you’ve just eaten). I ran 4 miles with my feet in this condition tonight and that’s not big, clever or hard and I’m not proud of it. It was painful.
So why did I do it? Why didn’t I stop at mile one or two? Well mostly because I’m an idiot. There is however another reason. I’ve committed myself to run 13.1 miles on March 11th for @UNICEF_UK. I’ve not run this distance before and like it or not, I have to put in some hard work and go through some pain to achieve that goal. Lets put that pain in perspective though. Approx 320,000 children in East Africa are suffering from severe acute malnutrition to the point of needing immediate life-saving assistance due to the combination of drought, the global economy and war. These are innocent children who could potentially die if aid is not given. This is happening now. Children are dying.
I’ve had the misfortune myself of attending the funerals of 3 of my own children. They all died during childbirth. It was hard. It hurt like hell. Believe me when I say I don’t wish that loss on anyone and although not physical pain it hurts way more than running 4 miles on torn up feet. We eventually could rationalise that pain though (or at least we can now 10 years later) as in all 3 cases (twins and 1 other) there is nothing anybody could have done to change their fate. I support UNICEF because in the case of the 320,000 children mentioned above we have the ability to change that outcome and stop the kind of pain associated with the loss of a child for hundreds and thousands of people. It doesn’t take much and most of us have plenty. I don’t have a tonne of money but what little I have I’ll give and what I don’t have I plan on making up by raising money through sponsorship to get this run done and if that means occasionally tearing up my feet so be it. I believe it’s important (I guess because of my experiences I’m biased). The reason I choose UNICEF over the countless other deserving charities is because they have a track record of making a difference and the work they do is focussed on improving the lives of children all over the world who are at risk (not just in Africa). I’m not even sure why I’m sharing this here. Sometimes I guess it helps to write down and share the things that constantly go round in your own head to stop you going mental (ok more mental). You might feel this is a very clever blog entry to try and guilt people into sponsoring me (because lets face it we’re all sadly that cynical these days). It isn’t. I ain’t that clever. I’m not even going to include the link to my sponsorship page for that reason. I’m sure you can find it if you want it (and I’ll not deny I’d really appreciate the support). I guess this is just all about perspective. I’ve got a lot of that since I started running. My priorities have changed. My take on what is possible has changed. My view on what hurts has changed. I guess I’ve changed over this last year – I think for the better.
on a side note: in running terms they may look ugly but this is a mere scratch…some of the ultra nutters I follow on twitter probably eat pain like this for breakfast. I just need to man the f**k up 😉