• Karen Bourne

26.2 MILES

‘Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles’

On Sunday, 22nd April 2018 I took part in the London Marathon. I was nervous but also incredibly excited to be there. It felt like such a privilege to be taking part. And the reasons for doing it were so important.

However, after training in the rain, cold, ice, wind and snow – I was completely and totally unprepared for running in the sunshine and heat. And not just any heat, it was recorded as the hottest London Marathon on record.

It took me longer than I had anticipated. I had to do the interchangeable walk and run for some of the way. It felt harder than any of my training runs had led me to anticipate. I wondered at one point how I was going to get to the end.

But I knew I would.

Because, as the quote by Lori Culnane states, ‘everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you will learn in 26.2 miles’.

There were times when all I needed was me and my determination and others when I looked up and around and I could see the intense level of support for all that I was working to achieve. There were times when the noise was distracting and others when my name was called, a smile or words of encouragement were given that carried me a bit further. There were friends and family who I know and love so much and I was absolutely thrilled to see them. And complete strangers who were just wonderful. I needed all of it, to understand the difference and know that the support was there.

You realise that you are more than just you. You are part of something much bigger, that there is a common purpose and support available. Sometimes it is being offered and sometimes you need to ask. But it is there if and when you need it. And don’t ever be scared to ask for help. If just one person reaches out to Mind and asks for the help they need because of what I am doing, then every single step will have been worth it. And I will never give up.

When you set a goal and set out to achieve it, you can prepare as much as you can with what you have and know at the time. But the path won’t always be clear, conditions will change and obstacles will occur. But you have to keep trying and keep going because it is worth it.

You are worth it.

My reason WHY was and is greater that my desire to stop and it will always be the reason for me to keep going, challenge by challenge, until The 29 Challenge is complete and the £29,000 has been raised.

This week has been a week of mixed emotions but I have learned a lot about myself. Here’s to the next 15 challenges.

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