Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I am a GP working in Harrow and I was given an incredible opportunity to run the London marathon on 28th April 2019. It was a last minute prize draw by one of the sponsors and I had mistakenly read it as London 2020 :-)). When the email came through in the last week of January 2019, I wasn’t sure how a non-runner like me could ever do something like this in less than 12 weeks. I tried running but couldn’t sustain it for more than an hour .. I went back to the drawing board and revised my strategy. I decided to use my strength of walking to my advantage. So , I decided to run/walk as much as I could. Even if I walked at a consistent speed, It might take me longer than 7 - 8 hrs.. I wasn’t sure if this was do-able for a marathon novice like me.
Everytime I trained , I fell short of my training target. I thought, it is better to quit rather than fail miserably.. Those were the moments when I remembered the words spoken by my father, ‘ Where there is a will, there is a way’ and ‘ what you think, so shall you become’. I just decided to do my best and put one step in front of another.
The day came and I felt unprepared like the many thousands who ran the marathon. My fellow runners gave me valuable advice and motivated me with their tips. I started the race with trepidation and I could run only for the first 1 hr. I slowed down to a walk , I could see everyone running past me.. I felt like an outlier and I wasn’t sure what I was trying to do. I felt ashamed that I was walking .. I then realised that this journey is as unique as my life journey, it doesn’t matter how fast I go.. It matters how enjoyable it is. The journey is more important than the destination. I then opened my eyes and heart to everything around me - the stories depicted on the T-shirts of my fellow runners, onlookers cheering and offering anything that they can - be it the jelly babies or hi-fives, the volunteers who had come out in droves to support us and the kind runner who gave me some squash at the last minute. I felt so moved when marathon supporters were still present 7 hrs after the race had begun.. I couldn’t help smiling and becoming joyful. I had one of the best times of my life - waving / blowing kisses / smiling in the last 5 km.. I danced across to the finish line at 7 hrs 15 minutes.
It had been an epic journey and I had wanted this journey to be about mental resilience and wellbeing. As a GP and mental health lead, I could see the positive impact of work done by ‘Mind’- be it in providing information ,to patients and carers, being their advocate and helping them through to recovery.
This is how the money raised will help them :
- £180 can pay for an outing for 12 people, reducing their isolation and increasing their confidence and enjoyment of life. For many, it is their first human contact for days
- £360 can fund two social activities – providing respite for over 30 people
- £1000 can help support our helpline for 10 days
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