Hello wonderful family, friends and more!
This August, in the middle of 16 shows in Newcastle, I will be travelling to London to take part in my first ever official race! I thought I’d go for a nice gentle Olympic Triathlon to ease myself in to the competing world...
Why a Triathlon? If I’m honest, I’m still not sure why! I had wanted to do something for charity to support M.E for a while so when my friend, Adam, challenged me to join him I booked my place before really thinking about the enormity of the event. I did want to challenge myself and I can certainly say I’ve done that!
As some of you may know my gorgeous friend Manon, got diagnosed with M.E over 3 years ago. What is M.E? Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. People with M.E. experience debilitating pain, fatigue and a range of other symptoms associated with post-exertional malaise, the body’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy.
M.E. affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide. One of those precious humans is my best friend of 25 years. A once, very active woman who now spends most of her days in a chair, bed or wheelchair. A reader, dog walker, runner, swimmer, weight lifter, shape-thrower (!) who’s bound by her bodys inability to produce energy. People have often asked me how I have been so diligent with my training and the answer is so simple... “What would Manon give?” What would she give to put some trainers on and go for a run? What would she give to hop on a bike and go grab a coffee? What would she give to whack on a swimming costume and dive into the pool? Without even finishing my own question, I’m out the door! I know Manon’s brain is ten thousand times more capable than mine but right now, my body is ten thousand times more able than hers. She’s been with me every step of the way without even knowing it and will be there ever step on the day.
Over the past few years I’ve come to realise that M.E is a very misunderstood, under funded and sadly, in some cases, un-researched illness. Therefore, finding the right charity who truly understand it was important. Hugo, one of Manon’s full time carers (and partner) informed me of Invest in ME. In October I shall be running a Half Marathon to support M.E with Manon’s supermum Helen, another full time carer and incredible advocate for M.E.
Invest in ME Research is an independent UK charity finding, funding and facilitating a strategy of biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME or ME/CFS).The charity is run by volunteers - patients or parents of children with ME - with no paid staff.Overheads are kept to a minimum and all funds raised to go to promoting education of, and funding for biomedical research into, ME.Our efforts are focused on setting up a UK Centre of Excellence for ME which will provide proper examinations, diagnosis and in time treatment(s)/cure(s).
Special thanks must go to my friends and family who have been amazing to me during these training months. And, of course, my Jersey Boys team who have been with me every step, not literally (!) but almost. They’ve all been very accepting of my absence, it’s must appreciated guys! Thank you in advance for your donations and support.
P.S Did I mention I’m doing a Triathlon...!?!
Big Love, Big Olive xXx