Jaqui's Daily Blog

True Heroes and a New Challenge

Lifting my eyes heavenwards during a particularly poignant song at choir this morning, I am taken by the sight of three shaped balloons which must have escaped from a party occasion and floated  up to the roof - far too high for retrieval. 


My friend Sue, who has also spotted them, suggests the occasion in question might have been a Baby Shower, on account of the fact that one of the balloons is shaped like a baby, while the other two are feeding bottles. I muse that possibly Meghan Markle may have chosen the Heene Community Centre for the second Baby Shower which the tabloids predict she is organising. She is, after all, the Duchess of Sussex.


We decide, in the end, that this is unlikely - not, you understand, because the Heene Community Centre wouldn’t be a splendid venue (we can certainly vouch for the refreshments which the Remarkable Kevin would doubtless have produced for the Duchess and her entourage) but because the three balloons are all blue in colour and appear to be heralding the forthcoming birth of a baby boy. Harry and Meghan, Royal watchers have told us - and who are we to doubt them? - plan to raise their child without categorising him / her as a boy or girl. 


The balloons at my local branch of Santander bank were yellow rather than blue and were  decorating a treadmill on which a gutsy member of staff named Fran was running the Brighton Marathon. No, she wasn’t in Brighton, she was in Worthing - but you get the idea. She was apparently 17 miles into the 26 miles 385 yards which was her target. Bless her, she looked shattered - doubtless only borne along by the thought of the money she was raising for the Chestnut Tree House, a local children’s hospice. It was a supportive friend who explained to me how far along she was  towards her target - I decided it was probably best not to direct questions at our Intrepid Runner who didn’t look as if she had the breath to spare to chat to onlookers such as I.


It started me thinking about getting fit while at the same time raising money for charity - though I couldn’t quite imagine myself emulating Fran. Then I heard about a scheme called Run One, organised by the charity Independent Age. This involves signing up for between eight and twelve weeks for sessions in one of several local parks where participants will walk, jog or run a WHOLE MILE! I know, I know but this is me we are talking about.


I used to be a pretty good runner in my far-off youth - I once won the Butlins Chase on holiday in Minehead, I’ll have you know. Sadly my running days are behind me - I don’t even run for the Pulse bus these days in case I trip over my feet - but, who knows, after twelve weeks I might get up to a jog?


But here’s the rub - after finishing the Run One course, participants are encouraged to join in a Celebration Mile, raising money through sponsorship for Independent Age.  Now many of my family and friends tackle the most amazing challenges - they run marathons and half marathons, cycle miles and miles, both on-road and off-road, they climb mountains, swim across lakes, they walk for hours across London by night or by day. I’m not sure I can ask any of these heroes to sponsor me for Just One Mile.


Thinking positively, however, it is all (quite literally) about small steps. My Run One maybe just the start. Who knows, one day soon I may be competing in the London Marathon or the Moon Walk. I may have taken up the triathlon. 


Or, possibly, not...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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