On Tuesday evening I met the other runners for St Joseph’s Hospice. Eyeing them up across the table I instantly began playing ‘guess the marathon time’ in my head. All men and half of which looked like elite runners, erm, what the hell have I let myself in for?
And so a group of runners came together to support St Joseph’s Hospice and swap tales of early training weeks’ woes and worries. Matt Lovell and Roger Love generously donated their time to quell our panic, patiently reassure, and guide us on nutrition and training. Dan and I definitely took away different snippets of advice (I might add they directly contradict – I may be quite loose with interpretations – there is a wedding dress to fit into after all!) Then out of the blue I get butterflies, as we watch the car, which seemed to take forever, drive the route … Why have I agreed to this?
This is why…one of Dr Ruth Freedman comments that will stay with me during my training and fundraising efforts, is that St Joseph’s Hospice is ‘life affirming’. In what can be a a sad, confusing and lonely time, St Joseph’s Hospice provides a place of hope and peace. I’m not going to re-hash the website but I did want to share a few of the things that resonated with me and are still on my mind (even after a week of training), hopefully without trying to sound cheesy or preachy. When walking around the hospice, you get an almost ethereal, zen like sense of calm while at the same time a clearly active and very present community – it’s also not in the least bit depressing. The beautiful chapel that survived the blitz hibernates within the hospice like a Tardis, patient’s artwork and photos adorn the walls and with touching memory trees at each turn I think they have thought of everything. I’m not trying to make light of the situation but the hospice felt ‘happy’, for want of a better word.
It definitely clicked that I’m not just fundraising for the patients and their families, we are also fundraising for the wonderful staff- the passion and commitment in their words on Tuesday evening was unmissable, and the hospice is obviously a cornerstone of local community. Palliative care, complimentary therapies/holistic therapy/counselling.. And so the list goes on. I’m very proud that Anna works there and totally determined that we should smash this challenge. However, I can’t do it alone… I just might need some help from you all please…Just giving!