What Am I Doing?
I ask myself this question on a freezing cold evening in November. I am standing in a car park at Brendoncare Alton in bare feet waiting to walk over hot coals, 800 degrees in temperature, an event organised by The Brendoncare Foundation. Even though I am frozen, the heat of the coals is not appealing – will it not burn my feet? I felt the same when I was getting up at a ridiculously early hour to run in the rain, snow and cold to complete a training run as part of my marathon training for Huntington’s Disease Association. Why oh why was I out for hours on a Sunday completing my long run when I could have been at home snuggled up on the sofa with my family?!
Over the years I have taken on a number of challenges and, for me, I have always seen this as a perfect opportunity to raise funds for good causes. When the going gets tough and I feel I can’t go on, or the fear overtakes me, I think about the faith people have put in me and the sponsorship money I have raised as part of the event.
However, taking part in events like this is more than just about raising money. It is often an opportunity to do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, taking on a challenge that I might not otherwise have done. It is about pushing myself and having a focus in a life that is busy with three children and a demanding job. It is about time for me.
I often take on active challenges, which gives my fitness a huge boost. By the end of the challenge I feel fitter than ever, as the hours of preparation and training really start to show some serious results. Once an event is completed, I often slack off a little and so need another challenge in the diary to keep me motivated! Nowadays there are many organised charitable events to keep things interesting, offering a variety of opportunities and activities. One of these was the walk over hot coals for Brendoncare – this was not a physical challenge but more a mental one. It was all around having a positive mental attitude and what I took away from this was that I can achieve anything as long as I have the right mindset.
In a world that is often so cruel and sad, taking part in fundraising events is a way I can give back to others, an opportunity for me to do my bit for society. The money I raise can make the lives of others just that little bit better or can go towards vital research. This makes me feel extremely proud. There are so many people in the UK and across the globe who are suffering in different ways and I feel that we all have a sense of responsibility to help in whatever way we can, whether by raising awareness or raising funds.
Participating in a fundraising event can be truly humbling and often offers a real sense of community – people coming together to support each other and take on a personal challenge. I am supported by friends, family and colleagues, all donating their hard-earned cash to a charity that is of importance to me, and that makes the commitment worth it every time.
If you are toying with the idea of getting involved in an event to raise money for your chosen charity, I would say just go for it! Taking part brings a huge sense of accomplishment in more ways than one. You never know, one day it might be you walking over those hot coals!