If you've never heard of virtual medals and runs you haven't discovered a whole world of making your inner child feel like a winner. I don't think I ever won anything at sports day at school, unless there was an award for knocking out someone's front teeth in hockey (by accident of course) then I definitely won that one. Or a medal in rounders for hitting the backstop in the head with a rounders bat (by accident of course), I won that one too. And I probably stopped to eat the egg in the egg and spoon race so didn't win that medal. Virtual medals and races set different targets for you to achieve in your own time such as 'run 5km in the month of May' and in return you get a gorgeous medal and support charities. I had heard wonders about virtual runs and buoyed on by the idea of getting my first virtual bling I signed up for the "Give a girl the right shoes" medal.
This came from a famous quote from Marilyn Monroe "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world". To achieve this bling and in support of the London Marathon, I had to cover the distance of the London marathon 26.2 miles, 42.2 km to be exact in the month of April. This could be built up over lots of smaller runs/walks over April to add up the magic total. Other participants wait to the end of the qualifying period to see how far over the target they can get so they go into a league table of who went furthest. But being my first, as soon as I hit the target on 19th of April I sent off for my medal. Oh my gosh! When it arrived you'd have thought I did the real marathon. I took it to work to show my work mates, all for whom it reinforced this running lark has sent me a bit loopy. But I loved it. And yes, I've signed up for more.
A very dear friend of mine has been struggling recently due her beloved son being in ICU in London and the prognosis being touch and go at times. We all have those friends that we truly love and don't need to see all the time but when you talk or meet up it's like no time has passed. Friendships that prevail past kids, work, marriage, break ups and time. But when those friends are in times of hardship you want to be by their side and just hug them and wish you could make it all better and wish you could take the hurt away.
Today I had a work meeting in London. Thanks to some jiggery pokery and a very flexible boss and team I got to be by my friend's side. Today I got to give her that hug. The great news is that thanks to the most fabulous and amazing NHS her son was sitting up in bed and making huge leaps and bounds to getting better.
I sat and watched her with him, knowing how close she came to losing him, and I looked at him and how brave he'd been. I gave her my medal to give to him at the right time. I was so proud to have earned it, but I think I was prouder to give it away and to someone who had earned it more.
I know I've said it before but I am always amazed how kind the general public can be. I was in a taxi on the way to the hospital in London and got chatting to the very lovely driver. We got onto me running and what I am trying to achieve in this year. When we finally arrived after awful London traffic, he gave me back £7 of the fare to put into my charity. I didn't get his name but I got his picture. Those of you who know the size of large hospital sites know how hard it can be to find where you want to be. I stopped a guy with an NHS badge and just asked if he could point me in the direction of ICU. He did start to explain, and I don't know if it was down to my lost expression as I tried to take in the long instructions, or whether he realised ICU is pretty serious stuff. He took me every step of the way (a fair old maze of a way) and make sure I got right to the door. I stopped him when he was heading off somewhere but he paused his day to help someone. I feel bad as forgot to ask him name, but I was touched by his genuine care and compassion. A credit to the NHS alongside the amazing Consultant and Nurses that have saved my friend's son's life.
I am now home oop north as I type this, but better for spending a miracle of a day and seeing a young life filled with hope again and the hope of a mother knowing her son is blessed with the rest of his life.
Thanks for reading