In March I signed up to one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. I signed myself up to the Cancer Research Shine Walk 2019. A 26.2 mile walk round London through the night. Those that have followed me for a while on social media will know that 4 years ago, I was told I had skin cancer. Ever since that diagnosis I’ve wanted to do something to give back. This was perfect. Big, but perfect. I managed to get in a few good training walks. They were hard and the furthest I managed was 16 miles. It broke me but it made me even more determined to smash the 26 miles.
One week ago, I stood at that start line, thinking what the hell have I done. The anxiety overcome me and I thought for a split second I just couldn’t do it. I wanted out, but then I remembered a video I saw mid week of a girl who was diagnosed with skin cancer at 17. I sobbed watching it and it broke my heart knowing that cancer doesn’t care, it doesn’t care who it picks, it’s a disease that rips through anybody it chooses.
So with that video in my head I crossed that start line and started the challenge ahead of me. London at night is pretty beautiful. It is something I never get to see and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do so. I think I managed to get to mile 17 before thinking, I’ve really had enough. Mile 20 was awful and then the last six miles were tedious. I wasn’t counting down the miles I was counting down the minutes.
I started this journey with two friends, I was always adamant I wanted to start and finish together but it didn’t work out that way and I ended up crossing the finish line alone. By mile 21 I wanted it done so I broke away from my team and put everything I had in me to get it done. James ended up watching me over the last 2 miles from his phone, egging me on by text. He was the first person I called when I crossed that line.
I was an emotional wreck, I cried a lot. There was a huge feeling of accomplishment and I was so overwhelmed. I managed to complete it in 9 hours 27 Minutes, something that I’m so happy about. I’d got it in my head that I honestly didn’t think I would get it done under 10 hours but I did, I managed it well under 10.
I won’t lie, I’ve struggled immensely this week. I have felt incredibly sorry for myself but sitting here typing this, I’m so bloody proud of myself for smashing it and punching fear in the face. The blisters, the hip pain, the thigh muscle aches have all been worth it.
Along this journey, myself and 2 friends made an amazing £2,100 which is incredible. It all goes to our chosen cancer charities. I’m so grateful to everyone that sponsored me. The support and encouragement from friends and family has been amazing and something I am incredibly grateful for.