After the euphoria of my previous walking event I eagerly booked on the Belvoir Challenge again (second year running) with a plan for training and preparation. That was in November 2016 and of course life and Christmas got in the way of any plans to train properly, so by the new year I needed a new motivation to tackle the challenge properly.
MS is my motivation. MS is my go-to cause for support and self-motivation. I have my mum's 20-year-long hard struggle with MS to get me through such challenges. I was a family carer for her during her illness. Watching her being struck down by this awful disease and struggle through her relatively young life was incredibly hard. But Mum wasn't a moaner and the fight she gave was always dignified and with good humour, until she passed away aged just 62, 12 years ago.
I keep her in my memory every day
I have been a keen fundraiser and supporter of MS charities in her memory ever since. And I keep her in my memory every day. When enthusiasm and energy started to wane during the challenge, I just had to think about Mum and how she would have loved to have been able to walk just a little of the way with me.
15 miles isn't that far really, but throw in the endless mud, rain, stiles to clamber over and and the long drifting inclines of the Belvoir Vale, it isn't all that easy! Storm Doris had also taken its toll on several parts of the course so there were a few fallen trees to negotiate as well. So whilst the draw of the cake stalls and break points were a plus, the endless mud and more mud made it tricky! Having Mum in my mind and remembering her daily physical struggles caused by MS, I knew I had little to complain about.
With the amazing support of friends and family donating to the MS Trust I was encouraged to complete the course a whole 37 minutes quicker than last year, despite the mud! Having raised more than triple my target, I am delighted to have donated nearly £400 to support the much-needed work of the MS Trust.