Friday, 25 April 2014
Everywhere You Turn....... CHARITY!
On the 27th January 2014 I woke up and decided that having given up drinking and smoking, I was still desperately unfit. So unfit, that having a kick around with my son and his 12 year old mates, left me walking around like a Zombie for days thereafter.
So I decided to run.
That first day, I ran 1.6km (just under 1 mile, in old money).
3 days later I ran 3km, by the 6th February I was up to 5km.
Then, on 18th March 2014, I ran my first 10km in 55mins 7 seconds. People have told me that anything under 1 hour for a geezer of my age, is half decent.
I was extremely proud of myself and have continued the good work to date. Not only because I have I found that I enjoy running, particularly with company (my son and my cousin have joined me for large chunks of my training) but because somewhere in those early days, my good pal, Neil, a recent fitness convert himself, encouraged me to sign up with him, to do the 10km (6.3 miles) version of this: http://www.warrioradrenalinerace.co.uk/ .
In short, a 10km schlep over Dunstable Downs, incorporating an army style assault course.
Now for the painful part.
I know that everywhere you turn there are people asking for your hard earned cash for charitable causes. In the street, through the post, via email and on social networks.
I myself, give where I can, particularly to friends and family getting off their backsides to do something in a fundraising capacity but I am in no way guilt tripped into giving to everything that is shoved under my nose or posted on the internet. That's just not feasible nor is it fair.
However, once in a while something comes along that catches my attention and indeed the wider public's notice, not least the recent wave of emotion captured by 'Stephen's Story': http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/stephens-story-the-sad-spectacle-of-a-young-life-cut-short-should-remind-us-that-theres-not-a-moment-to-waste-9282354.html
Now myself and Neil are fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer and our JustGiving page can be viewed here: http://www.justgiving.com/TheOddballs
Marie Curie Cancer Care, provides care for terminally ill patients either at home or in their hospices and also offers supports to the families of the ill. Unfortunately, it is an unenviable fact that we are almost all, even in just some small way, touched by the disease of cancer.
What I'm saying to you today is, 'I know we are swamped with requests for donations from this charity and that but don't let that put you off being a charitable person'.
I have not donated to Stephen because I have donated to Marie Curie. I don't feel guilty because I would have donated to Stephen, if I had not donated to a different charity recently. In a few weeks, I will donate a small amount of money to some other cause that catches my attention. It's what I do.
Perhaps, today, if you can spare a few quid and you have not recently made a charitable offering, you could see what is out there that takes your fancy in terms of support and donate (maybe to Stephen, maybe to Marie Curie?). Then, is a few weeks, or a month or two (whatever you are comfortable with, particularly financially), you can look around again and do the same. And so on.
Charity, especially in this age of social media, can, quite frankly, be a pain in the arse but only if you let it. Do what you can, when you can. No more, no less and don't ever be bullied into giving when you don't really want to.
Bottom line is, we live in a world where government (even the better ones) cannot cover everything.
Charities make life better for the ones they assist and no one can blame them for trying.
That's worth remembering.
My race is at 11am tomorrow.
I'll let you know how it goes.