People who know me will know I’m passionate about fundraising. I live it, breathe it, do it, coach it and follow others who do it. This blog post is dedicated to another fundraiser, who has inspired me to do something I really should have started doing a LONG time ago!
Mark Pattenden is an amputee. Mark and I have been Facebook friends for a few years now. We are both fundraisers. We ‘like and share’ each other’s posts on social media. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed me sharing posts last year, when Mark was the first amputee to #RunTheGreatWallOfChina, thanks to a very special ‘running blade’ which was provided by Dorset Orthopaedic, one of the world’s leading providers of prosthetic and orthotic services, and for whom Mark is an Ambassador. (For more technical details about the ‘blade’ please read Mark’s blog.)
Mark’s Great Wall charity challenge raised enough money to provide another amputee, Kelly Jackson, with a running blade. Mark has a dream… his dream is that by helping to fund Kelly’s running blade, that Kelly in turn will run and raise money for a running blade for another amputee. It’s a brilliant initiative and one that Mark is determined will succeed… so much so, that he has pledged to run 10k a day, EVERY DAY, from 1st March until 31st December, or at least until £9k has been raised to fund the next running blade. Kelly is on-board with the initiative. She has set up a VirginMoneyGiving page and has entered herself for the Birmingham 10k later this year. The recipient of the third running blade will be Hannah Moore, who is also helping with the fundraising and has entered the Supernova 5k walk/run. Together, this fabulous trio aim to raise the £9k needed for Hannah’s blade, and then… guess what? They will do the same again, for a fourth amputee. It’s a brilliant #PayItForward initiative, or perhaps I should say #BladeItForward
So what has this all got to do with me and what exactly HAS Mark inspired me to do? Well, I work from home. I am a Life & Business Coach, Cambridge Weight-Plan Consultant, Talk Therapist, Fundraising Consultant and in my spare time, I love to write. ALL of my work involves sitting down and I ‘sit’ for most of the day. When I don’t have clients, I work on various charity initiatives, or catch-up with my paperwork. I have a Fitbit and out of curiosity I analysed how much I actually do move. Over the last 4 months (November to February) I walked a total of 192 miles or 310km. This equates to an average of 2.58km a day. By comparison, Mark has pledged to RUN 10k a day for 10 months (unless their £9k target is reached earlier). In March he will run 310km, which is exactly the same amount as I have WALKED – on two rather chunky legs – in 4 MONTHS! He puts me to shame! So things are going to change!
I PLEDGE to #MoveMoreInMarch! No excuses! I might not have much free time in the day, but I will make time! I pledge to walk (briskly) for at least an hour every day. My goal is to walk 100 miles in March! My fitness levels will increase and my weight will decrease! Even as I type this, my pledge sounds slightly pathetic. It is only two thirds of the recommended 10,000 steps a day (approx 5 miles/8km) but everyone needs to start somewhere and as they say ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’! An average of 3.23 miles (5.19km) a day is double my usual average of 1.6 miles (2.58km) a day. Who knows, I might even be able to convert my #Cankles2Ankles, although that’s quite a big ask! And as a ‘thank you’ to Mark for inspiring me to get off my backside and use the two legs that I have, I will make a donation to his #BladeItForward initiative at the end of March, once I reach my goal. I will be completely honest about whether or not I have achieved my goal. I will pledge a donation of £31 (which represents £1 a day) and sent Mark weekly screenshots of my Fitbit summary. If I don’t reach my goal by the end of March, I will double my donation to £62.
I am writing this blog on the evening of St. David’s Day. St. David urged his followers to ‘Do the little things in life’ (‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’) and this has become an established inspirational saying in Wales. 100 miles may not be a huge distance to walk in a month and £31 is certainly not a massive donation, but thanks to a very inspirational man I will be ‘doing a little thing in life’ which will help to make a difference to someone else’s life. Who’s going to join me?