“SPORTS do not build character. They reveal it.”
It was American sportswriter Heywood Broun that coined that phrase and in eight days time the three of us will fully understand the meaning of such wise words.
For my father and my brother the road to April 13 has been fairly smooth going. Both of them have been able to follow every step in their schedules and they will arrive at the start line in Blackheath confident in the knowledge that they can trust their training.
However, my journey to one of the world’s most famous endurance races has been very different.
Not only has it been five weeks since I last completed a half-marathon but the furthest I have been able to run over the past month has been just two miles.
The reason for that is three months ago I sustained a knee injury that has only just started to subside. For many people it would have been enough to make them quit but I am not one who gives up easily.
During that period I have done a lot of walking and soul searching. I have taken medication, listened to the advice of
countless people and also undergone Amatsu therapy with Sally Harris, which has without a doubt speeded up my recovery.
I have also experienced many emotions such as disappointment, doubt, frustration and anger but it is now that I can take great heart from what has been such a testing time.
You see I may not have done the desired miles needed in training but I have proved that I have something just as important and that is strong character.
Mentally I am prepared and according to people I have spoken to who have taken part in the marathon before, completing the feat is as much about mental toughness as it is physical fitness, and it is down to that reason why I do not feel any nerves today.
In fact in a way the pressure is off. Any thoughts of setting a good time disappeared from my mind a long time ago. My aim is solely to get round. If it takes six, seven, eight or nine hours it really does not matter because I know that if I reach that finish line I will have pulled off a remarkable achievement after all I have been through.
This past week I have been able to start running again with no aggravation from my knee but I know it’s not worth pushing myself too hard with such little time to go to the event.
It is just a case of blowing off the cobwebs and getting my legs working again so I can give it everything I have got on the day.
As well as feeling extremely determined I am also under no illusions about just how tough the event is going to be. But with the support of my family and friends, and the knowledge that Mum will be looking down on me, smiling with pride that I am still taking part despite having faced such adversity in training, I am hopeful I can make it.
This week I would particularly like to thank the two ladies in Sportsgear in Westham Road, Weymouth who were so kind in helping me purchase a new pair of trainers despite having already closed the shop. It was very much appreciated.
I would also like to give special praise to Sally again for all her help and support. She has given me the best possible chance of completing the 26 miles and 385 yards and I will forever be grateful to her for all that she has done.
If you are interested in finding out more about Amatsu therapy, which can help heal sports injuries and other stress-related traumas, then call Sally on 07979857780.
n You can still sponsor the trio by
visiting justgiving.com/summers08