As I am sat writing this I still have to pinch myself to realise it is not just a dream.
Last weekend, as you were sat enjoying the sunshine I was preparing myself for the biggest challenge of my entire life. Whilst most may say that recovering from encephalitis and learning how to walk again were by no means an easy feat, what I achieved last weekend went above and beyond all my previous challenges.
Last Friday at some ungodly hour before 6am, my sister and I embarked on a journey across the Channel to the land of the baguette. After an incredibly easy journey we arrived in the French Capital. Once we were settled we headed out to make the most of the glorious Parisian weather. A day filled with sightseeing, river cruises and generally being tourists endued.
After a couple of days mooching around the sights, trekking up the Eiffel Tower and scoffing our faces with macaroons, it was finally the day I had been waiting for. After months of training, I would finally be running the Paris Marathon; a gruelling 26.2 miles.
I don’t think I had ever been so nervous about anything in my entire life. This trumps the feeling you get the night before an exam, or those butterflies in your tummy when you know Christmas morning is almost upon us. My heart was racing, my stomach was in knots, and every time I thought about the race my head would pound like a drum.
As my sister and I have always been one for numbers we used this ability to work out something rather miraculous. From the day that I had my first seizure to the day I was finally released from Hospital was exactly twenty-six weeks and two days. If that isn’t fate then I don’t know what is.
When the day finally arrived it all went so quickly. I was up and dressed and raring to go. Once we got to the start line I felt completely mentally, whilst not even slightly physically, prepared. I had decided that each mile I passed I would think of one whole week spent in hospital, hoping that this would give me the strength to carry on.
I was determined.
Those 5 hours and 14 minutes were the fastest of my entire life.
Everything was a blur.
As 54000 people made their way through the streets of Paris in the beautiful sunshine I only had one thing on my mind.
I would finish this marathon.
At mile twenty I ran past ‘the wall’, it was at this point that I truly believed I could not go on. I was searching the crowds for a glimpse of my sister so that I could give up. Twenty miles is five more than I have ever run before, surely that was enough?
Due to the greatness of modern technology, I never saw my sister. Her mapping system was half an hour out.
Therefore, I finished the marathon.
For once, everything fitted into place.
I have always said that everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that this to be the case. I can now say that I have run a marathon. I have completed my biggest challenge to date.