In 2012, thousands of athletes will arrive in London for the Olympics but as the elite flex their muscles, another rather pitiful figure will be winging around the dark streets looking like a tramp in lycra. That would be me.
People participate in marathons for loads of reasons, I’m running for my mother. Imagine training to be a lawyer, running your own practice, juggling two kids and their desperate (and ignored) demands for just one McDonald’s McNugget, only to conquer the day and see your daughter stapling her little brother’s hand to the couch. That was where my young mother found herself in the 1980s where against all odds she, the daughter of a small corner store owner, clawed her way up the ranks of the U.K.’s legal profession.
Then my mother suffered a stroke during a celebratory lunch for yet another phenomenal deal. Her slurred words during the meal’s second course was mistaken for a Pinot Grigio haze and an ambulance was called far too late. Days later after I arrived back home from working in Dubai, I found my mum make-up and nail varnish free, a trauma in itself. As far as the professionals were concerned she wouldn’t walk again (wrong), write again (wrong), travel again (double wrong- seriously could you please stop spending my inheritance on lunch in the south of france mum?) but she’s done all of those things.
I’ve signed up for the London marathon to raise funds for The Stroke Association, a charity that works to stop the condition that effected my mother, but I don’t like running. It’s like watching a Kate Beckinsale film while Cher’s “Believe” plays in the background and Sarah Palin reads her autobiography on loop and force feeds me her latest Alaskan target practice. But then that is the challenge, right? I will be recording the
joy pain of the trials (split pants on day one via a sharp gate post, you’re welcome dog walker who was passing, you don’t get that every day do you?), the optimistic eating (I am running a marathon, that third martini is fuel) and the eventual glorious moments as I attempt to avoid seeing the energy bar in reverse when I cross the finishing line. If Parlour does anything, we’re doing it for the ladies, and my mum’s recovery represents the resilience in us all. Stay tuned and if you’d like to support my 26 mile run for charity, find out more information here.