Eight months ago, something really really strange happened to me.
Having struggled for most of my adult life to do exercise (other than run around after small people or walk to and from the kettle) I started running. With no warning. I mean, it was a conscious decision – nothing was chasing me – but I just randomly downloaded an app and headed to the park. I had been inspired by Kirsty who was about to run the Great North Run.
My first run was made up of 8 x 1 minute runs with 1.5 minutes of walking in between.
It nearly killed me.
When I asked Mr TOPP if he was impressed that I had been running, he told me he would be impressed after my third run. After 17 years together he knows that I have a tendency to give up especially on exercise once the novelty has worn off. Usually after about a week.
I proved him wrong though, and could soon run for a whole two minutes without dying.
It was at this point that we had to clear my granny’s house. After a hard day shifting furniture and packing boxes we all headed back to my mum’s for wine food. My cousin already had a place in the Great North Run 2012, and she managed to convince me that I should run too. She had a place running for Parkinson’s UK, a charity working to cure the disease our grandpa had had. I agreed, but kinda hoped it was just the wine talking and that nobody would remember the next day.
I entered the ballot for the Great North Run in January and got through. I contacted Parkinson’s Uk and am now officially part of their team. In the meantime I have run a 5k and a 6 mile race.
This week is Parkinson’s awareness week. Today is twenty years since my grandpa died. Next Sunday would have been his birthday.
I think that this whole thing was possibly meant to be.
I also think that somewhere my grandpa is sitting in an armchair, smoking his pipe, laughing his head off.