Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Goodbye and Thank You

Last night I drove home from running club, a little later than normal. Nothing dramatic or unexpected happened on the journey, and it was entirely uneventful.
Today it was announced that Jane Tomlinson died last night, at roughly the time I drove past the hospice that was caring for her. I'm not saying that my presence in the rough vicinity has any real impact on the story or the event, of course, but it brought home that she's not just an inspirational figure in general, but a true local hero round here.
As far as I've come on my weight loss journey, I still can't even imagine completing some of the events she has done, and to do them while suffering from terminal cancer is absolutely unbelievable. I would be utterly daunted by an Ironman triathlon or cycling across America, but she went out there and she did it.
Although my challenges were entirely different, and of a different magnitude to Jane's, she's always been a huge inspiration to me. If she could run a marathon, then why shouldn't I try? The hurdles I had to overcome to get to that point were nothing compared to what she had to face, so why not go out and do it. She reminded me that seemingly ordinary people could do extraordinary things if they put their mind to it.
In June I ran in the inaugural Leeds 10k (a race she helped found). Even though it was expensive, crowded and not PB material, I wanted to do it to make it a success for her. Most people seemed to understand that it was important to make this year's race a success, because she probably wouldn't see next year's run. I might have complained a little about the slower runners at the start, and the people in fancy dress I had to weave round, but she deserved the city to turn out and run for her, and that's what we did.
So while today's news isn't entirely unexpected, it's still a sad loss. Goodbye Jane, and thanks for the inspiration.
The other news of the week is that I now have a good motivation for another year and a bit of maintenance. When I was originally losing weight my aim was to keep it off until a trip to Australia I'd had pencilled in for years as a bit of a 30th birthday treat. Sadly, that trip to Australia is almost certainly not now happening (and the money that was saved up is going towards the New York fund - incidentally the website has now been updated, complete with details of how to donate), but I still wanted to make it to my birthday anyway. If I have to reach my 30s, I may as well do it thin and fit.
But I digress. The new maintenance motivation is that my sister is now officially engaged, complete with ring. Everyone's known for a while that they were planning to get married, but now she has the jewellery to prove it. As far as I know, I get to be bridesmaid, and whatever her plans for the day it will be a good opportunity to get some good photos of the family all together, which is something which happens less and less frequently these days. So of course, I want to look my best in them. Not outshining Annette, obviously...
There isn't a firm date yet, early talk was of September next year, then possibly January 2009, although she's giving some thought to making it earlier because of the state of a couple of my grandparents' health. She wants them to be there and, sadly, time may not be on their side.

But still it's exciting, on the basis that on average weddings in my family come around every 15 years, and neither I nor my uncle are likely to do anything in the near future to change that!


Blogger Rev said...

Well, congratulations to your sister, first off. And you're right that a wedding is a great chance to get family photos. Two years ago when my sister Jessie got married I spent the six months leading up to it trying like mad to get fit. I did manage a respectable loss and felt pretty good that day. Now if only someone else would come along and get married to inspire me. *g*

12:03 AM  

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