Yes, You CAN

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11 May 2020

Yes, You CAN

In 2019, I should have been running the Brighton marathon for my chosen charity, Teens Unite. Eight weeks before, when I should have been doing a 16-mile training run it was pouring down with rain, windy and cold, so I decided instead, to attempt it on my treadmill, in the garage. Eleven miles in and I felt a strain on my hip and to cut a very long story short, I had to make the difficult decision to defer my place to 2020.

So fast forward to 2020, the training was going well and everything was going as planned. And then everything changed. For pretty much everyone. Everywhere. We were in lockdown.

I have always been a ‘glass half full’ person and believe in ‘change the changeable and accept the unchangeable’. So, what could I do? The Brighton marathon hadn’t been cancelled, just postponed, so I still have that to look forward to in September. I am a Type 1 diabetic, which meant I was one of the first to be sent home from work. I welcomed the positive change, that I could run in the daylight now.

I’m not the best, the fittest or the fastest runner, by a long way, but I love doing it. It’s like my little bit of ‘me’ time, where I can clear my head. And I run because I can. Physically I am able. Not everyone has that luxury. At Teens Unite, it’s about what you CAN do and not what you CAN’T do and I really believe in this philosophy in life.

So, what COULD I do to, make a small difference? I had just seen on the news, that a man in Paris had run a marathon on his balcony. Then a friend of mine ran 695 laps of her garden again, completing a marathon distance.

I remember that my husband had been mowing our lawn as I began to measure it out. His response was ‘don’t even think about it......!’. I was inspired to do something positive for Teens Unite. And that’s when I began to plan my ITM - Isolation Treadmill Marathon. When I say plan it was actually only 6 days before

I had carb loaded the night before and, on the day, I carefully placed sugary drinks, water and chocolate spread sandwiches, next to the treadmill. My husband had gone to work, so I told my children that I ‘might be a while‘. I set up the iPad to watch Line of Duty and off I went.

Intermittently my children popped their heads in to check on my progress. After 4 hours running, I turned off the iPad and put on some uplifting music. With 1 mile to go my children came in and cheered, as I counted down the distance to completion and then 4 hours and 29 minutes after starting, I had done it! 26.2 miles on a treadmill!

The ‘commute’ back home was nice and easy and the toilet was better than a Portaloo! Yes, I missed the crowds, cheering and support from a race, but I felt so inspired, determined and encouraged to do my bit, it’s that, that spurred me on to finish. ‘Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone.’ And I’m proud that I was able to make my little contribution, today.”

Simonetta, 20 th April 2020

At Teens Unite we support young people aged 13-24 fighting cancer. When everyone will be telling them what they can’t do, we are here to show them what they can do. If your fundraising plans have been put on hold or you are simply inspired by Simonetta’s story then please help her reach her goal and donate today. Thank you.

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