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The email of destiny

My back hurts.

I tweaked it three days ago. I'm prone to a bad back. Pain between L4&L5. I first felt it when I was moving furniture as a teenager. It comes and goes.
My skydiving doesn't help. Arching as hard as you can. The occasional hard opening. Bending over to pack. Nothing really helps to be honest. It was OK for many years when I had a decent level of fitness. There was a period when I was in the gym nine times a week. My normal weight for most of my life was 77/78kg but for that short period I weighed about 83kg. It's hard to imagine now. I've got a buff photo somewhere in case you don't believe me. Taken in a toilet mirror of course; all modern semi-naked selfies are.
That all changed when I had major organ surgery in 2013. 12 weeks in hospital. Six months off work. Four weeks after my surgery I was down to 61kg.
It was a long road back. And the London Marathon in 2015 was the icing on my cake. I made it round.
Yeah I walked some of it but that was the plan. Do what I needed to do to get round. And 4hrs 53mins wasn't too bad. I mean, a sub five hour marathon? About 18 months after major organ surgery? I'll take it.
I'd always wanted to do a sub four hour marathon though. Had it nagging in the back of my mind. That was always the plan.
I guess you could say I loved and hated the marathon in 2015. Arguably, it was the fittest I'd ever been in my life. Not the strongest but the fittest.
I loved the discipline. I loved the goal. I loved the sweat. I loved the meditational place you reach on a long run. The thinking. I loved the little bit of awe I got from my office work colleagues every now and then. "yeah, I ran to work this morning. Yeah, it is quite far. About 13miles..."
I did not love the first ten minutes of any run. I did not love the injuries. I did not love the multiple visits to my physio. I did not love being unable to go down stairs. I did not love the foam roller. I did not love the associated stretching and weight training to compensate for an unbalanced muscle structure and an unusual posture and running gait. I did not love being described by my physio as biomechanically unqualified to run a marathon. I did not love the tears. I did not love the cuts on the side of my mouth from all the energy gels. I did not love the fear of needing the bathroom urgently. I did not love the bruised soles from my feet hitting the ground twenty thousand times each.
So knowing that the marathon in 2015 meant I became the fittest I'd ever been. I decided I needed an exercise goal. Something to get my fitness up. I even wrote it in my journal.
And then an email arrived. Could I raise £1000 and run the London Marathon in 15weeks time?

Err, well. Err, I hadn't actually mean it. Things like this weren't supposed to happen. I was going to choose something easy to do, like ride a bike a few miles. Running? 26.2 miles? Do you know how far that is?

An email from St Mark's Foundation (the hospital that performed my major organ surgery in 2013) offering me a place in the London Marathon. Being a smallish charity, they only get one place every 4/5 years. Minimum fundraising is £1000.

I always said I didn't want to run it again (2015 was tough enough). Then every year I find myself entering the ballot. The desire to moonwalk around the Cutty Sark is just too great. But now? Oh… Well… Erm… What do I do? Please say I can just stay in bed and eat cake.

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