Marathon grit

30 Apr

The London Marathon never fails to bring out the grit in all of us, exemplified in the heroic funding raising efforts by the public to honour Claire Squires who died running the marathon for the Samaritans.  Someone tweeted me a wonderful story of a married couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by running the London marathon together – both of whom are in their 70s.   Both stories of courage and hurculean levels of grit brought tears to my eyes – and it struck me that huge challenges never fail to bring out the best in all of us, whatever our role in that challenge may be, even if it was watching the race from the large arse shaped dent in our sofa in awestruck amazement that such a feat is possible at all – as one lady of the confirmed couch potato variety did who emailed me last week – and, feeling inspired by what she saw, bought and read RFBR the same day, got up off the couch and found herself a circuit.

My editor  – the ever brilliant Hannah Boursnell of Little, Brown shared with me that her friend Heather who aged 34 and with secondary breast cancer took up running last year to help combat the debilitating effects of treatment.  An incredible woman.  Check her out on   I read the whole Macmillan website and was amazed by just how beneficial exercise can be for people undergoing what can be brutal chemotherapy treatment.  Having said that, what struck me most and moved me to tears again was when I tried to imagine how incredibly hard it must be to exercise at all when suffering the ill effects of treatment:  The physical effort just to get out of bed, let alone get outside, to overcome overwhelming tiredness and all sorts of side-effects, and that’s before we even begin to imagine what mental battles are going on.  It got me thinking that we whinge and complain about not ‘feeling’ like running, but frankly, what a luxury!  Imagine for a second the courage and strength required to run during or after chemotherapy – the physical effort is gargantuan, as is the mental one, and we should all be hugely inspired by Heather, and next time we are struggling with our own ‘motivation’ issues it might be worth reminding ourselves that others are running – quite literally – for their lives.

The Grit Doctor says:

Put on your trainers, get outside and celebrate that today you have the capacity to run.


3 Responses to “Marathon grit”

  1. Rachel Lucas April 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Great & thoughtful post…you are so right. I am supporting the inspirational Claire Lomas right now…she is halfway around the London Marathon route currently…walking in a ‘robot suit’ despite the fact that she is paralysed from the chest down after a riding accident. She completes around 1.5 miles a day…in aid of Spinal Research. Awe inspiring, truly. We don’t know what a blessing good health is until it’s gone…another great reason to get our fat bitch arses off that couch!

    • gritdoctor April 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      wow, i’d not heard about her – that is truly awe inspiring, thanks for sharing it x


  1. London Marathon « Miss Tracky Dacks - May 2, 2012

    […] just read this blog by Ruth about the marathon and the benefits of exercising to help cancer treatments. It certainly puts achy […]

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