The impact of a mud run

Silvana mud runJust before heading out on a long Sunday morning run, I received this lovely guest blog from our old intern Silvana. It put a big smile on my face and a bold bounce in my step as I dodged the canal-side crowds, helping me to knock off my longest ever run.

I hope it has a similar effect on you.

Hermione and the fellowship for sustainable action have taken on the challenge of the Brutal10 on Bordon Heaths on 15th March this year. While I can’t join them because I’m back on the continent, their upcoming mud run has roused memories of my first and so far only mud run 15 months ago. I, the embodiment of reason, a homely and somewhat lazy character, braced myself for an 8-mile GRIM mud stampede with icy puddles and a cauldron bubbling with brown goo, stuck limbs, and ownerless shoes. The DoNation was to blame for my aching knees after mile 7, for the numbness that took hold of my whole body after a dip in a pool covered in splinters of ice (it was December!). I thank The DoNation for it.

It still fills me with satisfaction when I recall how we, the DoTeam, crossed the finish line together and how people stared at the muddy streaks in my hair on the tube home. I’ll have a story to tell my grand-children. However, apart from the sense of adventure and team-spirit, that sunny winter day has had lasting “side effects”. Up until November 2012, when I started my internship with The DoNation, running hadn’t featured on my list of activities, at all.

Then, willy-nilly, I started training. I didn’t want to lose face and step back on a promise or drop dead after four miles. I had a goal to pursue, additionally motivated by all the pledges of our sponsors. My boyfriend shortened his showers to show his support – quite a sacrifice for him. Even though the 4-minute-shower-challenge-hourglass in the bathroom no longer works, he’s never returned to spending as much time in the shower as he used to. Inspired by me (or so I’m convinced at least), he took up jogging as well. And I’ve kept up the running too. A 30-minute-run twice or three times a week has become part of my routine. I don’t go out of my way to beat any records; neither do I have plans to take part in a marathon, but exercising contributes a lot to my wellbeing now (and certainly helps me get to my office on the fifth floor with no lift).

It’s what The DoNation is about. Where’s the point in taking part in silly competitions and asking your friends to avoid plastic bags for a few weeks, you might ask? Sure, the changes may appear to be small, but they very often have a lasting effect and little by little, with every DoAction turning into routine, the overall impact grows.

It’s change for good.

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