To all the amazing staff and supports of Make-A-Wish UK,
The Run the Peaks challenge has now finished. Collectively the five runners raised £2,500 for their charities of which £500 will be sent to Make-A-Wish UK at the end of September. A definite positive in a challenge that did not end the way I wanted or intended. It is that end which has prompted me to consider what comes next in this Miles for Wishes journey…
…and what a journey it has been so far.
I started the challenges and the fundraising so that my journey would, in some way, feel less selfish – that by helping myself I could help others too. I don’t often reflect back on what has been achieved because I like to look ahead, to focus on moving forward and on to the next thing. However, as Miles for Wishes I’ve somehow raised around £6,000 for a Charity that I’ve now fallen in love. I’ve taken on challenges I could have never dreamed that I could be ever be capable of. I’ve met some generous, inspirational and dedicated people along the way.
In the two and a half years since starting to run I’ve;
- Run 2,500 miles taking on Tough Mudder, Marathons and ultra-marathons and running from Liverpool – the place where Make-A-Wish UK granted its first wish – to their new HQ in Reading.
- Cycled 7,500 miles which includes John O’Groats to Land’s End, The National Three Peaks and most recently setting a record on the Welsh Three Peaks
Make-A-Wish UK is a Charity I’ve come to love, for its mission and the families it helps – their stories are as inspiring as they are heart-breaking. The children you support seem to have a way of coping, of accepting the huge challenges that they face and carrying on with a smile on their faces. It is in my darkest moments that I try to focus on their stories, their strength and I remind myself that whatever hardships I face, they are short-lived. I can stop running, I can get off the bike – but for those facing a life limiting or life threatening illness, they don’t get that chance. That is why wishes are so very important, because they provide hope for the future, a chance for the recipient to be a child even if that’s just for one day.
So – first and foremost – to all of the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make wishes literally come true, thank you. The work you do is incredible, it is motivating and more deserving of applause than anything I could ever do. You are genuinely amazing. Whether its been joining me on a challenge – Andy & Mark, you will have my respect forever for being Spiderman and Robin during my 7in7 Challenge – to greet me or to offer words of encouragement and support whatever the outcome. There are too many people to name, but everyone at Make-A-Wish has made me feel part of a family, part of something amazing, something life changing. Thank you for letting me be part of your mission.
It is a mission that, however, hasn’t changed – with 49,000 young people in the UK facing a life limiting or life threatening illness – how can it?
In the short term, I need to take a break from the challenges and the fundraising. I need some time to focus on myself and reconnecting with the part of the journey that started with making me a happier, healthier version of myself. The pressure I put on myself to go bigger, go longer and harder takes a toll – physically, mentally and financially. While I love doing it, to support your cause and the wish families, I need to release a little bit of that pressure.
This isn’t the end, and as such I would like to make you, Make-A-Wish, and those like me who want to support the work you do, an offer;
If you or any of your fundraisers and supporters need any help, any motivation, a cheer squad or some support, then please just ask.
To those who’d like to raise money and support Make-A-Wish by taking on their own challenge – whatever that may be – then please do get in touch. While I’m no expert, I will happily give you my time and share my own experiences so you can start or continue with your own journey and challenges. If its a one off chat or someone to share and build ideas with, to help answer those “how do I…” questions then as I said I’m happy to share my experiences in DIY challenges, running, cycling and the various aspects of fundraising.
In the short term that will be sharing some of the amazing challenges and the inspirational #WishHeroes behind them, on my blog and social media pages, as well as creating a Vlog of my top tips for staying motivated – so keep your eyes peeled.
Guy, aka Miles for Wishes x