Race For Life
Well folks it's that time of year - Race for Life will be with us soon and maybe you're thinking about whether to get involved.
I know some of you have done Race for Life before and it's started you off with a love of running and you've achieved things you never thought you would. I started years ago, walking and jogging it. I was overweight, a smoker and lager drinker. It was hard work, I didn't enjoy it, but I felt I'd done my bit. I never thought I'd end up loving running - or that I'd stop smoking and get slim.
The publicity and the fund raising change the lives of people with cancer, helping find better treatments. But Race for Life is about so much more than that, it's about ordinary people coming together together to celebrate life in the face of one of the scariest things that can happen to us and to show solidarity and love for those who are living with it and their families and friends.
Race for Life changes everyone - whether you watch and cheer, sponsor someone, walk it or race it. It's not about running, it's about showing we care. It's about doing something, standing up to an illness that we all really hope one day will be history.
If you've ever been to an event, you'll know that it's a day for being proud to be human. A day when we're at our very finest. I defy anyone to be there, amongst walkers, runners, organisers, supporters and usually a dog and a pram or two, and not feel moved to the core. There is so much pink it's like a massive girlie sleepover. Generations, families, friends and strangers come together to celebrate the lives of those they love. Us females may run, but our menfolk are often holding the coats and cheering us on.
The minute's silence when every one of those thousands of women and men, girls and boys spends a moment remembering, hoping, praying. The names of loved ones on their backs, people they have loved and sometimes lost. I can't begin to explain the emotions, but I know it makes me glad to be alive, glad to be healthy, and very very grateful for what I have.
People who can run it, run it. People who can walk it, walk it. People who can cheer, cheer. People who can hand out the post race water bottle do that. Everyone does their bit, everyone can play a part.
Race for Life isn't about running, the race bit isn't important. It's about life, it's about being human.
We now know a lot now about cancer. We know that for many of us a healthy lifestyle is one thing we can do to cut the risks of getting it. Smoking, obesity and an unhealthy diet and life style are right up there as ways of increasing the risks of getting it.
By tackling our weight we're all giving ourselves a better chance of staying healthy, but of course nothing is guaranteed. But if there's a chance, then I want to take it. There's lots we can't do to change what happens to us, and tackling our weight is a really important thing we can do that might just save our life.
So, please support Race for Life in whatever way you can. Maybe you've a friend who's doing it - wish them luck, it isn't just about sponsoring and it certainly isn't just about the running. And stick to that diet! Keep going. Losing weight and staying fit is doing our bit too.
Have you been to Race for Life? Are you a helper, a fund raiser? Tell us about it! And if you do the Moonwalk, bake cakes, blow up balloons or anything that helps us beat cancer, thank you.
Take care, keep well.