Mum was adventurous, creative, caring, kind, and a bringer of joy. Dad was innovative, meticulous, wise, a deep thinker, with a huge laugh!
On the 7th of July 1990 our lives were changed forever, as Denise and Eddie unexpectedly passed away in a car accident. They were on route to a well deserved weekend away when tragedy struck on the White Bridge in Knysna, South Africa. At the age of 13 I set off into a new unknown world of life after parents, and 30 years on I now look back at the journey that has meandered through periods of joy and sadness. Through the years I've learnt that grief is not a linear journey that leads you one day to your healing - it's more cyclical, as you find yourself in familiar territory but able to feel and understand in different ways with older eyes, yet still on that same journey.
My parents loved their community, they loved nature, they loved life and they loved family. My father worked in a factory and my mum was a nurse turned florist, and in all they did they touched the lives of the people around them profoundly with humility, love and commitment. Though for such a short time, I was truly blessed to have them as parents, and in ways still carry them with me.
To honour their memory I was aiming to run 29 half marathons, one for each year that has passed. The distance of 29 half marathons is the same as what their journey would have been to their destination and home, if it wasn't tragically cut short. So I wanted to complete their journey for them, reflecting on my own journey and sharing it with others as I write about my experience. An update is that I managed to run 9 half marathons from October to December 2019 when I had to stop due to injury. Since then I had made three attempts at getting the same running fitness back with the injury resurfacing each time, and at the same time the pandemic made it more difficult.
It's in this time that I used rope skipping as a way to build strength, and that I decided in September 2020 to change my challenge to a skipping challenge. With a skipping rope from the pound store and a yoga mat I set off on the target of skipping the equivalent of the now 30 half marathons (as 30 years have passed) that I had originally set off to do.
I started from the beginning again, with the aim of skipping for 45 hours - the same effort as running 30 half marathons. That is around 380,000 jumps and rope swings, around 45,000 calories burnt, and the mental challenge of doing this in our lounge - I hope that this feels like an equivalent challenge to the original half marathons.
I am raising money for WWF particularly for protecting and planting forests as some of my fondest memories of childhood was in the beautiful, wild bush that was behind our house. Thank you so much to all that have donated before!
I hope you will share this journey with me. Follow my journey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/30halfs/.
Update: I completed the challenge on the 6th March, the same as 30 half marathons in 26 weeks. An emotional finish, thank you for all your support!! X
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