I signed up for Tough Mudder 2 weeks ago. I'm not quite sure why I decided to sign up for it to be honest. I must be mad! It will, however, be a fantastic way to raise money for a cause that lies very close to my heart.
I'll be running alongside four good friends and we're all raising money for Mencap.
Why I'm fundraising for Mencap
I've worked at Mencap for almost 5 years, and it will be great to give something back to an organisation that does so much fantastic work.
For those of you who aren't sure exactly what Mencap does - we're the UK's leading learning disability charity; working with people with a learning disability and their families and carers. Mencap works collaboratively, fighting for equal rights, campaigning for greater opportunities and challenging attitudes and prejudices.
I think the thing that inspired me the most to run for Mencap was when I recently spent a day in Gloucestershire doing a photo shoot with some of the people we support. I visited several services throughout the day and was genuinely lost for words at the fantastic support that was in place in each and every one. Each service had a team of dedicated staff who understood the needs of the people being supported.
One person who really stood out was a bubbly young woman called Angela. She was so filled with happiness and positivity, it was impossible not to smile around her. This isn't just true of Gloucestershire; this is mirrored across all of our services in the UK. I've visited hundreds of services as part of my role as Marketing Officer for Mencap and the support that is provided never ceases to amaze me. It's rewarding to work for such a large organisation where we actually practice what we preach!
People with a learning disability really are supported to live the life they choose, as independently as possible. This is why I'm running for Mencap.
About the race
As for the race itself, it's not your usual obstacle course! It's a 12 mile course of brutal SAS style obstacles. These include a combination of ice, water, mud and electricity, so we're going to have to put in some serious training ahead of 19 August.
I'll be running alongside 4 of my closest friends; Emma, Jane, Dom and Rachel. We're all running for Mencap so it will be great to do some fundraising ahead of the event. We're hoping to do a bake sale closer to August, when we know how far away we are from our fundraising target.
The more money we raise, the more people with a learning disability we can support. For example, £100 could help to provide one week of support for a person with a learning disability who needs extra help in their own home. Whereas, £400 could help pay for a person to complete a 13 week training course to take them from a life on state benefits, to self sufficient employment.
The obstacles on the course will be a struggle, but not as much of a struggle as the distance. Maybe that's something I should have checked before signing up!