The Power of Yes
Posted June 12, 2012on:
I’m quite good at saying no. Politely, firmly…even with a dash of charm and humour on a good day. But oh, the wonderful and fantastic adventures that a yes can lead to!
Back in January, I said yes to taking part in the Edinburgh moonwalk – walking 26.2 miles at night in my bra with 14 work colleagues, in order to raise money for breast cancer charities. This weekend, we travelled up on the train, we saw the sights of Edinburgh, we donned our glitzy bras…and we did it!
It was tough. It poured down with rain on Saturday and by the time we arrived in Inverleith Park, the ground was a muddy bog and it was impossible to avoid getting wet feet before we had even started. Even inside the marquee, muddy water seeped through the temporary floor. One group of women had plastic bags tied around their feet, which they didn’t remove until they were safely on tarmac and the walk had began…a very smart idea indeed. The walk started for our group at midnight and because we were towards the back, it took around 10 minutes to cross the start line. The crowd of women (and a few men!) walking through the steady rain in their bras and waterproof ponchos, was an awesome sight, snaking up the hill as far as the eye could see. This was a force to be reckoned with, masses of extraordinary individuals committed to walking through the rainy night, raising money for a common cause.
We walked…and walked…and walked. Never quite as fast as I had managed during my daytime training, but certainly quickly enough; through the dark streets, past the many pubs and bars, up the hills, along the cobbles, by the seafront. And along the way we were encouraged and cheered by volunteers, greeted with “good morning!” (even at half past midnight, which took a little getting used to!) and given water, sweets, fruit and a cup of hot chocolate at mile 20.
26.2 miles is a long way and at night seemed even longer. Dawn broke early, not long after 3am and, other than for the first hour and an a half, the rain mostly held off. My right leg became sore after 18 or so miles, yet still we walked, always in view of those behind us and keeping our eyes on the people and the path ahead. Buildings were lit up in pink, well-wishers hung out of windows in the middle of the night to cheer us on and the sense of goodwill, support and encouragement was quite simply overwhelming.
We crossed the finish line just after 7am, with tears in our eyes and huge smiles on our faces. Determination, elation and an enormous sense of achievement.
My team has raised over £10,000 so far for breast cancer charities. Even in our relatively small group, we shared so many heartbreaking and inspiring stories of how breast cancer has affected us or those very close to us. Thank you so much for your support and sponsorship, it means an enormous amount to me and to the team, to WalktheWalk and the people and charities they help. If you haven’t sponsored me and would like to, there is still time and you can do so by clicking here.
Thank you. I will be saying yes more often!