As many of you will already know, I am planning to walk 25km on Saturday night for learning-disabled charity, Kisharon. And so, for the last six weeks or so, I have been training as much as possible so as to enhance my somewhat questionable stamina.
A common reaction I have received since I signed up? “Why are you doing this?”
Now to be fair, I am not a naturally fit person. I’m the girl who hated P.E, who refused to walk long distances, and who would obtain flu-like symptoms from a 10-minute stint on an exercise bike.
So perhaps you could understand why so many have stared at me in disbelief and asked me “why?”
Well, not really.
Yes I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and I am fully aware that it’s not going to be easy, but surely that’s the whole point of it; why should it be? Thankfully I have an easy life, I have a good life, I have everything I could need or want. So many don’t, yet we take it all for granted.
And walking for six hours doesn’t even scratch the surface.
It’s not only about raising money, either, although of course this is the ultimate aim. For those six hours, I will also think of those I am raising the money for, whilst appreciating everything I’ve got. For one night only, I shall be in a taxing environment, where the challenge ahead of me is just that, challenging. And I know that by the end of it, I will have a nice breakfast and warm bath waiting for me, as well as having (hopefully) raised close to £1,000. For those who benefit from the services Kisharon provide, however, including their families, everything is taxing, and everything is a challenge. And they don’t get much respite from it, either. That is their life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In all honesty, therefore, it has surprised me how many have given the aforementioned reaction when learning of my venture. It worries me that we are seemingly so out of touch with that which doesn’t directly affect us on a day-to-day basis that even something as clear cut as a charity-sponsored walk prompts so many to ask “why”. And it upsets me that – this being the only time I’ve ever raised money for charity in almost 25 years - means I’m guilty of this myself too.
Everyone is so “impressed” with me for what I’m doing, but it’s not about me, and it’s not about us. It’s not about the physical pain, or the pouring rain. It’s about them, and what the money raised will add to their lives.
So next time you feel the need to ask me why I am doing this or heap on the praise, I beg you to ask me instead: why have you never done this before?
Want to sponsor me? Please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoannaGutkin. Thanks!