I have always struggled with breathing. At age 11 was diagnosed with asthma, then at 36 I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis too but unfortunately even after treatment I wasn’t getting any better. Finally, at age 41 I was officially diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Whilst this was a shock and a lot to come to terms with, it did help me understand what had been going on.
I heard about Race At Your Pace through a work group which had been set up for wellbeing during lockdown. I did 3 months of challenges for the summer of 2020. Even though I was shielding I made the most of my allowed daily exercise and just did walks to and from my front door.
When I saw how many miles I covered just over a few months, I thought, “Why not actually do the challenge over the 12 months?” I had some money for Christmas 2020 so decided to buy the Annual Pass for 2021 and challenged myself to beat my previous year total.
I hadn’t initially planned to fundraise, but I thought there must be a way I can put what I enjoy doing to good use. I decided that whatever mileage I did over my monthly target I would donate that amount to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust UK as it is personal to me. In total I walked 1,155 miles in 2021 and donated £307.50!
Everyone with Cystic Fibrosis is different. I only suffer with the breathing difficulties and luckily haven’t been hospitalised often. I had sinus issues which affected me in October 2021 and resulted in a short hospital stay. This did set me back a bit as I lost all motivation and confidence to get back out.
But that is the great thing about Race At Your Pace; you can adjust your target as you go along! Where I had set my monthly challenge every month at 75 miles, I reduced October and November and was able to make it more achievable too. It also gave me the motivation to get back to walking to achieve my target albeit reduced I still had something to aim for.
Anyone can do it and having a target with the beautifully designed medals at the end of every monthly challenge is motivation enough!
Being able to adjust your target to how things are going is great – if you have setbacks or are doing better than you thought you still have something to aim for.
For 2022, I am still walking as much as I can and still tracking my miles, just to see if I can beat 2021 total of 1,155 miles!