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Michelle - My MoonWalk London Story

I had finally achieved my goal! And did something incredible and raised money for such an amazing charity.

Ever since I had my first child 16 years ago, my weight has fluctuated somewhat. Tipping the scales at over 19st my confidence was rock bottom. Years passed and relationships broke down, then a new relationship formed and after getting engaged, I decided enough was enough and I wanted to get my health on track.

After losing 4st to get into my wedding dress, I was very pleased! I then went onto having two more children within 2 years and my weight fluctuated again. I managed to lose a couple of stones of the weight I had put on and started to feel happier. But there was one major problem for me, I had lots of excess skin on my tummy. It’s always something that has stopped me wanting to get involved with exercise classes, running, spa days, events etc. This also caused my anxiety to go through the roof. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.

I remember seeing an advert for The MoonWalk a few years ago, and every year I said one day I want to do that. However, the support I had was very minimal, hence why I never entered when it came around to it. But I decided that I will do it in 2018, it’s my time now to take control and conquer my anxiety. I joined my local gym and I worked out 3-4 times a week and I absolutely loved it.

Then last year I made a decision that would change my life.

I booked myself in to have a tummy tuck to rid myself of this excess skin I had, something I felt that was suffocating my confidence and stopping me from living my life. I kept up with the gym right up until my appointment. I had my operation in November of 2017. Realising that The MoonWalk London was May 2018, it was 6 months away. As soon as I could I got back into the gym. My recovery was amazing and I was back working after just 3 weeks. I followed the Training Plan for The Moonwalk to the letter, I believe this is so important as prepping your body for a challenge is definitely the best way if you want to achieve.

Time flew by, my bra was decorated and before I knew it The MoonWalk was here. Cannot believe I was about to do a full marathon!

I left home and got on the train on my own and traveled to London.

I kept looking around to see if there was anybody else wearing pink for The MoonWalk but I couldn’t see anybody. My whole train journey my head was filled with anxious thoughts, but I knew I had to do this.

I stepped off the train and when I looked up I saw a sea of pink cowboy hats and MoonWalk t-shirts and I immediately felt relieved! I followed the crowds through to the tube and before I knew it I was at Clapham Common.

Waiting for my start time was a little scary as I was on my own, but I got chatting to lots of lovely people and I felt secure and happy.

It was time to start!

I went over to the Start Line and followed this sea of pink and white hats. The atmosphere was incredible, people were chatting, singing, laughing, playing music along the way. Seeing London at night in this way is an amazing experience. I felt at ease and knew that this is something I’ve always wanted to do. The London eye was amazing as it was lit up pink!

The halfway point arrived, after a quick loo stop, I tightened my shoelaces up, grabbed another bottle of water and carried on at a steady pace. Not long after 14 miles, it happened...I hit a wall mentally. The gap between the people in front of me and behind me seemed to get bigger, and I started to feel alone. My head was swimming with anxiety, I had no idea where it came from. I started doubting myself. I quickly whipped out my earphones, put on a rock album and the first song that came on was Queen ‘Don’t stop me now’! I actually laughed to myself and smiled and it changed my mindset and off I walked. My legs were starting to ache a little and I needed a boost, so out came the Haribo Starmix! Another checkpoint and we were given some bananas to eat to keep us going. The Volunteers are absolutely amazing and so friendly, they really keep you going.

My friend Heather who I knew was also doing The Moonwalk had text me asking me where I was and how I was doing, she was in the first group and I was in group 4. She was only a couple of miles ahead of me, so I kept on pushing myself through. Even at 5am when you’re so sleep deprived and your feet are burning, the smiles and atmosphere is absolutely incredible. Finally, I caught up to Heather at Mile 23. Quick hot chocolate stop and off we went again. I decided to walk alongside Heather and her daughter Hollie for the last few miles. We had so much fun along the way, comparing how tired we were and what we were going to eat as soon as we finish!

At last, mile 26 on the signpost.

I started to get an overwhelming feeling of emotion, tears started to appear in my eyes as I walked towards the Finish Line. The medal around my neck as I crossed that Finish Line was the most amazing feeling ever. I had finally achieved my goal! And did something incredible and raised money for such an amazing charity. Realising then it was 6 months to the day I had had my surgery and just completed a full Marathon. I was absolutely over the moon!

I’m a true believer that anybody can do anything if they set their minds to it.

I hope this is inspirational for some :)

Best wishes,

Michelle 

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