Article by Annie Moore
Some may say I’m mad running another one in at my age! Well first I don’t do ‘age’! Second a little ‘madness’ can go a long way towards helping to cope with the sorrow and heartache of losing my son to a dreadful blood cancer disease.
I have always been into fitness, in my youth it was pretty singular, keep fit classes and Jane Fonda videos, in the old days, when you kept going till you felt ‘the burn’… As time went on I gravitated towards yoga and meditation, regularly going to classes and developing self-practice at home. Yoga changed my way of thinking. It changed my attitude towards health in general, bringing awareness to my spiritual side, helping me to connect with my body, mind and soul. Today I enjoy teaching both disciplines.
Running was not something I particularly enjoyed when I was young, I thought it was boring and repetitive but over the years I have embraced it, actually feeling the benefit of the contact with nature and fresh air. The short runs through my local park became a regular activity a few times a week. I found it energizing, especially when the endorphins kicked in, making me feel on top of the world!
Life was good! Wellbeing, career and family were in harmony. I had a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. My eldest, Tom was married with a two-year old son and my daughter Hollie was happily working in Ibiza. Providing for my family was everything to me. I have given my all to nurturing, loving, caring and laughing with them all.
When Tom was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in September 2013 the bottom dropped out of my world and I fell into an enormous hole that I couldn’t get out of. Those terrible feelings of fear, anxiety, guilt, anguish, sorrow, pain, hate were all tearing my heart open and twisting my stomach in knots. But most of all what I couldn’t get out of my head was Why him?
‘Tom died in January 2014 aged 34’… just five months after diagnosis’. It pains me even now to say these words and it never gets any easier four years on. He was a great guy lively, sociable, witty, ambitious, kind, active, an all round sportsman and gentleman. He was passionate about every sport he did from basketball, tennis, table tennis, swimming, cricket, rugby, golf and most of all football, which became the centre of his career working for the Premier League.
Entering the London Marathon
A few weeks after Tom’s funeral my daughter in law announced she was entering the ballot for the London Marathon and suggested I should too. Tom had entered a few times, alas with no success. I entered on line, paid my fee and immediately forgot about it. Until one day nine months later I received notification of selection for the London Marathon 2015… I was terrified and excited all at the same time.
There it is, my inspiration came directly from Tom! I decided to go ahead and do it for him with the same passion and focus that he would have had. Hence a strict training programme went into action. I felt reasonably confident that I was physically capable with sufficient training but I was wavering on my mental ability to overcome deep felt fears of getting through 26 miles.
There is no doubt that completing a marathon is an amazing achievement! My personal drive through the whole process was not only for myself but also for Tom, who was with me all the way pushing me to the finishing line. It was one of the best, most incredible days of my life, heightened by the amazing family and public support I received. The atmosphere was electric!
From that day four years ago I have continued to run half marathons one each year, raising funds for Bloodwise, who are leading the way in blood cancer research in the UK. My motivation is completely inspired by Tom and will continue till I don’t know when! If I can help in some small way to contribute towards research that aims to conquer this dreadful disease then I will feel that Tom’s life had true meaning.
Annie is running in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 14 October raising funds for Bloodwise UK. If you would like to find out more about her fundraising follow the link here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annie-moore13