(By the way, do remember that there’s still time to enter the Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium giveaway.)
I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to do something helpful via this blog, something for charity. The idea hadn’t progressed very far when a plan came along of its own accord and plonked itself in my lap. It’s a ludicrous idea, and the friend who suggested it wisely did so after I’d had a couple of glasses of wine, in which state I can be talked into pretty much any kind of shenanigans. If she’d asked me when I was sober, my response would have been a very firm NO. She’s not stupid, my friend. Two glasses down and having taken leave of my senses, I gave her my word that I would help.
So here’s the thing.
On October 9th 2016 I’m going to run the Oxford Half Marathon in aid of the Nasio Trust. That’s 13.1 miles (21.1km) of pure pain. More about the Nasio Trust in a moment. (It occurred to me to walk the entire route, knitting all the way, but that might take rather a long time. Besides, I knit and walk most days, so where’s the challenge in that? Running it is, then.)
I’ve never in my adult life run a race before – well, apart form the parents’ sprint at the twinnage’s school sports day, in which it’s fair to say that I didn’t cover myself in glory. I’m not built like a runner either mentally or physically, and if the route passes any yarn shops, I’m doomed. But in the year since I got serious about running, I’ve progressed from a gasping, tracksuit-clad, lump of idleness who hated every second of the experience, to one of those contemptible people you avoid because they wear lurid lycra and stare smugly at their fitness trackers to check how many calories they’ve just burned by jiggling up and down in the queue at the Post Office. I no longer hate every second that I spend running. In fact on a good day, I only hate about two seconds out of every three, with the remainder being merely mildly unpleasant. So that’s progress.
Thirteen miles, though! Man, I feel tired from just driving that distance, let alone running. Yet I’ve been quietly clocking up the miles in training. (Ha! I used the word ‘training’! That almost gives it an aura of dignity!) Last week I ran twelve miles in the midday heat, and although I spent the rest of the day feeling like death, I was still – technically – alive. I’m not good at running and I never will be (remember the times I got lost, or fell out of a tree, or had to survive by foraging for blackberries?) but I can run, and I want to put it to some use. I’ve been trying to view it as a bit like knitting: you just have to keep making small movements, over and over and over again, until you get somewhere. Easy! Knitting is a lot less lung-hurty, though.
So what’s the Nasio Trust? You probably haven’t heard of it, because it’s a relatively small British charity. It works in very deprived rural parts of Kenya, supporting vulnerable and orphaned children in their own communities (rather than isolating them in orphanages) via healthcare, education, and nutrition. The Trust was set up after one of the founders discovered an abandoned baby in a sugarcane plantation, and took the child in to raise him herself. Today, the charity’s aim is to break the cycle of poverty in these areas by equipping children with the skills and confidence that they’ll need to make their own way in the world. Examples of projects completed by the charity include building a fish farm to increase food self-sufficiency amongst local families, or funding schools and healthcare which would otherwise be unavailable to these children.
(Oh, and the friend who asked me to run? Her daughter is heavily involved with doing voluntary work for this charity, so I’ve heard and seen via my friend how much amazing work is going on.)
I was in two minds about whether to post about all this on my blog. I didn’t know whether you’d mind. But then I remembered that knitters and crocheters are a big-hearted bunch, so I’m going to say it here: I would be grateful, honoured, and humbled if you would consider sponsoring me for the Oxford Half Marathon in aid of the Nasio Trust. Any amount, however small, would be received with enormous gratitude, and would directly help to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Kenya.
If you would like to make a donation, however large or small, the page where you can do so is here.
Now, shall we get back to the knitting?