Like many others, I’ve watched on in horror over the past eight months as heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes have had devastating consequences for the people of Ukraine.
At the time of writing over two million people have fled their homes to escape intense conflict, leaving behind loved ones, livelihoods, and almost everything they own.
Helplessly discussing this tragedy one evening back in June – and noticing little sign that this conflict was going to let up anytime soon – a few friends and I foolishly (dare I say slightly drunkenly) declared that we were going to enter the Battersea Park Half Marathon in an attempt to play our small part and raise some much-needed funds for the DEC Humanitarian Appeal.
How was it you ask? Pretty grim, to be honest. It seems that we forgot that our days of playing regular competitive sport were quite a long time ago. In fact, my minimal preparation and ‘it will be alright on the night’ attitude resulted in a nasty knee injury would have ended my race early had it not been for a sacred cocktail of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Still, at least it wasn’t raining cats and dogs…
But we nevertheless finished the race and raised over £1500 for a great cause in the process, thanks in part to Wildfire who – thanks to the #DoGood initiative – kindly donated over £300 to our fundraising effort.
The power of motivation
I’m acutely aware that a half-marathon around Battersea Park on an autumn morning isn’t the greatest feat mankind has ever faced. 600,000 people run ultra-marathons every year, 800 people climb Mount Everest, and there was even a group of six people who dressed as a crate of fruit and vegetables and broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon in a six-person costume last month.
But the point of initiatives like #DoGood is that they encourage people to push themselves to try something outside of their comfort zone, giving them the reassurance that by doing so they will be supported to ensure they make a tangible positive impact.
Many people may consider running a marathon or climbing a mountain but might shy away in the fear that they may not make the desired impact – Wildfire’s charity matching scheme helped me to alleviate that fear and provided all-important motivation to #DoGood.