Every morning I go for a run around the fields with Brew Dog. It’s a chance to watch stunning sunrises and take 30-40 minutes of wonderful headspace, setting me up for the new day.
One morning this week Christmas popped into my mind. Warm, happy memories flooded through me, quickly followed by the dread of rush and spend which accompanies the event. In the following miles my next challenge was formed and this time I want you to all join in.
What is Christmas about?
Each year, as Christmas approaches I hear on the radio that a bridge close to me has been closed for hours. Someone is so distressed that they are standing on the edge of that bridge, looking into dark, cold waters and considering jumping off. It can happen twice in one week. It can be the same person twice in one week. Can you imagine being that desperately unhappy? I can’t and I hope you can’t either. Pressures of the time of year can so easily magnify existing problems.
Christmas is about love. For me it is about spending time celebrating with all the people I care about. It is reuniting, reminiscing and reconnecting. It can make some people very happy and others extremely sad. We feel so much pressure to get it right – to buy great presents, to go out and party, to cook good food – that we end up stressed, losing sight of why we are celebrating in the first place. I want to take my Christmas right back to that core of love.
In the past few months my Mum and one of my dearest childhood friends have both been diagnosed with cancer. They are both now squaring up to a fight that no-one wants to take on. Watching two damn tough ladies quietly battling an unfair opponent truly brings home how important it is that we take time to appreciate the right things.
I want to encourage people, in the days before Christmas, to get out of the house and think about what makes them happy. To leave behind the wrapping, cooking, cleaning and eating and to run back to where they call home.
Running home for Christmas
The challenge is simple; at some point in the three days before Christmas go for a run from one place which finishes at a place you call home. The run can be anything from one mile up but do challenge yourself. If one mile is a challenge then do that, if twenty miles is a challenge then do that! The only rule is that the run cannot be circular or out and back. It must start at one place and finish at ‘home’. For this you may need to rope in a friend or family member to drop you off somewhere – but that’s all part of the spirit of Christmas.
You choose your distance, where you finish and a day; between Sat 22nd Dec and Mon 24th Dec. You can do it alone or with friends and family, for this you may need to plan a route which visits multiple homes! I’m happy to help with route plotting if people tell me a distance and where they want to finish.
Home is different for everyone. It might be where you live now, where you grew up, a friends house might feel more like home…this is your challenge.
In the spirit of taking stresses away please don’t ask anyone for sponsorship. If there is a charity close to your heart you could choose to donate to it yourself and if friends and family insist you can mention that charity to them. I am going to be donating a little to Mind and a little to Rescue Me Romania (the charity who rescued Brew). But you don’t have to do this part at all. The challenge is about making you feel good!
One more thing…
This challenge is about fun. Being in the great outdoors, filling your lungs with fresh air and smiling. I’m definitely going to be introducing a fancy dress element to my run. If it makes you happy then I hope you will too.
Smiles are best shared. Please let me know if you are joining me on this challenge. Do take pictures and post on your social media so I can smile along with you. If we all use the hashtag #runninghomeforchristmas then the fun gets shared wider.
For me this is part of a bigger ‘scaling back Christmas’ objective for the year. I am also going to be asking my friends and family not to buy me gifts this year. I would prefer that they just give a small amount of money to charity (not as much as they would have spent on a present). That way the charities benefit and my friends and family don’t have to spend as much. I shall do the same in return. Instead of exchanging gifts I’m going to ask that we exchange cards telling the other person what we love about them.
Are you in?
Despite currently being injured I’m hoping to run a marathon for my challenge. I will plot a route and run back to my parents house in Hoveringham on the 22nd Dec (I might do a second mini challenge on the 24th too!). Brew Dog will be joining me for my run and I’m hoping my Dad will join me for the final miles. If anyone else local would like to join my run we can plot your ‘home’ in to the route too.
I really hope lots of you will join me in this challenge. Let me know if you are in by leaving a reply at the bottom of this page or commenting on social media. Jog a mile or run a marathon…let’s all be Running Home for Christmas together!
Never Miss An Adventure!