15 months ago, on September 30th 2012 my wife gave birth to our Son, Dexter in a hospital near our home in South East London. He was 3 months premature, but the doctors were optimistic. The following day, his blood test results looked promising and both Ann-Marie and I were starting to plan how we could manage the next 3 months of visits to the hospital until he came home with us.
Just after midnight, my phone rang and before answering I immediately knew it’d be the worst call I’ll ever have to take. We raced to the Neo-Natal unit to be told that Dexter had unexpectedly suffered a haemorrhage in his lungs. He battled on bravely for over an hour before dying in our arms in the early hours of October 2nd 2012.
Since Dexter’s passing, both my wife and I have gone through all kinds of suffering both together and as individuals. With help from family, friends and also the SANDS charity, we are on the path to continuing our lives as they were before. Some days it seems we’re further along that path than others.
In September 2013, a friend of ours ran a half marathon in London and raised money for SANDS charity in memory of Dexter. Ann-Marie and I were incredibly grateful to Kati for the gesture, and the amazing £1,236 she raised for SANDS. However, what I personally took from that day was something more. Following Kati around London that day reminded me of my 1st and only marathon I had run in 2009 (in London) and how inspiring it was to be running for charity with so many people cheering from the sidelines. It also reminded me of how I enjoyed running, not only for the fitness aspect, and the physical challenge but how the training runs gave me an opportunity to “make sense” of the thoughts in my head. Alone on the road for an hour or more, you have plenty of time to process things, without any distractions.
With this realisation, I figured it would make sense to apply for the 2014 London marathon but I would only do it if I could run for SANDS. I was told by their fundraising department that they had very limited places, and my application would be assessed but by no means guaranteed. When I was told weeks later that I had been chosen I can honestly say it was one of the first genuinely happy moments I’d had since Dexter’s passing. I now had a goal, a purpose again. And best of all, the training required by me to reach that goal was the very thing that would give me a chance to rid my head of the constant black clouds that have been hanging around in it since October 2012.
So with that, we come to this blog. At the time of Ann-Marie’s pregnancy with Dexter, I created my first blog, Reflex Mirror . It was a way of sharing one of my passions (photography) with whoever was interested while helping me to learn and perfect my skills. I enjoyed creating it, and the fact that some folk liked to follow it. I decided that starting another blog would help me share my marathon attempt, but would also provide an outlet for me and an insight to others of how I intend to use running as a form of therapy. If my training runs help me clear my mind, then perhaps blogging about it will add to the cathartic effect.
So that is the intention. As I pound the pavements of London, simulatenously ridding myself of body fat & depression, I’ll share the results here. It may not be “Confessions of a Call Girl”, but if it helps just one person take up running either to get fit, or to raise money for a charity or even helps someone come to terms with a loss such as ours with Dexter, then I’ll consider it a success.