Putting others first

Always willing to help others

James running the Bristol 10k for CLIC Sargent.

This is my 19-year-old son James doing his best Mo Farah impression while running the Bristol 10k in aid of CLIC Sargent. CLIC is the cancer and leukaemia in children charity and he chose to run for them because its something he believes is worthy of more support.  I watched the race and whilst there were some younger runners, I think James was one of the youngest. He decided to enter of his own volition, just called me up and said he was taking part. He trained for it himself and managed a respectable time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Finishing the race without incident was especially pleasing because he suffered a serious ankle injury playing football 6 months ago and it kept him out of sport until recently.  Sport has been a big part of his life and he’s hoping to visit Ukraine in August as part of an international futsal tournament. He’s also giving up his time to provide free goal-keeping coaching to Under 12’s so is helping another generation of kids to make the most of their talents and find enjoyment in sport.

It was great to see James cross the finishing line and pick up his race medal after the 10k.  When I met him following the race I gave him a huge hug and told him I was proud of him for running and raising money for such a good cause. Two policemen looking on saw the hug, smiled at me in the knowing way fellow parents smile on school sports day and then smiled at each other. That moment will stay in my memory for a very long time. A shared moment of happiness.

I always hoped my son would grow up to be respectful, to think about others, practice being kind, loving and giving. I know he hasn’t always been treated kindly by other people but he’s continued to look for the good in everyone and I’m proud of him for being so gracious. It isn’t easy dealing with the spectre of your mother’s cancer when you’re 18, a time when life ought to be fun, lighthearted and free from thoughts of critical illness or death. I’m sad that the last of his teenage years are marred by my illness and subsequent redundancy at work. He’s 20 in a couple of weeks time and I hope above all else that this year will see a return to a more carefree way of life for him with fewer worries and a lot more fun.

In another act of putting others first James told me a couple of days ago that he’s decided to enter the Bristol half marathon which takes place on 15th September this year. While many students are taking time off to relax after exams he’ll be spending the summer training. He’s running for CLIC Sargent again and I’m already very proud of him. There will be an even bigger hug and more smiles at the end of the next race 🙂