185 mile cycle from 9.30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Rowing the English Channel after getting 1 hour of sleep (and after cycling for 185 miles)
Running marathons (actually longer than marathon distances) for 3 days
I wouldn’t be doing it.
I’ve liked John Bishop’s stand-up comedy for a few years now, and listen to Radio 1 most days. I have to confess that I felt kinda weirdly proud and a little emotional each time I heard him when they called him daily while doing this crazy week of hell.
What I also loved though, was the people that cheered him on.
3 years ago, I sat in a hotel room with my friend Jud watching Comic Relief. I’d driven us from Edinburgh to Watford and was kinda tired. The reason we were in Watford was for an orientation/training day in preparation for us going to South Africa that summer.
I’d grown up watching those appeal videos but that year it became more real – knowing that we would like be seeing some of that poverty in person. It would no longer be just something we saw on TV.
I watched one appeal video with David Walliams, and it reminded me of the kids in Durban who were living on the streets. A month after we went there, police came, took them off the streets, drove them 100 km out of the city and dumped them out there – so tourists wouldn’t see ‘street kids’ during the world cup in 2010. What was lovely was seeing the young boy in a second video, now living in a better place, thanking David for some stuff he had sent him.
I will say that the one thing that bothers me about Sport Relief is they don’t show what they have that we don’t. Joy. Resilience. It’s not all bad out there. I was really pleased to hear John talking to Dermot O’Leary during one of his marathons talking about how people don’t want hand outs – they just need a hand up. Because these are capable people.
They are people with potential.
They are people who probably know how to start solving some of the problems.
This year I donated to Sport Relief because I was inspired by John’s determination and endurance, and the reason why he did it.
I hope that the money does make a difference to save lives.
I hope that one day the western world will stop taking advantage of the vulnerable so that the structure that causes all these problems in the first place, will one day come tumbling down.