Even though I’ve always kept active – gymnastics and dancing are my big passions – I never really liked running. But next month I will be running a gruelling 26.2 mile race along with the 37,000 runners taking part in the London Marathon.
Why, you ask? Well, it’s not just for the thrill of taking a challenge.
Watch Mike explaining in BSL why he’s running for Sense by clicking here or pressing play below:
I was born deaf and I’m a volunteer team leader for the ‘Friday 50+ Deaf Club’ in North London. I know first hand that being deaf can be challenging if the right support is not there. I also feel that combined sensory loss can make it twice as difficult to find ways to cope, as there is often little awareness of deafblindness.
That’s why I decided that, despite my dislike of running, I would take on a marathon to help raise awareness and funds for Sense, the national deafblind charity.
I’m no stranger to challenges and training hard. In 1987 I was the first deaf person to win the British Veterans Gymnastics Championships. In 2012 I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part as a dancer in the Olympics opening ceremony.
However, running a marathon has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried. Partly because I have a recurring injury on my calf and mainly because I’d prefer to be dancing rather than running!
My target is to cross the finish line in less than five hours and I’m running (and I’m not going to lie sometimes walk) several miles a week to practice. Being new to running I need all the motivation I can get so it’s good news that my friend Toro will be running with me. It’s his fifth marathon and trying to catch up with him will spur me on, although I’m pretty sure he’ll finish way ahead of me!
I’m not scared of the pain that, like most runners, I’ll be experiencing during those last miles on the course. ‘No pain – no gain’ has always been my motto, so the tougher it gets the harder I’ll keep trying!
The hardest bit on race day will be controlling my nerves. I’m hoping I can make the tension work to my advantage by helping me forget the inevitable exhaustion towards the end of the race.
It’s not all just pain and nerves though. Running might not be my favourite pastime but completing the marathon will be extremely rewarding, especially that feeling of taking a challenge to help others. I’ll be in good company too – the thousands of runners raising money for charity and the best crowd in the world cheering us on!
To sponsor Mike Hawthorne, go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MIKEHAWTHORNE
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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