Recently I've been feeling like I need to make a difference...

Recently I've been feeling like I need to make a difference.  I want to look back at the end of this year and be able to say 'yes, Nat, you really did help someone and managed to make a difference with that'.

After recent events, I've been left feeling like I need to be doing something meaningful with my spare time and doing something to help people/charities/groups.  I'm lucky to be blessed with good health now and feel like I should be making the most of that to help those who aren't as fortunate as me.

Sat at work this afternoon I've been racking my brains about what I can do to set the wheels in motion and act upon this sudden desire that's washed over me.

Last weekend, I did a 25 mile bike ride for charity - and I loved every second.  Those who know me well will know that exercise isn't something I particularly enjoy doing.  I go to the gym so that I can eat rubbish food and not feel as guilty about it.  I certainly do not go for fun.  So I was surprised that I enjoyed the bike ride so much.

The fact it was sunny and the route was picturesque probably helped a lot, but it was also strictly 'not a race' and was full of people of all ages and abilities which made for a really fun, relaxed atmosphere.

After I watched the London Marathon last month I got that aching feeling in my stomach - I wanted to run a marathon.  I don't actually want to run a marathon - I could see that being a complete and utter hell for the many hours it would take me.  But that is precisely why it is the sort of thing that I would want to do for charity.  I don't want to be doing something I enjoy while raising money, because people won't sponsor me to do that.  If that was the case, I'd be doing a sponsored shop or a sponsored drinking session or a sponsored sleep.

I want to do something that is going to test me, challenge me and push me so that I know that every second I am enduring whatever it is I choose to do, someone, somewhere will be benefitting from my pain.  (I could insert a quote here about pain being temporary but I'll save that until I've chosen said challenge and overuse it then!)

In 2011 I did a skydive and raised over £700 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  From what I can remember, I did not enjoy that for one single second.  The fact that soon after I got pneumonia and almost died encourage me to do anything like that ever again, so I'm thinking my next endeavour will see me keep both of my feet firmly on the ground.

In July, me and a couple of girls from work are doing the Pretty Muddy Race for Life, which is just like the standard 5km Race for Life but with lots of mud and an obstacle course.

The bike ride and Race for Life don't seem to be enough to satisfy this feeling that I've got of wanting to do something to help people.

I'm not sure yet who I want to help (there are some local charities I want to help raise money for as well as national charities like the British Lung Foundation and Bowel Cancer UK) or what I want to do to help them, but I am determined to do something.  And this year.

This blog post doesn't have a specific aim or reason, it's merely just to share this aching desire that I have to help with the world.  That way, I'll be more inclined to follow it up and take part in some challenges - whether it be a 10k run or a 24 hour bike ride in the gym.

Any suggestions of what I can do would be greatly appreciated.  Of course, I could set up a standing order each month and donate money to these charities but that's too easy.  I want to raise awareness as well as money and that will only happen if I push myself to my limits.

I'll keep you updated with my quest to make a difference.  Now it's in writing and on the internet I'll feel even more compelled to follow up this sudden urge that I have.  I definitely, under no circumstances, will be doing another skydive, though!

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