After everything I have been through over the past six months, today I am crying. And why? Because my number arrived for the Bupa 10K - a race I applied to take part in before I became ill. Seeing number B14994, my time chip, and my four pins is far more upsetting than I thought it would be. I knew in September that I wouldn't be able to run the race. I knew I couldn't cancel my place and that the pack would eventually turn up. I'm fine about not running it, really I am. So why am I so upset? I suppose it's tangible evidence of my illness. I can hold the number in my hand and know that I'm not fit enough to wear it. It represents my physical weakness. And I guess, deep down, I wonder if I will ever be able to regain my fitness, if I will be able to run the race next year.
And all this has got me thinking. What I need to get over this is a thick skin. And, hey, guess what? I'm a writer. I've got a thick skin! I've managed to write whole novels, big ones too. I've had the courage to send them out into the big wide world with a feeling of hope and a dream of success. And they've come back. I've had hundreds of rejections, from the standard photocopied letter, to a nice email, right the way through to detailed positive feedback. And I'm stronger for it. My writing is better for it. But, and this is the most important thing, I never, ever gave up.
I keep on writing and hoping and dreaming, just as I will, one day, keep on running and hoping and dreaming. So while this paper number, a thing that is so tiny in the scheme of things, has upset me today, it will also inspire me. While I won't be pinning it to my vest and running down the Mall, I will be pinning it to my wall. And every time I look at it I will remember not to give up! It might even help me to finish this novel too.