Saturday, 23 August 2008

A lesson from Arthur & Dolly!

Last weekend I was given the grand responsibility of looking after a friend’s two rabbits, Arthur and Dolly, who have recently had two babies. Both Arthur and Dolly are young rabbits, and are different in looks as they are in personality. Arthur is a strong, sculpted hare with a beautiful coat of grey. On the other hand, Dolly is a fluffy ball of white’ish fur. In fact, when I first saw her, I mistook her face for her backside because her eyes, nose and mouth were hidden behind her long-haired coat; a distinctive feature of the Angora rabbit (I later found out from Joel). In terms of personality, Arthur is a feisty rabbit who doesn’t like a lot of human fussing, e.g. being picked up and stroked (yes... he scratched me enough times for me to learn this lesson quickly enough). Dolly, is a placid creature more amenable to the human touch, enjoying being petted and stroked. Although, I found Arthur’s personality more challenging, over the weekend, I grew to a place of accepting Arthur’s strong-willed nature. Last night, Joel reminded me of a teacher’s mug that I bought several years ago which reads: ‘they’re all God’s little children’. It got me thinking. Indeed, despite Arthur and Dolly’s very different personalities, they are both unique and loved by their owners. In the same way, as we negotiate all manner of personality types in this world we must recognise that in spite of the challenges of human nature, we are all God’s children, and we need to work hard at trying to accept people as they are. This is a useful reminder in any human interaction – a marriage, a friendship, and amongst work colleagues. Dolly and Arthur (more significantly) have taught me there is a certain maturity that comes with adjusting our responses to other personalities, however difficult, and even if they do fall short of our expectations. Accepting people as they are, or rabbits in this case, has been my lesson for the week – incidentally, that choice and responsibility is all of ours to make.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Running for a 'Healthier Africa'...

After a number of years of struggling with bouts of ill health, inevitably my fitness level has really suffered over this period. For a while I tried in vain to maintain the level of fitness which I achieved in my twenties through a rigorous and committed daily exercise regime. Unfortunately, as my health took a turn for the worse in 2005 I found it impossible to keep my exercise routine up, and soon gave up. Hence, it’s been a good couple of years since I exercised consistently, and it’s only in the last three months (as my health has improved) that I have started to re-engage with fitness and exercise. After years of being ‘out of the routine’, it’s such hard work trying to regain that motivation and discipline to go to the gym for an aerobic class, a swim, or even go for a run (a ‘jog-walk’ in my case) around the local park (and it must be said, that I am spoilt for choice in terms of green spaces in the Kings Heath/Moseley vicinity). Therefore as I seek the re-emergence of my athletic self, (well, what’s left of it in the tail-end of my thirties!) I have decided on this undertaking – to complete the Birmingham Adidas 5K. Entering for this 5K ‘run’ (although, I aim to ‘jog-walk’ or ‘power-walk’ the distance) has a dual purpose for me. First, to give me an end-goal that would work as an impetus, to give me the motivation to keep working hard at improving my fitness level. Second, in deciding to run on behalf of Action Aid, I wanted to raise money to support their HIV/AIDS work in Africa – a cause that is close to my heart for many reasons; not least, because my husband and I have been sponsoring a young girl from a Lesotho community since our wedding last July. Receiving intermittent newsletters about her life in her community is always a gentle reminder of the plight that faces the masses on the continent of Africa that suffer daily hardships due to corruption, poverty and disease. For these reasons, I am excited that I am in good health once again to go forward for this Adidas 5K on Sunday, 7th September. Less than five weeks to go! As I’ve alluded to, I will be working hard to get myself fit enough to make it round the 5K comfortably. Not a major distance (I know, having done a 10K about ten years ago in London – completing it in about 50 minutes), however, in light of the uphill health battles I’ve had in recent years – completing this route even in a ‘power-walk’ would be such a great personal achievement. And, as I make this personal ‘step towards a healthier me’, I ask that you support Action Aid by sponsoring my endeavours to make a ‘further step towards a healthier Africa’. I will be updating my blog regularly over the course of the next few weeks to keep you posted on how I am progressing with my training, and fundraising efforts. So, please do stay connected by popping in now and again. I take this opportunity to thank you for all your financial support towards the work of Action Aid!

For more news on this event and to sponsor me visit: