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Time to Take on a Challenge

Whether you enjoy going to the gym, running around a park, swimming or taking part in different classes, now is the time to make it really count. Although post workout makes you feel more confident and better for actually leaving the house, especially after a night out or when you really want another chocolate bar; now you can make a difference to somebody else’s life too.

Charity’s all around the UK and the world are waiting for people like you to be brave and sign up to an event to raise money for a great cause. These include a half marathon, marathon, 10k run, triathlon, moonwalk; the list is endless. And it won’t just make you feel good about yourself, you will be making somebody else’s day too. The only really hard part is signing up. The click of the button that suddenly stores your name on the taking-part list (and yes you do then have to show up); and that then means the training starts… But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Exercising is good for the body and mind in a vast amount of ways. But instead of thinking about you physically, think about a personal favourite charity that you could put all your hard work towards. You can still go to the gym, zumba, runs, but suddenly a hell of a lot more meaning and worth are attached.

See it as your new year to take on a challenge; and there’s no greater feeling of achievement or happiness when you give to those who deserve a little bit of help (ignoring the feeling of success when you can march past the sweet and chocolate aisle in Sainsbury’s.)

Over the holidays, I decided to sign up for a half marathon with my friend who has suddenly become my new – and much needed – personal trainer. If you can persuade your friends to participate with you, suddenly the daily runs, walks or swims don’t seem so bad. You can motivate one another on the days when you refuse to show yourself from under your warm blanket to feel cold air.  Yet once you’ve gone out and done it, you can tick that exercise off your list, snuggle up with a soothing hot chocolate and relax. For some added bonuses, you could always guilt trick your Mum into booking you a massage to help those muscles… and with the amount of energy you’re burning, everyday can be treat day – say yes to the family pack (except just for one) chocolate buttons on offer.

If you put your mind to it, everyone has the commitment and dedication to pursue something. If you don’t want to start too big, enter into a local 5k and grow from there. Each penny counts and you’ll be making a change to someone’s life and helping a charity all by your own doing. Not only this but it will keep you in shape and there are a large amount of programmes to help you train. For example, Run by My Asics. Without even knowing it, by simply submitting your application form, hundreds of people are already supporting you and believing that you can do it. Feel the inspiration, feel yourself grow in confidence that you can achieve it; and feel guilt-free when you just need a bit of chocolate to cheer you up.

Finally, if you want a little nudge, the Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon – the one I am participating in – is still open for applications. I’ve begun training through this grim weather but knowing I’m supporting Alzheimer’s Society makes each training day bearable. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can support my event on: http://www.justgiving.com/gabriellablock – any donation will be greatly appreciated.


I am a third year student at the University of Nottingham studying English with Creative Writing. I love to travel, read, swim, keep fit, and listen to music. In my spare time, I enjoy meeting up with my friends and family to watch films or go for drinks.Follow me on twitter @gabyblock 
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