By Louise (October 2nd) ... On April 12, 2010 Chris and I married in the idyllic setting of Barbados. On the morning of our wedding we did our usual daily run along the beach much to the amusement of other hotel guests and staff who thought we were bonkers. Running is what you do to get yourself in shape for a holiday, to then spend 2 weeks lying on a sunbed eating and drinking whatever you like. Not Chris and I!!
Running and sport in general was an integral part of our lives especially for Chris who had been training and competing since his teens. When we met he had only just retired and thought that training twice a day 5 times a week was normal!!! It made my 3-4 times a week, and once a day I might add, look pretty poor.
Chris was born with a genetic heart disorder and during our relationship Chris had spent a number of years in poor health having had 2 brain tumors and pancreatitis, a side effect of his chemotherapy, but at all times he maintained such dignity and he trained. His focus was the use of sport to get both his mind and body back to health. His underlying heart condition was a minute thing in his life.
I have a huge amount of respect for Chris in so many ways and his drive, dignity, self-discipline and determination is something that I have carried forward from a man of so many talents. Running has been a therapy for me in coming to terms with the loss of my husband. It initially provided me with normality at a time when all sense of normality had been lost. It is an outlet for the mass onslaught of emotions that at times are so overwhelming you do not know what to do with yourself. For me the answer is to get my trainers on, go for a run or throw myself around a circuit.
I joined the Dubai Creek Striders a year after Chris died after a casual comment from a friend telling me I would make a cracking distance runner with my fitness level, size and build and sheer stubbornness!! I am not sure I would say I am cracking but the size and stubbornness are true so every Friday morning I am up at 5am to run the streets of Dubai. I’ve progressed and have undertaken a half marathon and now it’s time to take on the big one – London.
Paul and I have both been lucky enough to gain golden ballot places though the CMA (Cardiomyopathy Association) and will be running for the Chris Ajala Tribute fund. It’s an honour to be supporting such a great charity and so we have decided to honour Chris’ drive, self-discipline and determination by undertaking 5 events over 5 months to raise £5000. Chris never did anything by halves; he had one setting – attack. Paul and I will afford the same approach – wish us luck.
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