Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Luxury of Time

Tommorow is promised to no one. Life is too short. We don't have the luxury of time.....
Phrases that we all recognise and understand only too well.

Linking my most recent couple of posts together, today I want to share with you a truly inspirational account, of an ordinary woman, who's fundraising achievements truly deserve to be celebrated.

I’m sure many of you will already be familiar with the incredible story of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE who despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of just 26, was so determined to fight it, she essentially took up running from scratch and went on in the last few years of her life, to raise a remarkable £1.85 million pounds through completing a series of seemingly impossible challenges, such as the London Marathon, Triathlon, Cycle rides across Europe and America.

Now I’ve taken part in a fair number of half marathons and other endurance events over the years, and to me the whole concept of being able to even consider these events let alone competing and completing them whilst continually suffering the effects of painful ongoing treatment for cancer is completely astounding.

Inspirational account

I’ll be honest here, by no stretch of the imagination could I ever be described as a bookworm, and when I do read something, it tends to be non-fiction. However even in the world of autobiographies the market seems all to often to become saturated with vacuous , ghost written dross produced by celebrities on a list so far down the alphabet they haven’t yet invented the appropriate lettering.

But that said, every so often I stumble across a book that really gets through to me, that is absolutely consuming, moving and inspiring.

The Luxury of Time by Jane and cowritten with her husband Mike Tomlinson is definitely one of those books

When you sit down and start reading her account, what strikes you immediately is just how unassuming and genuine she was as a person. The book is painfully honest, dealing with the unimaginable realities of dealing with the most devastating of news, particularly as a mother with three young children.

What is particularly powerful is the way the story unfolds in alternating sections written by Jane and Mike, capturing their absolute determination to make the very most of every extra day they were granted.

In the opening prologue, Jane describes her thoughts as she attended the BBC Sports Personality Awards in 2002, utterly in awe of the sporting greats in attendance and completely unaware of the award and recognition she was about to be given.

A life to be celebrated

When I went through some of the "celebrities" that I've met or seen at close-hand in my life to date in my previous blog, I can categorically say that without question, seeing Jane Tomlinson in the flesh, as she was the honorary starter of the Leeds Half Marathon I took part in a few years back was the most memorable and inspiring celebrity encounter I've ever experienced.

Her legacy lives on to this day - the Jane Tomlinson 10K run in Leeds is now an established fixture on the UK running and fundraising calendars, and her continuing appeal fund  - please take a look at http://www.janetomlinsonappeal.com/ has reached over £3 million

If you only read one autobiography this year - please make it this one.


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