"Sometimes being strong means asking for help"
Hi! My names Charlie. I have three cats, two little coffee shops and one big phobia of having my photo taken.
It’s unbelievable to me even now sat writing this, that as soon as Nicky asked if I would be up for being part of this project, despite the afore mentioned aversion to getting snap happy, I agreed straight away. Theres no real reason for this apart from the fact that it is an absolute privilege to be given an opportunity to potentially empower someone to do something a little scary or out of their comfort zone and to know that they, that you, are stronger than you know.
I’ve always loved a physical challenge. Not because I’m any good at them and not because I particularly enjoy the events in themselves but because they give me strength when I need it at vulnerable times. I love looking back on things I’ve achieved and knowing that if I put my mind to something I can do it, I can make it happen. That can be something tiny. Like going to Tesco in the morning when the thought of seeing lots of people and remembering shopping lists and juggling twenty jobs in half the time I need, seems a little overwhelming. Or it can be bigger things. Like opening a second coffee shop. I often stop and refer to challenges I have done in the past and use them and the feeling of success I got from them, to help me and to give me the strength to deal with the things I’m doing now.
So when I decided I was going to do a week of challenges for no particular reason apart from the fact that someone said I should on a night out, my close friends and family managed to convince me that I should tell people what I was doing and try to raise some money through it. Of course, it made sense to do this but I knew that that would entail letting everyone know what I was doing which is just not something I was used to doing, or comfortable doing. So I wrote a blog post and updated my social media during the week to let everyone know how I was getting on, basically with the aim of raising as many pennies as possible.
I got so many lovely comments and messages from people throughout the week. I couldn’t believe that people were interested in the things I was doing. I couldn’t believe that some people thought it was out of the ordinary and I really couldn’t believe that people were referring to my strength. I’d never thought of that before. I’d always just told my long suffering chief supporter that the next week I was going to do a ridiculous cycle ride, he’d dutifully escort me there and back having cheered me along in the pouring rain and then I’d crack on with life until the next one. This was a turning point for me though. No matter how hard any of the challenges became, I knew I could and would do them and that I had the strength to do them well.
Strength means different things to different people. I am fully aware that in comparison to the strength some people show in life changing circumstances, this week of silly challenges pales, quite rightly, into insignificance. On a day to day basis though there are so many people out there, whether male, female, young or old have this amazing inner, quiet strength. You are all amazing. Life’s sometimes not easy. Sometimes that’s dealing with day to day things. Sometimes that’s dealing with bigger things.
The things I’ve learnt over the last couple of years, from having my own business, from being more open about the things I am doing are this:
Sometimes being strong means asking for help. Sometimes being strong means just getting through a day. Sometimes being strong means doing something that scares you, like really scares you. Sometimes being strong means believing in yourself, no matter how tricky that might seem.
Whatever it means to you, I bet you can find a time when you’ve had real quiet strength. Real inner strength. If you can remember that time and remember how it feels, then bring it back and you can do anything you want to do.
Charlie wrote a blog about her challenges and you can find that here:https://faysatriverside.com/2018/09/22/laughter-and-lemon-sherbets/
Charlie donated the money raised to the Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society and because of a little boy called Sebi. More details about them here: http://www.bdcps.org.uk/
Charlie did a couple of videos from her week of challenges and they can be found here:
List of challenges Charlie completed:
Saturday 22nd September
26.2 marathon walk in London during the day
10k night hike with the team from work at Moggerhanger in the evening - then obviously on to my brothers birthday party!
Sunday 23rd September
100 mile cycle ride
Monday 24th September
13.1 miles swimming in a local swimming pool – half a marathon.
Tuesday 25th September
The other 13.1 miles swimming in a local swimming pool – the other half done.
Wednesday 26th September
Off to Eastbourne to start the South downs walk – 26 miles done.
Thursday 27th September
39 miles of the South Downs walk completed.
Friday 28th September
35 miles of the South Downs walk – 100 miles done!
Saturday 29th September
Abseil down then Arcelor Mittal Orbit