The Edinburgh Marathon festival is one of my highlights of the year. I love the buzz and the excitement in the air.
This year I took part in the Half Marathon, which was my eighth running event. I trained hard for it and felt great on the day. Until I had a nasty fall at the seven-mile mark.
I had a decision to make. Should I stop or should I pick myself back up and keep going? On realising that I had no serious head injuries, I decided to give the next six miles my best shot. We learn through experience and this event was one that will stick with me for some time. I ran through the pain and thought of so many others who experience far worse scenarios both physically and mentally.
Someone who feels the same and takes the discomfort zone to the next level is Macaulay Rhind. He took on “The Hairy” challenge with a mission to complete the five, ten, half and full marathons over the same weekend. In a kilt! He is not one to shy away from a challenge, having reached the summit of Mont Blanc in September 2016.
After getting his London Marathon medal this year, also in a kilt, he was ready to show Edinburgh what he is made of. I had a huge lump in my throat as I watched his live video on Facebook. I can only imagine how heavy that kilt felt in the blistering heat.
He kept moving, thinking of all those who inspire him. Thinking of those taking part in the event with physical ailments and those fasting for Ramadan, yet attempting such a physically exhausting run. As he approached the long-awaited finish line, he passed out and was carried over the final few steps by friends and family. Now that is sheer determination and drive. He had a vision and nothing was going to stand in his way. He trusted that he would get the job done. He had faith in the medical support available and the support from all those who cheered him on.
The EMF 2017 reminded me that life can get tough but we can get through it. We can pick ourselves back up and allow others to help us to do so as well.
JoJo Fraser is a mental health ambassador and author of the popular blog mummyjojo.com