You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line. It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.
Martine Costello, journalist and content strategist

I arrived in Hamburg yesterday, on my own, back to the city where we spent the best part of two years, following Pádraig’s accident. As if that didn’t feel strange enough, I am here to run the Hamburg Marathon today. This is not the first time I’ll be doing it. There was a year, when a few of Pádraig’s friends and I did it together.

But it is the first time in five years – and I am not getting any younger. Or wiser, you might add.

The thing is: I just want to cross the finishing line. I don’t care so much about the time it’ll take me to do it. I’ll do it like a leisurely Sunday morning run. And I’ll try my best not to throw up.

To be honest, I didn’t want to talk about it until it was over.

But there you are.

At a minimum I will have a tale to tell next week.

It took many years for Pádraig to meet a German neurologist, by chance: he was visiting An Saol. He suggested to get so called “Ptosis Eye Crutches” to support his eyelids and facilitate the opening of his eyes which has been difficult from him because of damage to the 3rd nerve, as a result of his accident.

Last week the new glasses (just clear glass) with the all important “crutches” were delivered and fitted. Pádraig and all of us will have to get used to them, to put them on and position them correctly. We have already noted what a huge difference these glasses make to Pádraig and his connection with and participation in the world around him.

While he has been able to open his eyes, it required such a big effort that, using his resources wisely, he only opened his eyes for very good reasons. Now, he will be able to see even the most ordinary things without having to make a big effort.

This is another small but significant step towards normality: participation, equality, and inclusion.

I will be thinking of all these small but important steps today when I will try to cover a long distance – and when with 100% certainty the thought will cross my mind: Why on earth am I doing this?

Because we will continue to take one step at a time, and never give up.

There’s no way out of this because there’s no way we won’t be crossing the finish line.

After all: there is always a bit of fun, humour, and laughter – even in this misery that non-runners don’t understand.