Those of you following this blog will know that there is an enormous hill right at the start of my route. It’s massive. Huge. I can barely walk up it without needing to stop and catch my breath. That hill and I are not friends.
So this morning I thought I’d try and be clever and outsmart it. Instead of tackling it straight on, I decided to do the route in reverse as that way I get to go down the hill rather than up it. Right?
And for the first 1km I was feeling quite smug. The road was flat and I happily plodded along, watching the tractor plough the neighbouring field and enjoying the feel of the fresh air on my face.
Then the terrain started to steepen, just gradually at first but enough for me to notice. And then it steepened some more, and some more. And so for about 1km, I was shuffling up a long and winding slope, my legs feeling like lead, my face red and sweaty. I was not happy.
So now I have a choice: get the massive hill over and done with at the start of the route, or run the opposite way round and have a much longer hill to do, which may be less steep but still hurts just as much as the big one.
This is not the same as the Impossible Choices that prisoners of conscience face.
All around the world, people are persecuted for standing up for their rights and beliefs.
This persecution may involve threats to them and their families, losing their jobs, being denied access to vital services, arrest and imprisonment, torture or worse. Many lose their livelihoods, their freedom, even their lives.
These people face impossible choices.
Do they keep quiet and let the rights and freedoms of them and their loved ones be abused? Or do they stand up for what they believe in and put themselves or their families in danger?
If they are persecuted for their words and actions, do they stay and face the risks or flee into the unknown? Do they take their family with them or leave them behind? Either option is fraught with danger, poverty and emotional trauma.
This is why I am running 2.6km every day for 26 days. To raise money to support human rights defenders who have had to make impossible choices. Vital funding that will ensure immediate relief, resettlement and requalification at the time of greatest need.
Would you like to join me?
We are still looking for people to complete their own 2.6 Challenge on behalf of Prisoners of Conscience. You don’t have to run. You can choose whatever activity you want: cycling, walking, cake-baking (or eating!), hopping, skipping, jumping, reading, writing or whatever your imagination can come up with!
Once you’ve selected your activity, you can either make a donation to Prisoners of Conscience or set up a fundraising page and ask your friends and family for sponsorship. The choice is yours.
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
With huge thanks as always,