Hi Fitbloggers! I am Jules from JogOnJules. I live in the UK with my ever-suffering partner of 7 years, Steve.
When I found out that I was to be a featured-blogger, my first thoughts were that I am too early into my journey for this and after a lot of thought I decided that I would talk about the reasons I have chosen to make this journey.
I am 37 years old; I was born in the decade of bright, gaudy wallpaper and disco music. As a child I was quite active and would cycle for miles on my Chopper push bike. I enjoyed cross-country running until my teens, when my interest turned to music and computer games…and that is how I stayed. The next 20 years of my life were spent avoiding exercise if I could. The weight started to pile on and my health started to decline. Over the years I have suffered from crippling back pain. Recently I have been diagnosed with high cholesterol.
On 3rd Jan 2003, my niece, Billie-Jane was born. During the pregnancy, we told the news that Billie-Jane had a condition called Holoprosencephaly. We were devastated. We were told that if she survived birth, she would be unlikely to make it to 4 months. I was heart-broken.
Billie made it to 4 months but it was hard for my brother and his wife. She had to be given lots of medicines and was in a lot of pain. At 4 months, the doctors inserted a shunt into her brain to drain away the fluid, reduce the swelling and relieve her pain. Things changed radically after the op. Billie was no longer in pain and she started to grow into a happy child. We knew that she would never walk or talk but the happiness was there for everyone to see. She would laugh all the time and loved music. Billie-Jane reached her 1st birthday, but taking care of her was stressful and hard work. Paul and his wife started to receive help from an organization called Hope House Children’s Hospices. They would take Billie for a weekend to give her family a much needed break. They were amazing; if it were not for them I don’t know how Paul and his wife would have coped. Time went on and Billie reached another milestone…she started school!
On 19th Oct 2010, I was woken by a call. Billie-Jane had passed away. She was 7 years old. She developed Pneumonia during the night; it had taken hold very quickly. There was nothing anyone could have done. My entire family was devastated. Even almost 18 months on I find it hard to talk about her or look at the pictures. Hope House were amazing – they supported the family throughout Billie’s short life and still support them now.
I knew that I wanted to raise money for Hope House so I decided to take part in a 5K fun run later this year. My plan was to walk it, then I decided that I would try to run as much of it as I could. So I started the Couch to 5K plan. I also started blogging about my journey at JogOnJules. Blogging has put me in touch with so many people from all over the world that have supported me and offered advice. The Blogosphere is a huge family! It has been a long slog for me with a couple of false starts but slowly I am learning to run. To start with I thought I was going to have a heart attack but bit by bit I have improved. I am just starting this journey and I know I have a long road ahead of me but every step is worth it when I think of how the money I am raising will help Hope House. It feels amazing to be able to give something back. The added health benefits are a bonus, the back pain is almost gone!
If you would like to follow me on my journey, head over to JogOnJules.