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52 half marathons in 52 weeks – bigmoose

Victoria Hall, a lawyer and executive coach, has set herself a huge personal challenge, called ‘You v You’.

She is aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity bigmoose, by running 52 half marathon distances in 52 weeks, ending with the Cardiff Half Marathon in October 2023.

She is now over halfway towards her target and admits it’s a challenging yet rewarding experience as she raises much-needed funds for the charity, which aims to help people with their mental health, prevent suicide and reduce homelessness.

Her story is a thought-provoking one and below you can read why Victoria has decided to take on this challenge.

Victoria said: “I personally believe that we are the biggest opponent to our own achievements and that we spend too much time comparing ourselves to others instead of focusing on what we can contribute and achieve as ourselves. Hence You v You!

“It is more often than not myself that stops me from achieving anything I want to. It is me that does not make good decisions, it is me that tells me I am not good enough, it is me that that tells me I cannot do it.

“I have always wanted to be myself and since living by this concept life has been so much better. However, there were a few months where I started losing sight of this You v You concept and that critical voice started creeping back into my decision-making.

“I used to do a lot of challenges in my past and I have not done many recently.  One of the reasons has been lack of internal inspiration and motivation. I have listened to many ‘inspirational speakers’ and read many ‘inspirational books’ but have often found them uninspiring at a personal level as it is not something I would ever do or achieve (at this point in my life anyway, maybe never).

“The problem with motivation is that it has to be in relation to a goal that is achievable, albeit just slightly out of reach so we stretch ourselves, setting goals that are too far past our current capability is in fact de-motivating.

“That doesn’t mean though that we don’t change our concept of what is achievable along our journey. That is not to say what other people achieve is not inspiring, the stories and achievements are amazing, it just may not work to motivate us to do something.

“Unlike the amazing bigmoose founder, Jeff Smith, I am unlikely to climb Everest. I am also unlikely to ever be the first women to canoe around the world on a plank of wood. In fact, I am unlikely to be the first women/person to do anything really and so why bother?

“That got me thinking. Why am I comparing myself to others again? I can set my own inspiration for what I want to achieve and so that is what I have done with this challenge. The only person holding me back was me! We are all unique. No-one else can tell us what is best for us since they don’t live in our minds and bodies. We are subjective.

“After a period of burnout a few years ago, I had to re-assess my life and who I am. I found that I often held myself back through negative self-judgment and fear of failure. However, what I came to realise was that no-one else can tell me what I can achieve, what inspires me, what my limits are or who I should be. And so the #victoriachallenge52weeks idea was born.  

“I am running 52 half marathon runs in 52 weeks. That is a lot of running for me to do and fit in around three children and work but I am going to do it. Although I am raising money for bigmoose during this challenge, I am mainly doing it for me. Selfish? No, I want to set my own challenge to inspire myself and push my limits. It is also a test of my commitment.

“Change needs commitment, learning needs commitment, and development needs commitment. Commitment is a life skill. And I would love other people to join in with their own 52-week challenge. It doesn’t have to be running. It can be anything that inspires a positive change in your life which you can commit to once a week for 52 weeks.

“When I was burnt out, I was of no use to anyone else at all. Having a purpose, having goals and having the commitment to my development helps my mental health and the running helps my physical health. That is two of the steps in my HELP – Burnout Prevention Model covered off straightaway!

“Bigmoose does an amazing amount of work supporting mental health, suicide prevention and homelessness which is why I have chosen to fundraise for this charity. Not only do they provide people with formal help and support when needed, as a charity they are a generally supportive community who help and encourage people to be their best and get out there and achieve great things for themselves. So it is an honour to help them raise the funds for ‘project £1million’.

“I don’t want to be static, I want to grow and I think it will be an exciting journey. I believe that personal change starts in small steps defined by ourselves. If change was easy, we would all do it and there would not be thousands of books on the subject.

“You can have an idea of where you are going but you don’t need to know the outcome.  I don’t know what will happen as a result of doing this challenge. I should at least get fitter! It is a stepping-stone approach to going on a journey and the biggest opponent to starting is usually ourselves. Our excuses, our lack of energy, our negative talk, our self-doubt, our fear of failure. It is You v You.

“I may run 52 half marathons in 52 weeks and never run again. Or I may go on and do marathons. Who knows. What I do know is that it will lead somewhere new.”

Anyone who wants to support this great cause can donate by clicking here

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