Adam Guest Case Study Picture 2

Running the Extra Mile for I CAN – Adam’s Blog #1

As part of his ‘Big Running Challenge’ I CAN supporter Adam Guest will be providing a bi-weekly blog, keeping you up to date with his fitness, his daughter Elsie’s progress in school and why he’s going the extra mile for I CAN. See his first blog below.

I’m currently in training for the first event in my “Big Running Challenge” – the New York City marathon on 4th November. I can’t wait to be running through each of the five boroughs but my training could be going better and I could do without niggling injuries. Over the following 8 months I’ll be running three more marathons; Manchester, London and Hampshire, followed by a 24-hour race (from midday to midday) called Thunder Run next July.

Running this many marathons in such a short amount of time, followed by an epic test of endurance over 24 hours, is, on paper, a ridiculous thing to do, so I’ve committed to try and stay fit and healthy.

I have paid for a specialist running coach to completely re-model my technique. I have joined a very expensive (but very cool) gym. I have started swimming (badly). I have started cycling (a bit better). The idea is that the combination of better technique, increased core strength and increased endurance from cross training will mean that I can keep running without getting injured as often.

I’m doing all of this to raise money for I CAN. So why I CAN? I have two beautiful daughters – Elsie, aged 2 (3 next week) and Edith aged 1. Both have their own wonderful, beautiful characters. Edith is a little mischievous but always with a smile. She’s the child who will be naughty but then come and give you a cuddle immediately after. She babbles constantly, waving at strangers and screaming in quiet coffee shops just to see if she can get a reaction. She climbs everything and intentionally falls off things to test if it hurts her or not. Sometimes it does. For some reason she ALWAYS carries a spoon around with her. She’s wonderfully weird.

Her big sister Elsie is an absolute sweetheart. In contrast she is quiet, shy and cautious. She loves dancing, colouring in and reading books. She is shy and relatively quiet. She is extremely intelligent and her vocabulary of words she understands, is vast. However, she struggles with pronunciation of words and isn’t confident talking. Recently she has got a lot better, stringing together several attempts at words to try to form sentences. Some of them my wife and I can understand but they usually leave less familiar people very puzzled indeed!

But she’s incredible! From the age of one, she was using the Makaton sign language that she taught herself through watching Mr Tumble. She began inventing her own signs for things and was usually able to communicate exactly what she wanted through a combination of signs, mumbles and points.

Her reluctance to speak was naturally a worry for us as new parents and especially to me as someone prone to over-thinking and anxiety. On one of the many nights I spent trying to find tips and advice on the internet, I stumbled across I CAN and specifically their Talking Point website. I spent ages on there, reading advice and techniques to help Elsie and reading about positive good news stories. I felt so reassured that this was normal and that support would be there throughout her childhood. I knew immediately that this would be a charity that I could lean on to support me as a parent in helping my daughter.

It’s particularly topical in our house now as last week Elsie started pre-school. This is the first time she’s been away from her Mum with other children for an extended period and is spending it entirely with strangers. It’s a chance for her to come out of her shell and we hope that her teachers and friends see what a lovely, intelligent, fun girl she is. We know it will be tough for her to communicate with them and we hope it doesn’t affect her confidence and instead encourages her into articulating clearer speech.

I CAN have asked me to produce a regular blog to update on how Elsie progresses and on how my running adventure develops. I will be back in a few weeks, hopefully with a better running technique and less grumpiness.

You can read Adam’s first interview he did with us about why he’s going the extra mile for I CAN here.

If you would like to support Adam’s fundraising challenge, you can find out more here.