On Sunday 8th October I will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Ambitious about Autism. I never thought I’d be writing a sentence about me with the words 'half marathon' in it, but it's happening.
I’ve been with TreeHouse School for 7 years now, starting as an ABA tutor and I am now a qualified teacher in Hazel class. I feel lucky to teach such an amazing bunch of pupils and they are why I come to work every day.
Children and young people with Autism and their families deserve the best possible support and opportunities, and fundraising makes this possible.
I’ve directly seen the difference fundraising makes for our pupils. We recently had an interactive whiteboard installed in class which has been great for teaching and learning, but also in bringing all the pupils together every morning for their love of One Direction dance parties!
I am proud to work for Ambitious about Autism and be part of the work they do in increasing awareness and understanding of Autism outside of my work hours. I’ve contributed to many Ambitious About Autism bake sales throughout my time at TreeHouse but now I am running. Running is still new to me and not something I find easy. I’m not fast, but for me, it’s not about the time, it’s about keeping moving and remembering why I am running.
I’m running for Ambitious about Autism but also for myself. It is a big challenge but it feels good to have a focus and something to work towards over the next few months.
Running has been a great tool for better mental health and as a complete non runner till recently, I would really recommend people just getting out there and trying it, no matter the distance or time.
Movement and staying active is so important for everyone and I’ve seen the benefits with the pupils I work with through activities such as yoga, swimming and just having fun in the playground. My job keeps me very active but I’ve also found an amazing running crew to train with, called Chasing Lights Collective. We meet weekly and learn about running techniques, breathing, strength work and most importantly motivating each other to keep going and enjoying being out and about in London.
I’m really looking forward to the Royal Parks route and am glad the majority of it is around so much green space in the Royal Parks.
Things I am nervous about:
- Not sleeping the night before.
- Knowing how many snacks I’ll need during the race - food is important!
- Toilet queues!
Things I am excited about:
- Eating lots of pasta the night before
- Seeing the cheer zones
I’m about to step up my training plan by increasing my distances which I know won’t be easy but it all comes back to why I am running. I know I just have to think of my pupils and colleagues to give me the boost to keep going.
If you're inspired by Charlotte and want to raise money for Ambitious About Autism by signing up for the Royal Parks Half Marathon, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.