For our first blog post of 2019, we hand over to personal trainer Tim Nokes. Tim kindly ran 15 miles for WaveLength on Christmas Day in London. In this post, he talks about why he ran for WaveLength and what it was like.
Fighting loneliness with WaveLength
“I will be honest with you I find Christmas a very hard time of year. I spent a lot of time on my own sometimes this is through choice other times it is just how life goes, at Christmas though it can get very lonely.
This year I wanted to use that feeling to change my situation and embrace being on my own and turn it into a positive to help people far less fortunate than I am. I have always been into fitness and have used it to treat my own mental health problems, I decided on the idea of running on Christmas Day and raising money for a worthwhile cause. Putting off my Christmas dinner for a few hours seemed like the least I could do.
As this was about fighting my own loneliness I decided it would be great to find a charity that worked against loneliness and its devastating effects. I found Wavelength. I instantly loved what they stood for, connecting people through technology. This was something I continue to use in my own life, social media is a great tool for connecting with people all over the world and it has certainly helped me form new friendships and support groups.
Running in London on Christmas Day
London one of the busiest cities on earth always full of life and people everywhere, I was fascinated by the idea of what it would be like on Christmas Day, a time when traditionally you would be at home with friends and family. Running through such a normally busy vibrant place would make the point that loneliness can come at any time and in any place.
It was to be just myself doing the run and putting it out on my Instagram page as I went. I started at the imperial war museum in Lambeth, crossing over the Thames to the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall. Where it was just myself and the armed police at Downing Street – I think they waved at me I wasn’t sure…
I ran down the mall towards Buckingham palace where there were surprisingly a few small crowds of tourists enjoying a Christmas walk. Through Hyde Park and along Mayfair toward Marble Arch, here I saw many homeless people completely alone in the cold. It simply isn’t right that in 2018 there are so many left alone, hopefully the work of groups like WaveLength and others will help bring this to an end.
I continued through London, Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Fleet Street where I saw a mix of tourists enjoying the quiet and families on their way to Christmas lunch somewhere. At this point about 8 or 9 miles I really wanted mine…
I made my way to St Pauls and along the Thames towards Tower Bridge. London on Christmas Day is bizarre it is like the pause button has been pressed everything is still where it usual is and there are people there but no one is moving, no one is rushing and suddenly we all seem to have time for each other. A few people asked me what I was doing and I think I explained it well enough through my tiredness and heavy breathing!
Crossing the bridge to the Southbank I only had a few more miles to go. I was feeling very proud of myself and grateful for everyone who had sponsored me, I was thinking of people who would be spending the day on their own and how simple gestures and basic things can help those people. The small amount of money that this run raised will go towards connecting someone who is alone, making a huge change in their day to day life. It also made me think how even in a place as busy as London there are people alone who have been forgotten and it’s up to all of us to remember them.
Now I would like my Christmas dinner…”
Thank you from WaveLength
WaveLength’s CEO, Tim Leech said:
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Tim Nokes for running 15 miles for WaveLength on Christmas Day. We know that Christmas can be a challenging time for people, so it is wonderful to see Tim using his experiences to have a positive impact. His donations will allow WaveLength to continue giving technology to people who are lonely across the UK.”
To support Tim Noke’s Just Giving page, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tim-nokes1