On Thursday 2nd February Carolyne Crowe attended the Brooke Supporter Day in London.
Here she describes why she is #ProudToBeBrooke and why she and her colleague Brian Faulkner will be running ten marathons in ten days during April 2017 in aid of international animal welfare charity Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys.
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… I’m also married to a vet who is an equine surgeon and so there are lots of horses in the family.
Unfortunately, we have lost too many friends and colleagues through suicide. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but in the veterinary profession we have significant mental health and wellbeing issues so I wanted to do something more for us positively within the profession, so about four years ago I trained as a personal performance coach. I then went on to further training and became a health and wellbeing consultant within the profession as well.
So what I now do is I help individuals, teams and practices overcome the personal and professional challenges they face. So now I train individual vets and teams to look after themselves so they can look after the animals. And so for me, the Brooke is a perfect charity that combines both my passions – making a difference to the lives of people and making a difference to the lives of the horses and donkeys and mules as well. It’s just a really nice combination.
This is who we are and what we’re doing.
We’re running to help animals and we’re running to help people.
But, you know, the question I get continually is why? Why would you do this? Why ten marathons? Why not go for a spa day for your fortieth? Why not just watch the London Marathon once again on the TV? Why would you do that?
And my answer always is why not? We don’t know what curve balls are coming round the corner, what life is going to throw at us next, so what I can, I’ll try.
As we get older, stuff happens to friends and families. And others may wish that they could walk ten steps let alone run ten marathons. I was very much inspired when I think of things that have happened. One of our colleague’s son was an amazing guy. He was just about to go to university. he had just had a year travelling around the world. Really sporty, really academic and had his whole life in front of him. Unfortunately, he was in a car accident and he became quadriplegic and is now on a ventilator. And the struggles he goes through every single day are really something compared to the mental and physical pain I will have in ten days, so again whilst I can, I’ll try.
In my work with vets and doctors and dentists, and the professional athletes that I work with, I talk about creating the stories that you’re going to have at the end of your life. So imagine yourself sitting there in your rocking chair when you’re eighty or ninety and you’ve got your friends and the people you really care about around you. What have you done? What have you become? Who are you? What stories are you telling them?
And so for me, this year is about me creating one of those stories for my own life, so that I can tell my grandchildren that this is what I’ve done.
Another why is to inspire and to inspire others to do something. Each day I’m inspired by everybody I work with whether that is my colleagues, whether that is clients or friends, whether that is my children. And if I can inspire other people to think outside the box, to stretch themselves out of their comfort zone, to dare to dream and take action, then that makes me happy, that makes me fulfilled.
And it’s not about running multiple marathons at all. I truly believe that we all have a choice how we live our lives and certainly we can do something about that. When we harness positivity and we try, you never know. You can really do amazing things.
This is my family in the middle here – my young son Angus who is six, my husband Ollie and then my daughter Kitty who is eight, and my running partner Nahla is our black lab.
It was Kitty my daughter who said the other day, just before Christmas when this had been building in momentum, “Mummy, I know what I want to do. Can I run two miles a day with you at each marathon location?” and I was like, “Wow! Yes, of course you can.” So she has been inspired to do something. It’s not going to be easy for her. It’s not going to be easy for any of us, but you know, if we can just dare to dream, you never know what’s going to happen. So to inspire people … and as I said what I can, I’ll try.
So what are we doing and where are we going?
This is our plan. We start on April 14th, Good Friday, in John o’ Groats. We then go to Orkney and we run around Orkney. We then go down to Inverness and we run around Loch Ness. We then start in Dunfermline and run along the coast into Edinburgh to finish on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. We then pop over to Cookstown … pop over sounds really easy. We go to Cookstown where Brian grew up and then we go to Galway and then we come back over into England and we run around where I live and grew up in Gloucestershire. From there, what we do is go over the Severn Bridge, touch Wales and then straight back again and end up at my husband’s practice. We then head down to Lands End. We then start in Windsor and we’ll run along the Thames path into London, ready then for 23rd April 2017 when we’ll do the London Marathon.