What I'm doing
Many of you will know what a reluctant exerciser I am, and how recently I've said things like "Running? That's a chump's game!" or "Running again? Chump move, my friend!". So it will no doubt shock and impress you to know that I'm facing up to my lifelong fear of cardio to run in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, supporting Orchid Project.
Why I'm doing it
So, let me tell you about Orchid Project. It's the charity I work for, and their goal is to end female genital cutting (FGC) worldwide. FGC affects over 200 million women and girls across the world, and a further 3.9 million girls are at risk of being cut this year.
Orchid Project works with communities to help them reach the point where they're willing and able to declare abandonment of the practice. It's an approach that works, it's sustainable, and I truly believe that as part of this movement we can see the end of this practice within our lifetimes. So if the prospect of seeing me embarrass myself all over Hyde Park and St James's Park doesn't inspire you to donate, you can give because it's a genuinely wonderful organisation and a shockingly under-funded issue.
What I'll do for you
I'll be writing weekly posts with photos for each of the next 7 weeks leading up to the race, and if you donate you'll be able to read along and witness a man's soul and resolve be worn down to a tiny nub. You'll also be able to do this if you don't donate, because they'll be public posts, but then you reading my blog will have a kind of voyeuristic prurience to it, so you'll just have to own that.
And if you're particularly inspired by this cause, or if you just like to spread the love and athletic validation around, please do check out my colleague Miranda Dobson's page. She's also running the race in support of Orchid Project, and will doubtless be finishing with grace and aplomb several miles ahead of me.