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May 21st 2015

Paul Spence Ibiza Challenge: Day 3 – I’m in a world of pain – but spirit and belief will get me home

Paul Spence Ibiza Challenge: Day 3 – I’m in a world of pain – but spirit and belief will get me home

Three down, one to go.

Three down, one to go.

First the good news. Doing this four marathon challenge in Ibiza has made me realise just how fit and strong I am again. Three years after my brain injury, when my life was blown to pieces, I have just run three back-to-back marathons for the first time in my life.

Despite all the difficulties, I am proving to myself that I can push the boundaries and achieve my goals. Actually, I can do more than that, I can surpass them.

Now the not so good news.

I have one more marathon to go, and I am currently in a world of pain. As I have mentioned over the past few days, the steep hills and declines and the rocky paths we have been running on have done their damage.

I’ve damaged my ankle and it is badly swollen, so the final marathon will have to be completed with my ankle strapped up.

It will make the final day the toughest yet, and if I am honest, if I had been fully aware of how demanding each of these four marathon courses were going to be when we were planning, I probably wouldn’t have taken up this challenge.

However, I am here now, and the aim has always been to inspire people who suffer serious brain injuries and to show what can be achieved. Giving up is not an option. I won’t let the people down who have been following my progress on this challenge. I won’t let myself down by not completing it either.

The course we took on day three was visually stunning. Starting in San Antonio, we went down the west coast, ending in Es Vedra, looking out to the magic rock. I completed the run in just over five hours and 40 minutes, which I was pleased with.

It is a wonderful, spiritual place to be, and spirit and belief is key whenever you are facing a major challenge in life. When I had my brain injury, I didn’t allow my spirit to be broken.

Strength comes from your soul, so when you find things a struggle, you have to find your strength from your soul and try and enjoy life the best you can, and do what you can.

The approach is ‘can and do that bit better’. That’s what carried me through my journey over the past three years, and what will hopefully carry me through my final marathon challenge.

Thank you for your continued support. It really has made a difference to me, and hopefully has helped raise awareness further of the extra support needed for people with brain injuries, alongside the work of Headway in its national Action For Brain Injury Awareness Week.

To donate to my charity Paul, which is raising money to establish a new walk-in support centre for people with brain injuries, go to https://pledgie.com/campaigns/29249

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