When I started running I believed that I was running from something; from my grief, from my depression and from the helplessness I felt crushed under. It wasn’t until June 9th 2016 that I realised I hadn’t been running from something all this time. I was in fact running towards something; I was running towards her.
It would take me 1198 days to do what I knew I would do even on that first day; ask her to marry me. We aren’t the most traditional of couples, so there was no massive diamond or extravagant engagement on top of a mountain in Tuscany. Just a bench and a wooden ring.
To understand why I proposed using a bench we have to flashback a few years. Where I used to live had a footpath that led to a stunning view overlooking the valley below. There used to be a bench positioned perfectly for the view and it was there my partner and I would sit for ages and chat the world to rights. The bench was rusted, shifted out of shape by years of sheep using it as a scratching post and missing slats from weathering the cutting winter winds. To everyone else who walked past the bench it was an eye sore but to us it was a landmark of our love. The bench fell apart earlier in 2019, finally succumbing to the elements, which both of us were devastated by.
So after returning from Marathon des Sables I got a new one commissioned and had it inscribed with the simple but life changing words;
“shall we go on an adventure?”
I installed it in the same spot; a seemingly unimportant field in a quiet corner of the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is so rooted in who we are as individuals, there was no where else I considered asking her but in the area we grew up, only a few miles apart.
My partner has been my rock, my sounding board and an unending source of laughter. We’ve gone on a lot of adventures together, now we embark on our biggest…