Day One: Welcome to my blog.
It's difficult to put into words how much people like my friend Georgia inspire me. One of the most self aware and intelligent people I know and a Law degree to boot. I'm the furthest thing you'll get to an academic, there is no way I could replicate the inspiration Georgia gives me, particularly when I don't feel like I'm able to pass my exam I am due to sit soon. She makes me feel like it's achievable.
I guess in my own eyes I'm good at 2 things. The 2 things that I would describe myself as and both are to do with my passion for Sport.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays I'm a Hockey Goalkeeper. It's an amazing feeling, when everything else feels difficult and I can't control it, I put my Goalkeeper kit on and in a match it doesn't matter who the other team's keeper is, if she's old, young, rich, poor, if she has Epilepsy or not. We both have the same opportunity to make a difference to the match for our team by making saves and it's the best feeling in the world when I do.
The thing is though I'm 25 and I'm not exactly being signed up as the next Team GB Keeper.
I want to try and emulate the inspiration my friend Georgia gives me and the only way I know how is to ride my bike. To get on it and cycle and then keep cycling.
In 2008 I became the youngest British female to officially complete the 3000 mile Race Across America across all categories and I still am to my knowledge. The thing is, in terms of publicity I got from the race in 08 for Epilepsy awareness, it's a pin prick in comparison to what I could get to doing it again. Solo.
A month or so ago, security check allowing, I found out that I would be carrying the Olympic Torch the day before the 2012 opening ceremony in London. When I was asked to fill out some forms for it, it asked me to say what my dreams for the future were and not giving the form a second thought at the time, I stated that my dream included becoming the first British female to officially complete the RAAM Solo. I didn't think in a million years I would get an e-mail saying I would be a future flame, so almost did the application not really thinking about it. What I was deadly serious about though was the RAAM Solo, not because I wanted it to be me that achieved it and maybe someone will get there before me, but because I wanted someone with Epilepsy to have achieved the status of being the first British female, because then nobody could change that.
It kills me every time I see discrimination against people with the condition. I'm one of the lucky ones, because despite having to rely on medication, I haven't had a full blown seizure in almost 2 years. There are so many people who don't have that luxury and every day they inspire me. It's so difficult trying to find a job at the moment period, never mind having to explain to an employer what to do just incase you have a seizure.
My friends have said that they were scared watching me have a full blown fit, but I wonder what scares them? I wonder why some employers don't think someone with Epilepsy could have a desk job? I wonder why people get scared about telling their partner they have Epilepsy for the first time? But when I think about it, it's obvious. They don't know what Epilepsy is, they see flashing lights warnings and think that applies to everyone with Epilepsy or that the only type of seizure people with Epilepsy suffer from are fits like mine when I can fall down and shake. It may look dramatic, but it doesn't hurt and for me a few hours sleep gets me back to normal.
So this is why I am writing this blog, why I'm going to take part in RAAM again, why I did it in the first place and why if I pass the security check, I don't want anyone to focus on me as a person when I carry the Olympic Torch, but instead on an Epileptic, who could work in an office, cycle across America, play sport and live a great life, because people with Epilepsy can.
I would add one last thing, if you know someone with Epilepsy, why not just ask them about it?