ENO Chorister, David Campbell, is running the London Marathon on 13 April 2014 in support of former ENO Chorister Jenny Wilson-Best and the charity Revive MS Support. Read David’s story below.
Two years ago I was almost 19 stone and very much fitted the popular stereotype of an opera singer. I was finding my job at English National Opera increasingly tiring and my increasing size was a source of frustration. The last straw came one afternoon as I tried to play football with my two sons and had to stop almost immediately as I was so out of breath. Ashamed and embarrassed I vowed that enough was enough and signed up to a local gym and started a fitness and diet programme. I was encouraged and nagged by family and friends to persevere and, after just three months, I was thrilled to have lost 2 stone. As my weight continued to drop and my fitness increased friends encouraged me to get out of the gym and take up running. Five kilometre jogs around a local park to start and then gradually increasing distances until I managed to run ten miles. In September 2012 I entered my first half marathon which I was delighted to finish in little more than 2 hours. Two more 'halfs' followed, and then, inspired by watching last year's event on television, I decided to enter the ballot for 'the big one' - a place in the 2014 London Marathon.
I was in the middle of a rehearsal for The Magic Flute when I got a message confirming my place. I immediately decided that I wanted to run in aid of my colleague and friend Jenny Wilson-Best and the charity Revive MS Support which does so much to help and support her and many others living with Multiple Sclerosis. Jenny has been a regular member of ENO's extra chorus for a many years and has inspired all of us with the way she has battled her illness while continuing to sing and perform opera for many of the leading companies. In 2011 she reluctantly decided to stop travelling from her home in Glasgow to London and instead concentrate on working for Scottish Opera, since then we at ENO have very much missed her wonderful artistry, her ready smile and rather mischievous sense of humour. A few weeks ago I travelled to Glasgow to visit Jenny and had a chance to look around Revive MS Support. The range of therapies and treatments they provide is hugely impressive, but what struck me even more was the friendly and very caring atmosphere that the staff provide. Jenny told me that she particularly appreciates having the opportunity to drop in and to simply talk with others living with MS - as well as their carers - and the chance, over a cup of tea, to swap experiences and provide mutual support to one another.
I came back home inspired and determined to do my all to raise much-needed funds for such a worthy cause. As I write this in early January I have upped my distance to 16 miles and and have a total of 200 miles of training runs to complete before 13th April when I line up in Greenwich Park to embark on the 26 mile route through London to the finish at Buckingham Palace. You can keep in touch with how I get on by following my Twitter feed: @dafidave. Having started this in order to keep up with my children I was delighted when, just last weekend, my twelve year old son asked if he could come and run a race with me! That was something I simply couldn't have imagined happening just two years ago.
If you’d like to support David in his fundraising quest, please add your comments of support to the thread below. You can donate online or text: DCJB - the amount - to 70070.comments powered by Disqus