Remembering wise words from my neighbour Dave

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I’m in a New York bar with six fabulous women, taking a moment while they talk about our purchases at Bloomingdales to write this column and reflect on how lucky I am.

I’m lucky to be able to afford to come all the way to the Big Apple, my first time here, without necessarily having to survive on beans on toast for the rest of the year.

And, in a money-can’t-buy way, I’d be hard-pushed to find a better group of girls to come out here with.

This trip is, for me, probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My neighbour in North End, the lovely Dave, gave me a piece of advice before I came out here, and it’s something I’ve embraced.

He said to me: ‘Whatever you want to do, Em, you do it, and don’t give a monkey’s about what anyone else thinks. Life is too short to worry about it.’

Wise words, I think, from Dave.

Because he’s right. Even though I’m in NYC, writing this in some sports bar off Lexington, I know that life is too short to do some of the things you want to do.

And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I brought my running trainers with me out here.

Sure, I wanted the kudos of being able to say I’ve been running around Central Park, but I’m also mindful that coming up I have something of a challenge before me.

I’ll be running 36.2 miles from September 15 to October 28 – the 13.1 mile Great North Run, then the equally tough half-marathon that is the Royal Parks Half in London before finishing up with the 10-mile Great South Run in Pompey in October.

That 36.2 miles is the same as running from Portsmouth to Petersfield and back again.

I’m using these three races as a chance to raise money for The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.

The cause is one close to my heart, as the people there looked after my grandad and the mother of a friend of mine, as well as countless others.

So while I’m sitting here in a New York bar, listening to my friends around me, I’m also thinking of Grandad Jim and asking you to spur me on by giving a donation if you can.

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