I started running properly about two and a half years ago. To be honest, a lot of it was because it helped me lose two stone and I thought I was onto something. But I really got into it.
My older brother, Daniel, was a heroin addict. Over the years, the drugs had taken their toll and he'd been getting more and more ill. He died in March 2008. He was only 33.
It didn't take me long after Dan died for me to decide that I wanted to run for a drug charity. I came across Addaction and mentioned them to a friend of mine, who was in the police. She said how she’d arranged to go and meet with Addaction in Walsall, so the local police could find out about the work they doing – and did I want to go along?
So I went, and I thought what Addaction were saying and doing was amazing. They were exactly the kind of people that Dan would have got along with, too. In no time at all, I was running the EDF Energy Birmingham Half Marathon for them.
It was horrible, that first run. I hated all the training and when it came to the race itself, I over did it. My time was an hour and forty eight minutes, and I'd exhausted myself so much I ended up in an ambulance. I think I pushed too much as I felt responsible to Dan and didn't want to give anything less than my all.
I've been better at running since then, though! And I ran the next year's Birmingham Half Marathon with my mate Rachel, whose family had been affected by drugs too. It was such a great day out. We were in fancy dress as Batman and Robin and we had such a laugh, with people cheering, clapping and 'high fiving' us as we went past. We did it in two hours and four minutes and had a brilliant day. We got so many great photos.
In 2009, I helped my friend Heather get a place in the London Marathon, running for Addaction. I wasn't up for the running, but I was certainly up for helping out. We had to raise £1300, and so we held a black tie event to add to the sponsorship Heather got for running. I told Heather that if we raised £3000, I’d run the Marathon in 2010.
Loads of people came – even Simon Antrobus, Addaction's Chief Executive. We had a raffle, with prizes donated by friends and family, and Aston Villa football club donated some signed shirts. I stood up and told people about Dan, and what had happened to my family, too. It was nerve-racking, but I'm glad I did it.
The only problem was that we raised over £3000. So now I'm running the London Marathon. I'm training hard for it, as it's going to be the first marathon I'll do. Who knows? It may be the last! However, I know I want to train hard and do people proud - I'm not going to take their money without putting the effort in, and I want to do a good job.