GIVING up chocolate to fit into my wedding dress was quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I manage to fit into the dress, but I also won tickets to the world athletics championships.
This happened because I replaced my usual daily chocolate fix with yoghurt, and not just any old yoghurt but a Muller yoghurt, and Muller had a competition to win tickets to the championships.
Every time I had a yoghurt, I entered the competition. Never in a million years did I think I would win, but you had to be in it to win it. The more I entered, the more I really wanted to be part of the championships, so I decided to buy tickets as a surprise for Chris.
‘That’s fantastic,’ Chris said when I presented him with the tickets. ‘Watch us win tickets with Muller now. We bought enough yoghurt.’
At the time, I’d laughed, thinking it would be impossible. The thought of winning had never entered my mind.
Our wedding came and went, our honeymoon came and went. A few days after we returned home we received an email.
Congratulations. You have won two tickets to the world athletics championships.
I couldn’t believe it. We were going to the championships not once, but twice. I did a little cheer.
‘The only problem,’ Chris said. ‘Is that it doesn’t say which session.’
I stared at the email. The tickets could be for any day of the championships. We spent the next few days waiting for our tickets, hoping and praying that they wouldn’t be for the session we’d already bought tickets for.
‘Midweek tickets won’t be great either,’ Chris said (we live in Yorkshire so would have to sort trains, accommodation, dog and horse care). ‘What we need is tickets to the Saturday or Sunday of the first weekend, or the Friday or Sunday of the last weekend.’
Chris didn’t seem convinced that we’d get the tickets we wanted, but I stayed positive. It would all be fine. I spent four days stalking the postman, and still there was no sign of the tickets.
But on the fifth day, they arrived. With shaking hands, I managed to tear open the letter. Two tickets. For Sunday evening 6th August.
‘We’re going to the world championships,’ I did a little dance and waved the tickets.
My five-year-old niece was with me at the time. ‘Will you run fast at the world championships, auntie Liz,’ she asked.
‘Oh no,’ I said. ‘I’m not running, Olivia.’
‘Why aren’t you running?’ She stared up at me, her eyes wide, waiting for my answer.
‘I’m not good enough,’ I watched the disappointment flash across her face.
‘Why not, auntie Liz?’
Olivia has always thought that I’m an amazing runner, and I did feel slightly disappointed that the illusion was over. ‘I’m not fast enough. They’re the best in the world.’
‘Will uncle Chris be running?’ she asked.
‘No, definitely not,’ I said. ‘He’s too old.’
Olivia nodded and went back to playing with her toys.
Later that night, when she was stalling to go to bed, she facetimed us. The world championships had obviously been on her mind.
‘Auntie Liz,’ she said.
‘If we attach a stick to your head and dangle a bar of chocolate from it, you’d run fast then. You’d be the fastest runner in the world.’ And then she clapped her hands together and laughed and laughed.