Here’s some things I’ve done this week:
Told a new customer to the coffee shop that I loved them. Sorry if this was you, I didn’t mean to come across so keen.
Cried when my boyfriend told me I couldn’t adopt a Greek three legged cat. I know, I don’t understand his point of view either. Maybe its pay back for the above?
Wore my shoes on the wrong feet for an entire day and gave myself a blister. An entire day. When you see what’s coming up later you will get that this is less than ideal.
Walked nearly 2 miles home then realised my car was with me all along. Then got a taxi to take me back to my car.
Stayed up till 2am writing a blog post, when my alarm is set for 5.15am and I have a hella day ahead. Don’t worry people, I’ve set the blog to post at around lunch time so I don’t look like a loon.
Here’s why I think I’ve done these things:
I’ve been nervous and excited and jam packed trying to fit everything in, in preparation for next week. Let me explain.
Think back to Friday 31st August 2018. Circa 3am. I’ll tell you what I remember. There I was, having a lovely old time in The Noble Rot (I know, I know – nothing good is ever going to come of this) when someone asked me what challenges I had done this year.
Over the last few years a weekend hasn’t been complete without a long-distance cycle event or a triathlon that I definitely haven’t trained for or a really steep mountain, or two, or three, or a stupidly long walk where you’re supposed to navigate your own way around. But this year, the challenges have been on the quiet side. So right there, right then, I declared I would do a week of challenges, cram them all in to a week to make up for a lazy summer. There, that would do it. That’ll show them.
The annoying thing is, once I’ve said it out loud its always going to happen. There are a lot of crazy ideas lurking around in my head but once its out there then I just have to do it. So, here’s how it is. Here’s how my week ahead is going to pan out. And here’s where I need your help.
Some of the challenges I have done in the past I have done with other people – these are always the best ones and the ones which pass the quickest and with laughter and lemon sherbet’s. We get each other round, encourage each other with whatever we are doing and only the best of you can come out when the other is struggling, and vice versa. It’s always so lovely to finish something with someone by your side and to celebrate with someone who knows how hard that thing you just did was.
Most of the challenges I have done in the past I have done by myself. Weirdly, most of the people I know prefer to go to a festival, go for an avocado & turkey bagel at their local coffee shop (they’re not all bad) or a wander round the shops on their weekends. They don’t know what their missing (blisters, achilles heel torture, early starts).
Well, I say I do them alone, the guy who wouldn’t let me get the cat normally tags along, shouts encouragement throughout the day and is there with the bandages at the finish line, but the challenges, more often than not, I do alone. I like the head space. I like the time to reflect. I like looking around and just appreciating that moment and what’s going on and what’s happening. So that covers the first 10 minutes.
Then I have this routine pattern of what my brain thinks. Warning: look away now if you’re not good with flashing lights. It goes a little something like this…
1.This is so exciting, I cant wait to do this!
2. Look guys! I’m doing it! I’m actually doing it! NB this is normally communicated by just smiling really enthusiastically at people I don’t know. They don’t normally engage.
3.. Why am I doing this? This is the most stupid idea I’ve ever had. I wish I was at home watching that new box set that Robin told me about. I totally could have had a whole day of not working and watching that.
4.. Actually this isn’t so bad. Look at that lovely tree.
5.. I don’t actually think I can do this.
6.. Perspective. Just put this into perspective.
At this point, I always, without fail, think about a beautiful soul, Sebi.
I met him while I was working with Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society. I only worked with him for a short while – a couple of months maybe but I always think of him when I do a challenge. Sebi had to deal with things no one should ever have to deal with, let alone someone who was still a child and should be enjoying life to the full. He had to deal with things he didn’t want to be having to deal with on a daily basis, every single day. You’d never know it though. In the time I worked there, there was never a time when I didn’t see him smiling, or laughing, or being cheeky and impacting a room of people in such a positive way. He just cracked on. He just made the best of it, saw the bright side and just cracked on. Thank goodness for Sebi.
So really, its actually just putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, one mile at a time and keep smiling. Simples. Thanks Sebi.
In memory of Sebi and all the other amazing children that are just like him, who always makes me see sense and remind me how lucky and privileged I am and how easy my life is, I hope to raise a few pennies for BDCPS. I’ll let you know a little bit more about them during the week but just know that it is run by a small group of people who give their heart and soul to providing opportunities, support and love to children and families with cerebral palsy.
Here’s a little bit of how I’m hoping to do these things…
Saturday 22nd September
A bloomin’ early start driving down to London for a 26.2 marathon walk. Only thing is, it was my brother’s birthday this week and he’s having a party in the afternoon so its definitely going to be a speed walk or maybe a jog if I’m feeling that enthusiastic. I’m not a runner. Not even when I say it out loud.
Then hopefully back home to Bedford for a couple of hours at the party (I don’t expect sponsorship for this bit) before our Fay’s Team night hike at St Johns hospice in Moggerhanger. Now this one is a bit separate as we are raising money for the Sue Ryder Team. It’s another charity I hold very dear. So I’m leaving the just giving page open for the week in case you feel like leaving some generous pennies on this page instead.
Then of course, back to join the party.
Tomorrow it starts all over again and so for the rest of the week. The Noble Rot has a lot to answer for. I’ll let you know each day what I’m doing. If I write it all down now, I think it will become more overwhelming, so I’ll update this and you and my Instagram each day. I’d suggest turning off your notifications now.
I feel like I should also add, in the interest of having someone waiting with bandages at some point this week, I do already have three cats.
My shameless plug to my just giving pages are below.
BDCPS – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/week-of-challenges
Sue Ryder at St Johns Hospice – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/faysatriverside
And now it’s done. Here’s how the rest of the week went down. I can’t tell you how much your support, your sponsorship and your encouragement meant while I was doing all of the below, a million thank yous.
Sunday 23rd September
100 mile cycle road
Monday 24th September
13.1 miles swimming in a local swimming pool – half a marathon.
Tuesday 25th September
The other 13.1 miles swimming in a local swimming pool – the other half done.
Wednesday 26th September
Off to Eastbourne to start the South downs walk – 26 miles done.
Thursday 27th September
39 miles of the South Downs walk completed.
Friday 28th September
35 miles of the South Downs walk – 100 miles done!
Saturday 29th September
Abseil down then Arcelor Mittal Orbit
Sunday 30th September
Watching that Netflix box set that Robin told me about…