You might not know it but at this time of year, I attempt to get super fit. Early morning runs, spinning classes, gym sessions, weekends spent yomping across Dartmoor, you name it, I’m a right old Sweaty Betty. And before you jump to conclusions, this is NOT a pre Christmas fitness campaign so I can have a good old binge during the festive season. Oh no. This is the time of year, when I am in training for one of my mad challenges that so many of you generously sponsor.
Our first two weekend events this Autumn already have raised more than £2,200 for my cherished charity, Cancer Research UK. So I’m doing my bit by getting fit for my latest challenge, and just a few days away from the start line.
So why Cancer Research UK? The reason is quite simple. I’ve lost far too many family and friends to this terrible disease so I try to play my part in contributing to the valuable research that is helping to save lives. And as those of you who come on our weekends, I’m pretty nippy on the bucket run, persuading you all to part with some spare cash for CRUK.
But I wanted to do more to help. So I decided to set myself up against all my worst nightmares and try to conquer them. A fear of heights, a loathing of camping, terror of cycling to name just three. I soon found that many people were entirely happy to sponsor me if I upped the ante a bit. So here I am, training hard for Everest in the Lakes which I’m going to take part in a few days’ time.
Believe me, this ain’t no staycation. Everest In the Lakes is a long weekend away alright but there’s no skittling, no fancy dress, no dancing and certainly no bar. It is the equivalent of hiking half the height of Everest, that’s 4,424 metres up and then back down again. However long it takes, I’ve been told to expect 10 – 14 hours per day hiking. Oh and carting somewhere between five and ten kilos of clobber. They say it will be fun and exhilarating, tough and exhausting. I think that’s code for brutal……
Will it be as tough as Kilimanjaro, or Macchu Pichu? Yes, I’ve done them too and I can bore for Britain about altitude sickness and acute vertigo not to mention blisters. Kili was a ten hour climb per day regime with a few extras thrown in. I still have nightmares about the Barranco Wall. It involved hanging on to a cliff sideways, as you do, and then grabbing a hand to help you avoid the 100 foot drop.
People ask what I miss most when I’m doing these daft things. Hot water, hair dryer and hair straighteners are top of my list. But you soon forget all that when you’re so blinkin’ tired you can’t remember your own name. I actually fell asleep standing up and leaning on my poles during the Kili climb and had to be woken up by the group leader.
It makes sitting in an ice bath last summer for CRUK seem like a walk in the park. Well it was anything but….but we raised more than £2k in the process.
Right, I’d better get back to training again then…….and of course I’ll let you know how I get on. If you would like to sponsor me, just go to my fundraising page