Hi all. My blog passed 10,000 hits last week which is awesome, along with 34,000 website views in 2013 alone. Big thanks to all of you for tuning in and my website designer Chris for his continued patience!
So a fortnight since my last blog. It’s been exhausting. Last week was the ‘hard’ week in my training plan and so I was knackered by the end of it. Every session seems more imposing, I never think I can complete it and I’m digging at the seams to find an excuse to take it easy and ‘just do half the distance’ but once I get out on the bike or in the mountains- I just keep going!
Firstly, I wanted to tell you all about a small charitable organisation with a big heart, who in the past busy months may have been kept in the dark amongst my other supporters and charities. The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust (JWCT) was set up in tribute to and memory of Jeremy Willson, who sadly died of the very rare new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in 2006. The charity helps people and projects that reflect his passions in life: athletics, geology, adventure and the environment. Very similar to my own.
”Jeremy grabbed life in both hands and achieved more in his short 30 years than most would expect to do in a whole lifetime. He inspired and encouraged others to achieve things they did not think they were able to do.”
I’m really humbled by Jeremy’s story and how he made the most of life, and very grateful to be supported in his name. I hope that I can too have a positive effect on other people’s lives around me to help them achieve their dreams. The Trust very kindly supported me with a £500 grant towards my Baruntse expedition last year. The battle to fund Baruntse was a long and uncertain one, so their support really helped make it happen.
At times, I was one of those who didn’t think they could achieve something- I never believed I could raise my Baruntse expedition costs in time! But thanks to support from the JWCT, other local sponsors, KADRAS grant, friends and family, and a lot of determination, it was able to go ahead. I really hope Jeremy would be proud of the difference the trust is making in his name by supporting young people like myself with challenges from expeditions to half marathons and scientific projects. www.jwct.org.uk.
Good day alone in Snowdonia on Thursday. As gruelling as my training can be, being in the mountains brings the pleasure that I’ve always got from being outdoors. The wind hammered me and my map, the poor visibility and snow underfoot made it eerie, but it was magical. It was however too easy and I need to start pushing harder. I’m looking forward to a few days in Scotland this week.
Mum’s freaking out about how cold I’ll be camping in the mountains with my friends Lorn and Pete in snowy Scotland, and whether I’ll be eating enough. So for now she thinks there’s a Youth Hostel at Camp 4, 7900m, on Everest (shhh)… Scotland is an essential part of training for any major expedition. Teaches you to look after yourself, long days out in all unpredictable weather conditions that can change rapidly. It’s about minimising the risks, but a life without risk, is nothing at all. Can’t wait!
So before I fire out a wall of emails, I’d like to thank Forresters Chicken of Kingsley for their recent donation and also to Paul Daniels from The Best of Chester for his networking support. I’m now booked for 2 presentations at Chester Business Club and Accrington Academy in return for donations to my charity target. I’m seriously frightened, as a life-long stammerer, to be speaking in front of so many, but we have to face our fears head on. I used to have a fear of heights and now I’m climbing the highest there is!
Ciao for now. 76 days and counting.
£29,035- two charities. PLEASE DONATE www.virginmoneygiving.com/climb4change
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