I have always wanted to do a challenge that steps out of my comfort zone. I am standing at a juncture in life where the timing for such a quest feels perfect, as I look to move on to new horizons in the not to distant future.
It has always been the intention to combine such endeavour with a charitable fundraising goal. I am incredibly lucky to have been blessed with health and good fortune and so I feel compelled to do something for those that aren't so lucky and push my physicality to its limits.
I have chosen Children with Cancer as it feels pertinent in my professional capacity as a teacher. Cancer is not discriminatory. It can come for anyone and everyone, wrecking hopes and dreams as it goes. While I have not been immediately affected by the disease in my close family, many are not so lucky. Every year in the UK over 2000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer while they are still at school. If I can play just a small part in one day nullifying this statistic, then it will be worth every bit of effort I will need to put into it.
So my challenge...
I don't do half measures. I have always been physically fit, participating in countless physical challenges without asking for sponsorship. Indeed next week (11th May) I will complete a 20 mile obstacle race for the third time. This isn't enough though. It is a big thing to ask people to give their hard earned money to support you; in my head I had to go further and far harder than this, before asking for charity would be justified.
Therefore I plan to cycle the length of the United Kingdom, from John O'Groats to Lands End. On top of this I will take a detour to climb the three highest Peaks in each country in mainland UK (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon). In total, I envisage the whole journey to be just under two weeks, encompassing 1100 miles of cycling and 3500m of combined mountain ascent.
I plan to start my trip at the beginning of the Summer holidays to catch the favourable late July weather. My Dad will accompany me as a support vehicle (he was going to do it too despite being 64 and having three heart stents, until logic prevailed!) but will climb each of the mountains with me.
It's a crazy challenge, but by definition a challenge must be difficult. I am fortunate enough to possess a base of physical fitness that gives me a realistic chance of achieving my lunacy. Many, out of no fault of their own, are never afforded this liberty.
Anything that you can give would truly appreciated.