I am re-launching my attempt at a semi-regular blog, primarily to track my progress on a very silly goal I’ve gone and set myself. Well, two goals if truth be told. Between now and January 2021 I’m working my way up to taking on the Spine Challenger event. For those not familiar with the Spine race series I’ll drop some links below, but the elevator pitch for it is basically along the lines of a 108-mile trail race up the Pennine Way in the middle of Winter. Minimal support, 60 hours cut off, self-navigating and self-sufficient bar a couple of checkpoint along the way.
Following that little event, I’m hoping to have a run at a Full Spine Race attempt in 2022, same as the above but along the entire Pennine Way, 268 miles.
Why? Same reason as I signed up to a 100km continuous walk around the Isle of Wight in 2016. What’s the point of training and pushing myself physically and mentally without a clear goal set. That said this one particularly instils a little more fear than previous challenges. From a very unfit, smoking, drinking fatter me to now I’ve pushed hard through some challenging moments. Dragging myself 20km+ around the Isle of Wight with an IT band locked on, masses of chafing and excruciating pain. Huffing my way up Kala Patthar at 4AM in the morning struggling to breathe at altitude. Numerous injuries and missed goals due to injuries, getting back on it, learning and trying again.
With all that in mind I know I’ve always pushed harder when I’ve a cause greater than simply my will to succeed driving me. Something a little extra to pull my focus on towards the finish in the dark moments. As such I’ve focused on raising money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably. I lost my father to depression when I was 18, something that affected more then I realised throughout all of my adult life. The aim of CALM resonates massively with me. In 2019 I was also inspired by two people representing CALM in their own challenges and their own stories moved me to refocus on a new challenge.
So, I’ll be updating this blog sporadically over the coming months as I try and seriously step up to a whole new level. I’ve got a lot of things going against me, not least of all my worsening arthritis in my feet and issues caused my screwed up hip. All the typical challenges we as people have, such as time, balancing between work and personal lives, and given the length of time this challenge will take who knows what can happen in life. I’m equally excited and nervous, but I hope to do CALM proud when I first don their colours at the Manchester Marathon.