In June I had completed 6 months of training to take on the task of heading up 3 of the UK’s biggest mountains within 24 hours alongside my fellow business buddies. This was the Three Peaks Challenge.
That’s Ben Nevis, Scarfel Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours and I did it to raise funds for Parkinsons UK as a close friend of mines mother is in the grip of the disease.
Social care is something I am extremely passionate about… extreme definitely being the right word in this instance!
Before we even started after a 10 hour bus journey we were hit by the challenge of the hostel in Scotland having no knowledge of our booking. Whilst others tried to rectify the situation I got on the the ‘tinternet’ and found us alternative accommodation for 7 people at 10pm on a Friday night. All part of the fun.
After fuelling up on a full Scottish breakie we were ready – ready to take on a challenge mentally and physically harder than most of us had ever fully comprehended. One of the lads was physically sick on the way up the first mountain.
I went up Ben Nevis knowing I could not stop – at three points I couldn’t feel my left foot due to numbness as my boot was too tight. We didn’t take the official track – we were going to smash it. I was one of the first up, feeling like a champion, I had been training hard for this after all.
Unfortunately I slid down part of Ben Nevis on my descent (which is the highest mountain in the UK) twisting my ankle and impacting my knee – I still got up and down it in 4 and a half hours – Which will give you an idea of the speed I scaled it (I was like a women possessed and encouraging everyone who walked past with a ‘you’re smashing it’) but part of the decent I was looking like a gangster granny. On the few hours down you really do think about how lucky you are to have a healthy body and mind and how the ageing process is such a cruel thing.
I didn’t want to be a burden, I didn’t want to risk slowing the lads down and I didn’t want my leg to fall off so whilst smelling of deep heat and popping many aspirin I made the difficult decision to change my role. I was proud of my Ben Nevis achievement and now it was my time to shine as head cheerleader and co-pilot to the wonderful Emma (she’s an excellent driver…). It was hard to get my head to switch and whilst no one was looking I may have shed a tear, but suck it up buttercup and I’m going to be the best damn cheerleader going…
I became ‘Han-Han’ a highly encouraging and informative enhancement to a sat nav – which was immeasurable when we were in the midst of the night travelling to Scarfel Pike and were heading towards a car pile up on the M6. Just map reading skills and calm outward voice were required. I also made sure the lads had water, drugs and socks!! Then I became DJ extraordinaire – with my best jam being the rocky theme tune (eye of the tiger) as the last thing the lads would hear (along with some positive chanting) before piling out of the van and taking the final ascent up Snowdon.
The lack of sleep and inability to wee whenever you so wish hit me more than I thought, I tried to use a she wee but it just felt like I was peeing through Cyril Sneers nose (Prob giving my age away now – but google The Raccoons if you have no idea what I’m on about). The continuous pain in my leg and inability to move properly was frustrating beyond belief (especially as I had no idea how bad it really was – I have since found out I have damaged my tendons) and add into that, that boys farts stink this was indeed a challenge.
Then once all mountains had been scaled and the challenge was officially completed we had another twist in the story. We were all sharing a 7 bed dorm in a sleepy village in Wales when one of the lads had to be admitted to hospital (nearest one was 40 mins away). He was suffering from severe dehydration and was kept in BUT he was seen straight away and the wonderful staff at Bangor Hospital cared for him. They did all due diligence to ensure he was going to be ok before we could go back to get him to complete the final leg home. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful health and social care system in this country. Yes, it might be at breaking point and yes it needs more funding but – by joe – they are good. Where else in the world could you have that service even in another part of the country? It truly is AMAZING.
So if you feel we challenged ourselves and made our Mom and Dad’s proud please click here to make a donation, we would all be most grateful for the support!
Great marketing is like GOLDDUST…
Difficult to find,
Hard to hold
But magic once you have it.