I’m going to Africa!

After what seems like an extremely long wait I have finally been allocated my holidays for the rest of the year.  We are transferring to a new shift system at work in April and our holidays are linked to the watch that we are assigned to.  Until we knew our shift postings we didn’t know when our holidays would land post April.  I am remaining on the watch which I am currently assigned too as are some of my colleagues.  However, some of my colleagues and good friends are moving watches which is a shame, but it is just the way things go at work.  They are all remaining at the station though and I will seem them about the place.

What does this mean then?  Well now that I know all of my leave periods for the rest of the year I have been able to make some progress with the planning of my challenges.  Kilimanjaro is booked and I will be travelling to Tanzania on September the 16th with ‘Jagged Globe’ to take on Africas highest peak.  Jagged Globe are a British company based in Sheffield who regularly lead expeditions and climbs all over the world to some of the most sought after and dangerous mountain summits on earth.  Fundamentally, they really know what they are doing and have the experience that I lack for tackling high altitude summits.  It will be a 10 day trip returning on the 25th of September.  It certainly makes it a little more real!  I am sure you know the feel of having an ambition but it seeming like you will never get the chance to fulfil it.  For me, Kilimanjaro was just that, it is something that I have wanted to do for a while now but I didn’t think that I would ever get the opportunity.  To know that I now have  a place on a trip and I will be going there this year has got me excited.

It looks ever more likely that the ‘North Coast 500’ will take place in early July and the rest of the planning for this trip should be completed in the next few weeks to a month I hope.  So some important planning needs to be done in the coming month or two and by then we will be seriously underway with my challenges.

I think I have a few companions from work possibly running the Inverness Half Marathon with me which will be a good support.  I reckon we will head up to Inverness on the 11th and stay over with the event at mid day on the 12th.  The support that I have had from everyone has been absolutely amazing and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.  I think I mentioned in a previous blog that the promotion of my challenge was going to be one of the most difficult aspects of what it is I am trying to do.  It most definitely is but I think that we are making the move in the right direction and I have now got an established relationship with a number of people at Cancer Research UK and they have been unbelievably supportive of everything that I am trying to achieve.  I am remaining positive however and I know that we will get there in time.

I have really gotten into the routine of writing this blog now.  This is my fifteenth entry and next week will mark four months since I started writing my weekly entries.  I can’t quite believe that so much time has past since I decided that I would start writing.  All through my life writing a piece of content regardless of what it was for was always a struggle for me.  English and writing just wasn’t something that my brain liked or found easy.  In many ways it still doesn’t!  But unlike normal I am enjoying the challenge of writing this blog and thinking of what content I can produce for the week.  I look forward to the weekly challenge now, I just hope that you find it in some way interesting!

I am a great believer in the need to challenge yourself and do things that are out with your comfort zone.  The problem I often find it is that my comfort zone is generally extremely small.  Once I am familiar with something then there is never really an issue but up until then I find most situations quite stressful.  I just know that if I am going to improve or enjoy an experience that I need to get on with it.  I would suggest that the phrase “quiet until you get to know me” almost certainly applies to me.  On the whole I just keep things to myself, but I really like the fact that this blog gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts and tell you a little bit about who I really am I guess.

Whilst the roads have been extremely icy I have been getting some more time in on my turbo trainer as well as attending spinning classes at the gym.  For me spinning is the perfect exercise, cycling with good music.  It’s hard going though and I always know I’ve worked pretty hard when I leave.  My legs usually feel pretty hollow when I jump off the bike but I guess that means the training is working!  Building up my running distances is also on the agenda for the coming weeks in the build up to the Inverness Half Marathon.

This coming Saturday is World Cancer Day and I will be sporting my ‘Unity Bands’ at the RBS 6 nations game between Scotland and Ireland.  Rugby has always been one of the main sports I have been a fan of along with American football and cycling.  My dad played rugby when he was younger and it was the sport which he always followed so I guess I just followed in his footsteps.  Football was rarely on the TV in our house and therefore I never began following any of the local teams.  I suppose I am slightly biased but I have always maintained that rugby is a better sport than football.  I know that is maybe a slightly controversial statement and I know that football has a much bigger following across the world.  But, for me, rugby is a sport which has a very powerful set of values at its core and is a sport that promotes respect, discipline and sportsmanship.  Unfortunately a lot of people these days don’t seem to be able to respect one and other and it really does frustrate me.  At a rugby match there is never any trouble and fans from both teams sit side by side with the ability to have a great laugh and enjoy the game in each others company.  If you have never been to an international rugby match I would highly recommend it!  I must apologise, I have gotten sidetracked again…  But on World Cancer Day I will be thinking of everyone I know who has been affected by cancer while I am enjoying the rugby at BT Murrayfield and hopefully Scotland comes away with an upset victory over Ireland.

“If you really want to do something, You’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse” – Jim Rohn

Thank you as always and I hope you have a fantastic week.

J.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JED-SMITH1

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