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Now to Overcome the Next Hurdle: The Challenges Continue

It's been a while since I've written a blog, but what better reason to pen my next one than the fact I've finally decided what my challenge this June will consist of? For those newer to my work, my website and especially my blog, on the 9th June each year for the past 4 years, I've done something a little bit daft, arguably increasingly daft each year, to achieve a few things; commemorate the day my grandfather died some 30 years ago, see what my body and mind can achieve when deployed in unison, test my training philosophy and the effectiveness of my implementation of it, and to show people that anyone can achieve things outside their current reach. I have previously run 50 miles waring a 20lb weight vest in 2020, set a Guinness world record for the greatest distance covered in 24 hours carrying 40lb - 114km - 2021, completed Murph on each of the British 3 peaks - run up mountain, complete 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, run back down mountain all wearing a 20lb vest, for each mountain - 2022, and swam 10km around lake Windermere as part of the Great North Swim - 2023.

For some months I've been struggling with a few ideas, taking turns favouring and then losing interest in various options, until a couple of months ago I settled firmly on the idea of a multi-sport crossing from then Eastern most point of England, to the Western most point of Wales, or even more specifically, from a mile offshore to the East, to a mile offshore to the West. I was going to swim, road bike, mountain bike, road run, trail run, paddleboard and maybe even TAB (ruck) my way across the land on a winding route that took in the Peak District, a couple of impressive lakes and rivers, and some beautiful trails and forests. A couple of issues have arisen that have stopped this being achievable; I have work commitments meaning that I simply can't take long enough away from work, I'm a little too busy right now to do the amount of planning required, and raising a support crew is a monster challenge in its own right that I didn't have the bandwidth to fully engage with right now.

So what's the plan? Well, I've gone back to raw simplicity - to a single person, doing a single thing, in a single day, at a single location. So simply put, I'm going to complete 100km on the Concept 2 Ski Erg. At 6am on the 9th of June, at CrossFit Napalm in Stoke-on-Trent I'm going to start pulling the handles of a Ski Erg, and I'll just keep going until I finish. Simple, but certainly not easy. Last year's swim taught me that while I have a track record in keeping my body moving over great distances and time domains using predominantly leg power, using mainly back and arm power is not so much a strength of mine. I'm looking forward to challenging myself in a way I haven't really done before; staying in one place for such a long time, using almost all upper body and core to propel myself (even in swimming the legs can really help) and battling serious grip fatigue. This will certainly not be a spectator event - none of my challenges really are - but for me it's going to be hour after hour of mental and physical battle, and I'm excited to put myself in the arena to be tested once more.

Updates will follow, but for now it's in the diary, and preparations have begun!

1 Comment

Holy Toledo!

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