SHOULD I OR SHOULDN’T I BLOG?
This morning I set off on an early morning run and the usual voices in my head started to chatter.
For runners, it’s a familiar occurrence. Maybe it’s a familiar sound for everyone. The voices in my head tend to be a little louder when I’m running though. And the longer I run, the more convincing these voices become.
This morning’s 9km dawn run turned into an auditory arm wrestle between Robbie Williams on my IPod and the thousands of bats that circled and screeched overhead in Centennial Park.
Trudging through the final 4kms, I started to play with the idea of writing a regular blog post again.
In the past I have dabbled with blog posts but generally shied away from the process as I felt uncomfortable with the focus that such grandstanding tends to attract. It may not be ‘grandstanding’ as such, but it feels that way to me at times. I always struggle to get my head around the voices that ring out when I consider posting things online…
“This is boring – nobody cares!”
“Don’t be so self-centred, thinking people will want to read this”
“What you do is not extraordinary – Don’t start thinking it is…”
MAYBE I SHOULD BLOG…
This year I am planning another adventure in the hope to raise valuable funds again for the Lucian Page Scholarship. Lucian’s scholarship is in its 3rd year now and I would really like to expand it in the future to help as many cancer surviving children as possible. But to do this I need support and to encourage support I understand there are certain necessary responsibilities. Firstly, I need to share my plans.
Maybe its superstition, maybe its fear, whatever it is, I don’t like announcing my plans until I’m confident everything is locked in place and I am sure I will be making an attempt at the adventure.
Whenever I hear about someone taking on a travel adventure or a major endurance event I find myself asking the same questions - How are they affording this? How are they training for this? What do their organisational plans look like? Who is supporting them? What equipment are they using?
Which brings me back to the voices in my head… If these questions and interests are running through my mind, could it be possible that other people may be asking similar questions? I hope so.
What I do in my life may not be extraordinary, it may not even be that interesting for the majority of people but it’s not the majority of people I am aiming at, I’ll leave that to the big budget Nike commercials and the larger than life motivational speaker - Eric Thomas. For me, it is through the thoughtful comments from friends and family I can now appreciate that my posts, videos and adventures inspire just a select few.
We are all motivated by different things, I accept that, but if I can inspire or encourage just one or two people to chase down their lofty dreams, then putting myself out there is definitely worth it.
Over the next 3 months I will document my preparations as I embark on the next of my fanciful adventures. I will attempt to give you an insight into some of the steps I take in order to get these escapades off the ground. At the very least it will give an insight into the planning, training and details I encounter, and at the very best - it may even help others take on their own quest!
There are many things I now do naturally to prepare for these events but I’m positive there are better and more proficient ways to do them. In the coming blog I will try to outline some of the steps I take in case anyone is actually interested. It may not win me a Pulitzer but at least it will help my fading memory recall what I have already ticked off.
Additionally, it will give people the opportunity to offer me some sage advice on how to execute things more efficiently.
Training for endurance events can be tiresome. Especially in Sydney where my access to varied running tracks is limited. I have ascended the Coogee steps more times than I care to remember and I now know every inch of Centennial Park – so much so that I have considered setting up a guided tour company through there!
Over the years I have developed a better understand of my body, to the point that I now know how hard to push it, as well as how often. This has not always been the case though. My work load has see-sawed between avoiding training at all cost in my early years (I remember feigning a bad case of diarrhoea to get out of a pre-season running session at the Raiders) to over-training and squeezing in as many sessions as possible in any given week.
Preparing for an adventure usually involves me spending months organising and preparing details while keeping my toe ‘dipped’ in the training pool. Then as the departure date gets closer, the training ramps up in a bid to build my confidence levels (more so than my aerobic capacity) and convince myself that ‘I am ready’. This method has had varying degrees of success…
Combining my need to keep training interesting and my new-found confidence with sharing my adventures, I have decided to introduce a few training challenges to my preparations. My first Training Challenge was posted on YouTube this week and was met with some positive feedback from good friends and family. (link…..)
Over the coming months I will attempt to film a couple more novel challenges to keep people updated on how my training is going and how I am keeping myself sane. If you have any suggestions or ideas – please send them through!!
APPLICATIONS AND PAPERWORK
Before I can undertake any fundraising, I first have to get permission from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. This involved filling out a number of forms and submitting them with my plans and the details of the event (or 'activity' as it is categorised this time). So if anyone is desperate to know what my plans are, just contact Stephen at CHW!
I have successfully submitted my application and recently received confirmation that the ‘activity’ could take place. Along with this confirmation comes the necessary paperwork to outline my official obligations as well as the documentation to prove to the public that this is an authorized CHW activity.
My passport is nearing its life expectancy deadline and so a new passport needs to be ordered and paid for ASAP. Its $254 for a 10 year passport in case anyone is curious… As well as $16.95 for ‘mug shots’ at the local post office.
I lodged my details and filled out the forms online before printing them off and cueing at the post office to get the process underway. Not only were my photos inappropriate (apparently my head casts a shadow, resulting in the extra $16.95 donation for new shots) but the form did not fit on a regular sized A4 page when I printed it at work. It is probably more likely that I messed up the printing process than an Australia Post formatting issue.
Finally after my initial printing mistakes, my passport has now been cut up (thankfully only the front cover), as I eagerly await my fresh new document to fill with official looking stamps again!
I didnt realise just how much importance I placed on the level of freedom my passport gives me until the Australia Post official said quite matter-of-factly -
"You do understand you cant leave the country now that I have cut your passport...?
The Bear has been grounded. But not for long!
BLOGS AND PLANS TO COME
Training details, Fundraising information, Flights, Accommodation, Support Crew, Support crew transport, Gear List
Terrain Maps, Nutrition, Insurance, FAQs, Contingency plans and of course the reluctant publicizing of said event...