So today marks the formal launch of the 10 Round Challenge. The website and social media accounts went live, the JustGiving page was opened up to allow donations and I’ve begun to question why I ever thought this was a good idea!
While proof-reading the website before publication, the enormity of the challenge hit home ... with a bang. I started getting into a training routine when I came home from Asia in mid-September and things seemed to be going well. I was aiming to launch the challenge in early November with a solid cardio base behind me that I could build on; however, tonsillitis developed into a chest infection and the base I’d built hasn’t progressed in 5 weeks!
Now, with now just under 7 months to go, time is marching on and I felt it was the right time to launch. I’m hoping to be back to full health again very soon as my training is really going to have to ramp up - both in the gym and at the range in order to meet the challenge head-on in June!!
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There's a purpose-built cinema that shows all the latest movies with space for wheelchairs and hospital beds as well as regular seats. There's a "teenagers only" zone where adults need permission to enter. Beds for parents to sleep in their child's room, help for families from support workers, investment in top of the range pioneering medical equipment. The list was extensive.
The hospital was impressive, there's no denying, but it's a humbling place when you walk the halls. Seeing children cry, hearing of them ask if Santa know's that they'll be in there at Christmas, seeing the Memorial Tree... yeah that was hard.
The dedication of the hospital's staff, both medical and otherwise, is reflected in the pride that beams from each and every one of them when they told me about their job. In that environment though smiles can be short lived; however, advances in medicine mean that the sad moments can be made fewer. Unfortunately it all takes money and that's just something that the hospital doesn't have an endless supply of. Tough decisions have to be made - can we afford the newest and best or do we have to settle for second best?
They told me about their hope to get the hospital a new neurosurgical endoscope - basically a tool that allows neurosurgeons to look at a brain and perform procedures without invasive opening techniques. The top neuro-surgeon described the difference between what they have and this new one as being like snorkling in the North Sea on a stormy day verses doing it at the Great Barrier Reef in perfect conditions. It sounds great eh?! But at £200k they simply cannot afford it without help!
The key message I took from today was that any donation, no matter how large or small, helps in some way to either saving a child's life or by improving their life while they are in the hospital. I left feeling determined to smash the challenge and raise as much as I can for the charity.
You can find 10 Round Challenge on Social Media to follow my training progress, keep up-to-date with news about who’s joining me on rounds and find out how the fundraising is going.
I'll have more "news" updates for you soon and, again, please donate using the button below.Donate Now
Today I met with the fantastic staff at Broadlees Golf who were really keen to support me in my 10 Round Challenge attempt. The driving range at Broadlees is where I go to hit balls in the winter and so their support is really appreciated.
A challenge like this is doubly difficult: from previous experience I can confirm that the distance is rough, there's no denying that, but your golf also has to be on point otherwise the number of shots (and also the time per round) increases exponentially. Just being able to get some swings in on a regular basis through winter will be a major help to me and will hopefully set me in good stead for the challenge.
I've been back in the gym for the last 3 weeks after finally getting over tonsillitis but I'm writing this just a couple of hours before I head for surgery on my ankle which will put me back out again for 4 weeks. I'm really going to have to crank it up in both the gym and the range once I'm back.
Please add 10 Round Challenge on Social Media to follow my progress, keep up-to-date with news about who’s joining me on rounds and find out how the fundraising is going.
In the interim I'm away to Broadlees to hit my last 50 shots before I go under the knife!Donate Now
Well that took a little longer than expected!! The ankle is now finally back in a position where I can walk, run and golf again!
I really didn't think it would take that long and I don't think the docs did either; however, I'm back spraying people in sweat at the gym as of today and I'll be hitting the range tomorrow night as well. The training really hasn't gotten the best start; however, no matter how long the challenge takes or how sore it is I WILL COMPLETE IT.
Not many of you may know this; however, I attempted 10 Rounds back in 2011 and had to medically retire thanks to my knee on the 12th hole of the 10th round. To say I was devastated would be an understatement and, no matter what, I'm determined to complete it this time.
Having visited the hospital just before Christmas and hearing about the children I realised that no matter how bad I feel on June 21st, it's a moment in time. Many of the children in the hospital have weeks, months and even years of pain and suffering. The bravery and determination these kids show day-in-day-out is unbelievable and I hope I'll show the same grit during the Challenge.
You can follow my progress, keep up-to-date with news about who’s joining me on rounds and find out how the fundraising is going by adding 10 Round Challenge on Social Media.Donate Now