With only a few weeks to go until the challenge commences, I can safely say this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s not just the fact we have to walk, it’s everything else that comes with it… The early Sunday morning starts, the way everyone has persisted and picked each other up, the weather conditions and being at natures mercy, the fresh ideas to keep the training varied and relative.
However, being one of the older members of the team, the hardest thing for me is the drive between the mountains, I’ll explain what I mean…Imagine walking 800meters up, reaching your goal, walking back down thinking you deserve a treat for completing it, then suddenly it hits you, you haven’t completed it at all. You have to then get in the car, drive 30minutes + to then do it all again. Getting out of the car with seized muscles and cramp is always a challenge in itself – wow I sound old, but it’s so very true.
The post training recovery period also means that not only is it a Sunday session but you can feel that you’ve climbed a mountain for days afterwards. The pure extent of this has meant I’ve forced myself to do some form of exercise on a daily basis.
All those involved have been brilliant. Captain Stu, from “Stu Lee tours” is the organ grinder, the organiser and the pace setter. His long strides mean the rest of us pretty much jog up behind and we all ensure we drive each other along to reach our targets. Only once have we failed to complete a training walk, where the wind, cold and poor visibility meant abandonment was the safest call to make. But this goes to show the conditions we are dealing with.
This challenge means a lot to me in a sense of comradery, raising awareness for heart problems in the young (and old) and remembering a truly wonderful guy. Every positive adjective under the sun has been used to describe James, which says a lot about him, a person who is truly missed and respected. He touched a lot of lives, not least a family who are very close to me. The shock and pure disbelief of his passing has left an incomprehensible hole in everyone’s lives and a huge gap in the club, where such a lovely guy once filled.
What do I mean by comradery? Well, everyone has been so strong and brave and, in a positive sense, losing James has meant everyone has rallied together to be a shoulder for one another and the support is incredible. Having lost my Mother to something similar (despite not being quite as young), this charity is especially important to me. I’d do anything to have her back or have one last conversation, but sadly this cannot be. If any irregularities can be caught early then prevention and treatment may well be achievable and hopefully heart problems can be avoidable as much as possible.
Like Sam, I too had myself checked by a GP, however I am saddened that it took something so very tragic to make me aware. The charity does some fantastic work and hopefully by completing this challenge we will promote this and help to raise the awareness as best we can.
Any donations are truly appreciated and thank you for your generosity.
Chris and the Colman 4 Mountaineers