Bowery Mural

TRAIL magazine, October Issue ... Out Now!! eek

Friday, 29 August 2008

Hey everyone
well the time has come and it's finally out!!! The article about little old me in TRAIL magazine. Go out and buy it now!! If i do say so myself it is a pretty good article (cheers Claire) and the pictures are fantastic (thanks Tom). No seriously it's well smart and I'm well proud of it. If anyone is actually out there reading this and you go out and buy it, let me know what you think?
I was on a communication and supervisory skills course in St Andrews University from Wednesday to today (Friday) and only managed to get hold of a copy yesterday. They didn't have a copy anywhere and me and Brigitte 'trailed' the streets of St Andrews trying to find a place that stocked something more than a Financial Times or a trashy gossip mag! Thankfully good old WH Smith had a huge selection of mags and i stood there in the shop reading (well looking at the pictures really) before heading proudly to the till to buy it. I was dying to open it up at the page and say to the guy serving me 'this is me - look!!' but i resisted.
Anyhoo let me know what you think of it,
word of the day - knackered (and pleased)
Ange xx

Team GB!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

A brief interlude from the trek/training/fundraising talk to take my hat off and bow down to Team GB 2008!

First at the Laoshan Velodrome (because those that know me know that I just love, love, love, the cycling!). What an achievement from the big man himself, Mr (or should that be) 'Sir' Chris Hoy. No but seriously the precedent has been set with Steve Redgrave and Kelly Holmes, surely GB has to mark this achievement? 3 Gold medals at these games! Awesome big guy.

It was bad luck but good effort to Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the Madison race. They were being watched very closely from the outset. Oh well, Wiggins has already got some pretty shiny medals in his locker and Cav won quite a few stages at this years Tour De France so all was not lost. They will win more, I'm sure of it.

The ladies weren't to be outdone. Victoria Pendleton was strong in the individual sprint. So fast. Gold. Well done. Rebecca Romero: Well considering she only got on a bike (in competition) 2 years ago, this is an awesome feat. Gold. A previous Olympic silver medal winning rower, she certainly has shown the GB athletes over at the Birds Nest stadium what hard work, dedication and a 'what you can do when you put your mind to it' attitude is all about.

Not forgetting the other valuable members of Team GB cycling: Jamie Staff, Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Wendy Houvenaghel, Nicole Cook, Emma Pooley, Steven Burke, Chris Newton, Roger Hammond, Ben Swift, Sharon Laws, Jonny Bellis, Steve Cummings plus all the coaching and backroom staff. Sorry if I've missed anyone out.

Still to come in the early hours of tomorrow morning is Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips in the BMX - fingers crossed for you! Then there's the mountain biking with Liam Killeen and Oliver Beckingsale.

Next I have to mention the sailing over at Qingdao. Congratluations to Ben Ainslie on winning his third Olympic Gold medal on the trot. I'm running out of words other than Awesome. Ok, tremendous effort!

Then at the swimming, not as successful as some may have thought but still a great effort by all. Rebecca Addlington with her 2 Gold medals was fantastic and all she wanted was new shoes! - ah a girl after my own heart.

I'm well aware this post could become very long if i were to mention the whole of Team GB, especially for those who are not that into sport. So I won't go into any more details or name the full GB squad but these links give details of Team GB and the medals won - so far!!

I've realised that I'm quite passionate about sport (quite a few different sports too), even if i don't take part in any myself. I think i may have missed the boat on becoming an Olympic athlete but these guys certainly do inspire me and make me even more determined to complete my challenge as best I can.

Some of my memorable Olympic moments so far: The men's 100m sprint final on Saturday was truly a sight to behold. Usain Bolt of Jamaica winning at a jog in a world record time and with his left lace undone!!! It must be great to be sooooo good. Then there's Michael Phelps. Bullied when he was young for having big ears (true story, i heard his mum talk on the radio about it!), and now he's arguably one of the best Olympians - EVER. He's still only 23 too, gee whizz. I do feel sorry for Andy Murray, gets to number 6 in the world and still people keep on criticising him because he never got a medal. What has he to do? Never mind Andy, when you win Wimbledon then they might sit up and take note. The poor wee diver, Tom Daley, i think the pressure got too much for him at only 13, no wonder! Never mind he probably will medal in London. Now this wasn't an event, it was Saturday morning on BBC news 24 and the reporter (she was Scottish too - duh!) was interviewing a guy who trains alongside the mens coxless 4 rowing guys and asked how he thought the 'c*$%less' (you get the drift eh!) 4 would do in the race! It was all he could do to keep a straight face. Ha ha what an dafty she was! I'm sure it will be replayed over again on one of those blooper programmes that seems to be filling the tv schedule more and more these days. Gymnastics - good to watch but the scoring system stinks big time. Sort it out people.

Now Paula Radcliffe ...we were being told a few months ago about how this was her time and then she fractured her leg but still we were kind of assured she'd been doing all this training and she'd be fine. She was going backwards at one point in the marathon and the commentator said that this Olympics wasn't about winning it was about if she could finish or not! now that's not what we were being told a few weeks ago, was it?! Don't get me wrong I actually quite like Paula and think she is an amazing athlete, what I don't like is that the media (sorry but it seems to be the English media) build these people up and make them better than they actually are at the time and then knock them down or make excuses for them when it goes wrong. Remember David Beckham during the World Cup in 1998. He had to flee to America to tour with the Spice Girls as the press were crucifying him and effigies were being burned in the streets. Then a few years later he was the darling of the press (and I'm sure he works hard so he could become this). It just seems like the press build pictures of people into Gods and when it goes wrong they're like well they weren't that good anyway. Give these people a break, take a truthful and objective look at them beforehand and then judge them on what they achieve.

Another thing i don't get is this athletics. Example: track runners - surely they know the times that their fellow competitors are putting in well in advance and know then what they have to aim for and achieve to medal. Obviously, as in every sport, things can happen differently on the day and the best may be disqualified or something so they have to take their chances then. Also, why did the young boxer not make the weight for his fight and then be sent home?? I cannot understand that. Yes, he was taking on extra water because of the heat etc etc but surely the team of coaches, nutritionists and various advisors etc factored that into his regime?!? It's common sense is it not? Or is my thinking too simple and some other things come into play. Not sure but what I think is that it shouldn't have happened. I do have sympathy for the boxers as they are the only Olympic sport that is truly amateur now and their funding isn't as great as the athletics/rowing/swimming etc. Heck the guy Jeffries was selling burgers from a van at Sunderland FC only 2 years ago! Anyway rant over.

Now after all of that i have to say i think London 2012 will be quite exciting for Team GB and we should get behind them all! Here's a question, what do you think of a GB football team? I quite like that idea....

Then ... after that we'll have Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to look forward to. There's still time for a new Chris Hoy to be found and trained by then - hopefully. So take all the Wii's, playstations, Xboxes, PSP's, Gameboys (or is that too old school) Nintendo DS, anyway take all of this nonsense away and get the kids out playing sport, any sport, just get them active and interested and you never know what may happen, a new hero may be being produced as we speak and we just don't know it.

word of the day - PROUD
much love,
Ange xoxo

Kit & answer to the difficult question

Friday, 8 August 2008

Ok something has been bothering me for a little while now and i need to sort it out and clarify it once and for all. I've been asked on a few occasions by a few cynical people what, i think, is a difficult question to answer and then i feel like i have to justify myself and my reasons for doing the trek. The question has been asked in various forms but in a nutshell what they are essentially asking is this... "if 'I' sponsor you, am I paying for you to go on a 'holiday'"? !!!!! ... yes people, tis true, i have been asked this question!
Now, number 1, this is most certainly not a holiday. Yes i will be travelling to and getting to see a culture and country that, if i wasn't doing the trek, then i would probably never think of going to Nepal for a holiday but at the same time i am having to put a great deal of effort and time into training - which i am enjoying by the way. I think if you ask a few folks who have experienced any sort of trek, hill walk or expedition they will tell you how hard this is going to be. At the same time, I also have no doubts that it will be a very rewarding, challenging and exhilarating experience that I will probably never experience again - unless i get the bug! and that's why i decided to take on this challenge. I want to push myself to my limits, live outside my comfort zone, step outside the box, whatever you want to call it i feel it is time i did it. And if i could do it whilst at the same time raising money for a VERY worthy cause then why not?! After all, ask yourself this: What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Number 2, yes some of the sponsorship money does go towards the costs of the trek but bear in mind i have already paid over £500 as a registration fee and insurance, i will need to get a Visa (around £60), pay local airport tax when i leave (around £25), have vaccinations before i go (goodness knows how much that will cost) and then have the task of trying to arrange/think up different ways to fund raise, which i can tell you also comes with quite a bit of pressure.

So to clarify, for those who feel the need to ask me 'that' question: I have to raise a minimum sponsorship amount of £3250. All of the money goes to the charity (Marie Curie Cancer Care) and from that they pay the balance of the trek costs (not more than 45% of the minimum sponsorship amount) = £1462.50 This means that the charity are guaranteed to get at least £1787.50 and hopefully much more if I exceed my target.

And last but not least number 3. This trip requires me to have some specialist equipment. I mean i can't very well go trekking in my wee Adidas trainers and a pair of jeans! I have been buying some 'kit' each month since i got my back-pay and pay rise and have accumulated some pretty decent stuff. You've already seen the sleeping bag in a previous post but here are a few more pieces of kit i have purchased. 1 x Osprey Talon 33 lightweight daysack; 1 x Thermarest Prolite 4 Regular self inflating mat; 1 x pair of Berghaus Goretex Paclite Waterproof Trousers; 1 x pair Scarpa Goretex trekking boots; 1 x North Face Goretex lightweight waterproof jacket; 1 x 1l Sigg water bottle; 1 x Silva compass; 2 x North Face base layer tops - short & long sleeved (although one is now 3/4 sleeved as my mum ironed it!!!! - aaargh); 1 x Moleskine large notebook (to record my journey and thoughts whilst on the trek); 1 x Mountain Hardwear waterproof trousers; 1 x pair Mountain Hardwear gaiters; 1 x pair gloves and 1 x North Face toiletry bag.

For those in the know you will know how much this little lot has cost me and there's still more to buy including my main kit bag - a Large North Face Duffel Bag. Can anyone get me a discount at a reputable shop??? Please!!!

Anyway glad i got that sorted. Had to get it all out there. I'm glad to say i have been reassured by friends that what i'm doing is a good thing. Thank you friends.
Peace out, Ange xx