Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Isn't Flying, This is Falling... With Style!

In just 43 days, I WILL be jumping out of a plane shouting 'I'm Aware!' to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer. Yep, the deposit has been paid, Virgin Money Giving fundraising site has been created and my manic YouTubing of anything and everything skydiving has begun. Shit. No backing out now.

So the plus side to this challenge is that I don't have to run or cycle or train. The down side is that I feel completely helpless, knowing that there is little I can do to make this any less scary between now and the 5th of March, which, by the way, is when the jump takes place.

The logical question to this is, why??? For a start, I've never done anything like this before. Only last October did I, for the first time in my life, go on a carnival ride that went upside-down. I don't have a morbid fear of heights but I trust harnesses and ropes and the sensation that my bodyweight is being supported - ie. rock climbing, good; bungee jumping, bad. But hey, live outside your comfort zone, right? And importantly, I want to raise as much money as I can for my chosen charity, The Prostate Cancer Charity. And really, it wouldn't be an experience if it wasn't terrifying. I mean, you wouldn't sponsor someone to go for a ride on a rollercoaster.

I will be fundraising in the coming month, with the hope of raising at least £395. To visit my fundraising site and to donate, please go to:

This is possibly one of the biggest things I will attempt to do and your support would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Am I Crazy?

Ok, so there's an opportunity to skydive in March and I'm seriously considering doing it. I'm petrified just thinking about it. I don't mind heights, but free-fall is not something that sits well with me. Googling the likelihood of dying from skydiving has proved unhelpful.

However, I should explain that there is a good reason for me to be considering this (keyword being considering, so don't hold me to it yet!). March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and I am looking to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer. Jumping out of a plane seems like a good enough way of doing this. And also, as we all know, cycling and marathons are just not how I choose to fundraise because, frankly, I can do neither.

So, it's for a good cause. It could be absolutely amazing - if I don't black out or die. It could very well be a personal triumph - again, if I don't black out or die. What do you think? Should I do it? Encouraging words will be appreciated. I'll make a decision over the weekend so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Working Out with Nell McAndrew

The word endurance can be defined as: the hope that this wretched pain will end in the next sixty seconds. Anyone with no hope left in the world would not succeed in an endurance test.

This is the insight I gained tonight while doing Nell McAndrew's Ultimate Challenge workout DVD. How else is it possible that I lasted an entire hour of jumping, squatting, tightening and lifting?

Nell McAndrew, according to Wikipedia, is an English glamour model, TV presenter, Lara Croft model for the video game and 'has released many popular calendars'. Good for her. I'd not heard of her before because, well... I'm not a sixteen-year-old English schoolboy.

So, housemate nunber one brought Nell home last week with the hope of getting fit again after the holiday season of, 'Yes, why don't we order pizza and Thai on the same day and stay in our pyjamas and watch cheesy movies and not shower?' But housemate number one had really hoped to get fit via osmosis so Nell stayed on the coffee table for several days holding our chocolate and red wine in place. Then, in stepped housemate number two, who with the pressure of having to be in a bridesmaid dress in September, unwrapped the plastic cover on the DVD and made me dig out my pilates clothes (which were buried below my summer dresses - what does that tell you???).

It was fun at first, three pathetically unfit girls jumping around the living room, arms waving about, fists banging into walls, furniture, each other. Then came the not so fun part - squat and hooooooooooooollllllldddddd. We grunted and swore like we were giving birth to hippo calves. The whole time, evil Nell had this smug grin on her face, peppy and chipper and not losing a sweat. Look at her - don't you want to slap her too?

As if this isn't bad enough (and it was at this moment I got the insight into human endurance), THEY LIE TO YOU! On more than one occasion, Nell's camp yet beautifully toned and bronzed male counterpart, who led the charge, yelled: "Just three more now, three, two, one, and eight, seven, six and five..." Yeah, no.

I was ready to give up fifteen minutes into this aerobic 'ultimate challenge'. But each time the rhythm changed to a slower pace, I had hoped the routine would come to an end. Forever the optimist, I clung onto that thought for forty-five minutes. And you know what? The three of us all made it to the end of the hour-long workout. Not sure if I entirely agree with the methods, and I still believe Nell to be smug and evil, but hey, WE DID IT!

So Nell, I will give you another go. I do feel great about myself right now, even though tomorrow morning could be a completely different story. I reckon with your help I can get those ultimate results that you promise. But please try to be less peppy in your future DVDs. Or at least sweat a little.