Tuesday, 10 February 2009

True Inspiration from an old mate

I had a mate from school emailed me today saying he'd very sadly lost his Dad to cancer on Monday and it brought back to me why I'm doing this.

Losing a loved one or a family member to cancer is horrific. The pain and emptiness is intense and never leaves you completely. It took me a long time to get over the initial shock of losing my Dad, although the deep pain will never leave me. I found strength in being grateful for the fact he'd been my Dad, that I'd had the pleasure to know him as my best mate as well as my Dad. That said, grief affects everyone differently and to varying degrees. I was in the depths of despair for a long time and it took something special in my life to pull me out of it. Being grateful for the time I was lucky enough to have shared with him has been critical to making sure he didn't die in vain.

My mate's wounds are still fresh and I feel for him immensely. I just hope he can find the strength to stay positive and focus on the good things that life offers. Death is a part of life. We only get one crack at it and it's short relative to the history of time.

This is the reason I'm going on this expedition: I want to make sure my Dad didn't die in vain and that I remember him in making this attempt on the North Pole to raise much needed funds for Macmillan. If, on one special day, a son or daughter I may never have met, don't lose their father too early to cancer because of what I've done, my journey will be a victory. You can be part of that dream by donating to my cause because we need financial support to continue Macmillan's amazing work.

So please give all you can by clicking here or on the tracker at the side of the page.

Together we can make that one very special day day happen.

ITV News footage of True North expedition

I've now got my hands on the ITV News footage that I couldn't work out how to link from youtube, so da da da...here it is! Thanks once again to Mr Davy Shenton from Shenton Creative for his kind services editing the footage, and to ITV News for supporting the expedition. It's all sincerely appreciated.

We're about to hit the £3500 mark for Macmillan sponsorship and have a few surprises up me sleve for attracting much more. If you are reading this, please send the story on to your friends, family, contacts, customers and suppliers (if you have them!!) - anyone who you think will be inspired enough to donate. All we need to do is get one pound from 50,000 people and we're there! Please help! I'll be eternally grateful. And, enjoy the footage!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

TV, radio and press pick up story

Due to a brilliant contribution by PR firm Gardiner Richardson the True North expedition has been featured heavily in the North East media this week. You can check out recent ITV News footage on youtube by clicking here.

A massive and sincere thanks goes to Kathernie Shenton specifically for doing the hard yards and to the Gardiner Richardson team for supporting True North by running the campaign for me. We've raised the profile massively so its been a resounding success.

Training update

Christ! This is getting tough. My 7am gym sessions with my trainer Ollie Reeve have stepped up in intensity and are really challenging now. They only last an hour but after two harsh beastings on consecutive mornings, I'm flagging. I had to sit down for half an hour this morning just to stop sweating before I could go to work accompanied by at least a shred of dignity.

Ollie's the man who has devised my training programme, contrary to some unfortunate misinformation in the recent press and TV coverage (which was probably my fault - sorry mate.) This guy has gone to extreme lengths researching the best, most effective, training methods to ensure I'm in prime condition when I leave. He's an unrelenting taskmaster. Which is complimentary compared to what I called him this morning after he lied to make me work harder. He said I was within a whisker of nailing my best time ever for a circuit. Somehow, I managed to convince my brain I could do it, to which my body responded and I beat my time. By about 10 seconds, which was brilliant. Then it dawned on me that Ollie had lied to me. The bastard! But what a sense of achievement I got from it along with the realisation that I had more in the tank.

It's things like this I need help with. I need to be pushed to the extremes of physical exhaustion so I know when I'm on the ice, feeling like I want to quit, that deep down within the pits of my soul I've still got fuel reserves to call upon. When your body starts burning fat you know about it because you reach exhaustion pretty quickly. I'm due to lose up to 21lbs throughout the trip so I need to get used to working through the fatigue and the pain. I just keep telling myself I knew this wasn't going to be easy. My concern is I have no idea just how tough it's going to be.