In 2017 I started this journey with the vague principle that, by helping myself I could help others, making it feel less selfish in a way. Having raised nearly £6,000 for Make-A-Wish in that time, I’ve decided its time to take a break from fundraising, and in the short term, set myself some new challenges for 2020 and beyond.
So here are the 10 challenges I’m looking to complete over the next 5 years. Click in to the links below to find out more and I’ll update these over time too.
If you’d like to join or collaborate on any of these goals, then get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
1. Set long term goals
Deciding where I want to go, who I want to be and the experiences I want to have has been key to the process and the long term direction of my journey.
I’ve written this blog in which you’ll find my ‘A’ events for the next 5 years, the aim of which is to build and increase my cycling endurance for two key goal events – RAAM in 2021 (Team) & 2022 (Solo) and Paris-Brest-Paris in 2023.
UPDATE – You can read about my 2020 plans in my recent blog
2. Do more for me
While I’ve set some big, long term goals I need to weave in things that are for me – things that are not extreme, no mileage or time targets, but are focused on just getting out there and doing something for the sheer fun of doing it.
So, to that aim I’ll be looking to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones as well, by walking, running and cycling for fun and for the social aspects.
3. Help others to challenge themselves
Over the last two years I’ve challenged myself in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Doing so has made a huge difference to my physical and mental health and I hope, that by raising just over £6,000 for Make-A-Wish UK, I’ve helped to change someone else’s life too.
So while I will be taking a step back from fundraising, I would like to be able to help others start or continue their own fundraising journey – if this sounds like you, get in touch.
4. Give more through volunteering and donating
There is something amazing about volunteers – people who give their time freely and for the benefit of others. It’s something that should be roundly applauded – sadly, I don’t do enough of it.
I want to live a life where I give back more than I take and as such, I’m going to look for opportunities to give, volunteer and help others in different ways. Ideas and suggestions welcome, just drop me a line.
These next two goals are short term, must do adventures that I want to complete within the next 12 months (so by Mid-2020). When I’ve completed one, I’ll add a new one in!
5. Sleep under the stars
It’s been a long time since I slept under the stars – I was about 13 and in the Air Cadets.
This is a cheap, simple, short and really flippin’ cool micro adventure that doesn’t require a lot of travelling – the challenge here is getting way out of my comfort-zone and beating some of my anxieties.
6. Learn to (wild) swim
Being a runner and a cyclist I’m often asked when I’ll be taking on a Triathlon – my honest answer is always ‘I’m not a good enough swimmer’!
So in the spirit of doing things for fun and for the adventure, I’m going to combine learning to (properly) swim with doing it outside in lakes and rivers, making the most of what this country has to offer.
Miles for Wishes and being active has all been about improving myself, making me happier, healthier and ultimately to give more in life than I take out of it. So I’ve set myself a number of lifestyle goals, which, like this journey will adapt, change and grow alongside me.
7. Live more sustainably
I’m making a commitment to live more sustainably, by reducing my impact on the environment and the earths resources. I’ve already made a start by swapping out products at home and the kit that I wear – sorry kids this still means no Oreo’s!
I’ll share product reviews and blogs sharing my experiences, successes and tips as I try and make more and more positive changes.
8. Better control my IBS
Irritable Bowl Syndrome has plagued a number of my challenges and if I want to deliver on my long term goals and be an endurance cyclist I need to better understand and proactively manage my IBS – through my diet and other factors, such as stress.
I’ll be giving FODMAP a go as well as looking for more ways to de-stress and ultimately make my gut a happier place.
UPDATE – Thanks to the support of a professional nutritionist, Rosie, I’ve made massive changes to my diet and my lifestyle in order to improve my diet and therefore my performance as an athlete. Find out more in this blog.
9. Take more pictures and videos
There is something to be said for simply enjoying a moment without feeling the need to live it through the lens of a square on an app. I think we can all learn to be a little more mindful and conscious when we are experiencing the world and people and creatures in it.
All that said, I’m not good at sharing what I do. So the goal is more about getting better at recording my adventures, big or small, so that I can share them with you guys (and my girls) and hopefully inspiring you to make your own change in the world.
10. More mindful scrolling
A blessing and a curse – I wouldn’t be where I am, have raised the money I have or met the people or sponsors I have without social media. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for, but I want to make sure I’m using it in the right way, mindfully, so that I see and interact with content that inspires me, that is respectful, honest and well, just good!
So expect lots of comments and cheer leading from me. I’ll also try and share more stories about the people I met and share a little daily inspiration where I can!