dragon boats race

Getting fitter in 2013

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I plan to.  Started already with the plan.

Swimming for 20minutes – I hope to improve my speed.  Walking as much as possible – again, with practice, I hope to improve my speed.   Cycling too.  I hope to just improve!

We’ve got a cycling team we’d love you to join – our Pedal for Paul team.   Cycling between Glasgow and Edinburgh on 8 September 2013 we want to have over 100 cyclists in our team this year.  Last year we had 67 and all completed the challenge including young Charlie Griffiths.   He loved it so much he is signing up for it again.  (Ok, so his mum isn’t but she is going to be part of the support team cheering them home!)

I am doing it this year and am excited about it.    Please join me!

£30 to register and an extra £15 for transport to the start. We are going to have our own food stop on the route so you can be sure of a snack.

If running is more your thing and you are signed up to any of the spring runs please consider getting sponsored for us.

Get in touch if you’d like more information on raising funds for us.

What about putting together a team (20) for the Dragon Boats Race in June at Ocean Terminal.  Great fun – I astonished myself by loving it.  It’s only a tenner each to register and then you must raise at least £100 each (75% of which comes to It’s Good 2 Give and 25% to Leith Rotary)


My top 5 physical challenges (so far)

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My top five physical challenges so far…..

In at Number 5

I am no fan of water – sea, lake or river – so getting in a boat that is seriously close to said water wasn’t my idea of fun.   However, I will be totally honest with you now and say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the Dragon Boats Race at Ocean Terminal in June this year.  I might have had a different opinion if I had fallen into that brown water (I really really hope it was brown because of the stormy weather making it all silty ) but here’s the thing. We didn’t fall in.   It was great fun and yes, I would do it again.

Number 4

I am not much of a fan of running either.  But, as you can see in this photo, I ran a 5k and then a 10k for charity (that’s me in the turquoise top).  The run took place at Hopetoun House and I did the 5k in 29minutes which is seriously impressive and the 10k in 1hour 4minutes.   I practiced very very hard for both of these two runs.  My running buddy was a very fit younger than me woman and was perfect for me as she pushed me hard to keep up with her.  I’d love to do it again but have a recurring foot problem that I think would mean I had better stick to walking and cycling.

In the middle at Number 3

I am petrified of heights.  Not even that keen to stand on a ladder.  So, how come I found myself standing in a metal mesh basket (hey, it seems like a good description to me) hanging from a blooming great crane over the River Clyde?  Well, that is all down to the guy sitting next to me at a dinner two weeks previous.  He asked me about upcoming events and I mentioned the Zipslide over the Clyde.  He asked if I was doing it and I said (words to this effect) Not likely mate.   And he said, what if someone offered you £10,000?   What was I supposed to say?  No?  I don’t think so!   We shook hands, he gave me his money (and gift aided it so it was worth closer to £13000) and I shook for the next two weeks.  Driving through to Glasgow that day I almost threw up with terror.  I had to go to Boots to buy some Bach rescue remedy.  For the record, and with the level of terror I was feeling, Bach rescue remedy had no effect whatsoever.   I went up in that basket and when told to step off simply couldn’t.  Duncan (owns the zipline company and takes you up in the basket) tried to persuade me to move forward but I was glued to the spot.  I was sure I was going to disgrace myself and have to be taken back down.  In my pocket I had a piece of paper with all the young people I had got to know and the names of some who hadn’t made it.  I thought about how scared they must have been and how ridiculous it was for me to be scared to do this.   And stepped off.   Stepping off was horrible.  No two ways about it.   Zipping over the Clyde was amazing and let’s face it – took something like 18 seconds.  Sometimes fear can get really out of proportion!

Coming in at Number 2

Trekking in the Sahara.  When I told family and friends I was going to do the trek in the Sahara I was met with laughter.   You in a tent?  Are you serious?  Going for days without a shower?  What about the loo?  etc etc etc.  Well, I showed them.   Six days of trekking across sand dunes and cracked earth was incredibly hard.  The sand dunes were horrible to walk through.  And the sand got everywhere.   I had the biggest blister imaginable on my heel which had to be lanced by the paramedic on our trek.  The tents were tiny and to begin with far too close to each other (we had one guy who snored for Britain and had to be moved to very far away from us so we could get some sleep!).   One night I woke to see an animal run past the open door of our tent.   I was sure it was a tiger.  (yes I know it was Morocco. not many loose tigers there).   Then the guy in the tent next door said he could see a train coming towards us with a huge light on the front.  I was wearily looking for said train – poor guy is hallucinating I thought.  Looked out the tent flap and realised he was looking at the sun rising over the horizon.  We didn’t get lots of sleep that was for sure.  Climbing the highest sand dune in Morocco was something else.  Cheggaga it is called.   And it is high.  And the path is narrow and slippy.  That’s me at the back as usual.   Sand slips away from you right and left – though I don’t suppose it would hurt much if you fell.  I found it a very emotional experience.  I thought often of the young people I was doing it for – how most of them would have loved to be able to do what I was doing instead of sitting in a hospital ward attached to drips which were feeding powerful drugs into their young bodies to fight cancer cells.  I look back on this trip with immense pride as my first real adventure.

In Number 1 spot is

The trek in Bhutan.  Wow.  To get to 4500m in the Himalayas is something I never, in a million years, thought I would do.   Could do.  And yet I did do.  The peace that is Bhutan wraps itself around you.  Friendly happy people looking after us.  Beautiful stunning scenery surrounding us. Children in even the smallest villages wearing school uniform and walking miles to get to school.  Brightly decorated houses (with, err some interesting designs.  Look it up if you want more info!)  and Dogs everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  It was very tough going and altitude sickness got to one of our trekkers big time.  It was very cold at 4500m – our tent zip froze and all the tents had a layer of frost on them as we woke but oh my goodness what an amazing feeling standing at the base camp of Johmolhari –


I look forward with trepidation and pride to the physical challenges coming up in the next 18 months.   Pedal for Paul in just seven weeks time, 5×50 challenge starting same day and then the Kilimanjaro trek in October 2013.   You can push yourself to do things you wouldn’t otherwise contemplate.  And hey, we are here only the once.  Best make all you can of your time.   I’d never heard of Bhutan before I trekked there.   Kilimanjaro was a mountain I had read about but knew next to nothing really about it.  And if in challenging myself I also raise funds for our charity so much the better.  My body will thank me for getting fitter and our charity’s bank balance will thank me for raising the dosh!


(ps  I saved up and paid for the challenges abroad myself – the only money I asked for was sponsorship and that went entirely to the charity I was fundraising for.  I have already managed to save £1800 from car boot/gumtree/ebay sales towards my Kilimanjaro trek next year. )

A little bit of everything

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Sometimes I try to hard to make this blog only have useful or interesting bits of information about It’s Good 2 Give and forget that maybe just maybe you’d also like to know some of the little things I get up to!

Well if you do, good and if you don’t stop reading now and go back to your cuppa/work/walking the dog.

I have found this year really tough so far.  Family sickness, stress, grief and organising quite the biggest event we have ever considered has taken its toll.

Thank goodness for good friends who have been there to listen, to support, to help and to reassure. Over and over again I am reminded how much a small kindness can mean and it reinforces what we do as a charity too.

And even although there are small parts of days that seem almost unbearable most days are filled with hope.

Hope for safer cycling through our new charity to be – Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust

and hope for It’s Good 2 Give  – that we can continue with our programme of workshops, healthy snacks scheme, parents and patient packs, and responding to requests.

  • We are working alongside the Sick Kids Foundation in kitting out a room in ward 2 for study and reception – absolutely delighted to work in partnership with another tremendous charity on this project.
  • Including Ninewells Hospital in our parent and patient pack project.
  • working hard on our physical challenges – the Dragon Boats Race in June, Pedal for Paul in September and Kilimanjaro trek the following September.
  • building on our partnerships with businesses.
  • making our series of fundraising events this year the best ever.

For me personally, I want to continue getting fitter – I have done pretty well since November of last year when I realised that I wasn’t doing my health any favours by being quite so overweight or unfit.  Healthy eating and, so far, moderate exercise have done wonders.  I feel fitter and more energetic than I have done in years. I am walking for an hour each day and aim to increase that over the summer months.  I am participating in the Dragon Boats Race (reluctantly and with an arm up my back though not while rowing you understand) and Pedal for Paul bike ride this year – all good training for Kilimanjaro next year.   My saving up for Kili is doing well – through car boot/gumtree/ebay sales I have saved £1500 of the £2500 personal cost and then I can start on the £1000 I need to raise for the charity. I will be able to do that through organising an event though!   I am excited by the thought of Kili as the team we have so far is just amazing.  Delighted to be doing this incredible adventure for our charity with this group.

Since the Ball Ian and I have had a holiday and so the past week has been catch up week – lots of meetings with wonderful supporters and potential fundraisers and of course juggling that with ironing and shopping and two punctures!

Today is one of those lovely days – a mix of personal and charity – getting a much needed haircut from my good friend Jacqui who refuses to take any money from me – keeping my hair tidy is one of her ways of supporting my fundraising and I very much appreciate it.  Then it’s off for lunch with a new supporter Felicity Keating who raised £2000 at an event in her house earlier this month (go, Felicity!).  She is planning more fundraising for us in June too which is fantastic.  And then I am meeting one of the nurses from Ward 2 – Fiona Bruce – she is one of our trekkers for kili.

I leave you with one of my little quotes – you know how I like these quotes!

Each morning you wake up and have a choice:  Make it a good day or make it a bad day. Events try to dictate our circumstances. In the end the decision is ours.




Dragon Boats Race

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What?   Dragon Boats Race

Where?  Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh

When?  Saturday 23 June 2012

Time?   10am to around 4pm

Cost?   £10 to register and pledge to raise at least £100  (that’s per person)


This is going to be lots of fun.

Leith Rotary Club organise it and it all takes place at Ocean Terminal on 23 June 2012.

We have 2 boats reserved – we need teams of 20 for each boat.  At 3 June we still need 4 more team members!

The day starts at 10am. All team Captains get a briefing about safety etc and then the races are run in heats of either 6 or 8 boats at a time. So if you win  through your rounds of races you get to race again in the afternoon. You don’t race just once though, each crew will get a few races.

At about 4pm( ish) the final race of the fastest boats to win the trophy.

You have to be 16 years old or older to take part and be able to swim. (though, of course, life jackets are provided)

There are prizes for fastest team, best fundraising team, best dressed – I hope we can do well in one or more of these categories!

75% of money raised comes to It’s Good 2 Give and 25% to Leith Rotary Club who do amazing work in the community and overseas.

Want to be in our team?   Call lynne on 07901 555 352 or email her at lynne at itsgood2give.co.uk  (replace the at with an @)


Dragon Boats Race, Edinburgh

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This sounds like amazing fun.

Leith Rotary Club organise it and it all takes place at Ocean Terminal on 23 June 2012.

We have 2 boats reserved – we need teams of 20 for each boat.

You have to be 16 years old or older to take part and be able to swim. (though, of course, life jackets are provided)

There are prizes for fastest team, best fundraising team, best dressed – I hope we can do well in one or more of these categories!

75% of money raised comes to It’s Good 2 Give and 25% to Leith Rotary Club who do amazing work in the community and overseas.

It’s only £10 to register and pledge to raise at least £100 each.

Want to be in our team?  Get in touch soon and I will send you a registration form.