The morning after the night before...

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You wake up in a panic. The alarm sounds the beginning of your routine. It's 7.30am and you're picking up exactly where you left off. Thoughts and ideas reforming in your head, those emails that need a response and the time-consuming training that needs to be done, all instantly gripping you practically predicting your every movement for the next 24 hours. As you sip on your coffee you quickly and begrudgingly realise that once again, there simply will not be enough time to squeeze it all in today. 

Every job on that list you made last night becomes less important as the new day brings another job that takes top priority, even though you thought last night's list would be 'the final list'. Your regular porridge brings some comfort as you evaluate your options. "Today I'll train hard, hopefully get those emails sent and head to work, if it's quiet I'll get that blog sorted and price up my gear, if I'm lucky I can get home and work on my core then sleep." When you finally crawl into bed, after completing what you think were the most pressing matters of the day, you're asleep in minutes. Although in those minutes, you're very much aware that today, tomorrow and every day after will always be a little too short. 

THE INFINITE TO-DO LIST

Since first thinking up 'The Wales Coast Challenge' back in March 2012, my days have increasingly become consumed by everything that goes a long with a charity challenge. You've got your;

  • Training - A time consuming yet vital part of any big challenge. There is no use in publicising a challenge that you physically are not ready for. For us, we train 6 times a week. Training sessions can range anywhere from 1 - 7 hours long depending on the day. 3 days strength/endurance weight training, HIIT training 4 days a week, Hill walking, endurance walking, aerobic training, cardio-circuits, Pilates, flexibility + balance training, running, swimming and boxing. Typing that was a work out! 
  • Emailing - Something you wouldn't expect taking up a lot of time but when approaching the press, sponsors, the experts and whoever else will make your life just a little easier, each email must be crafted. Must be fine-tuned so that each opportunity is utilised. A template email will get you nothing but misery but a well worked, thoughtful email to a potential partner or supporter can move you great leaps in the right direction
  •  Promoting - Everything from creating posters to building your social media presence, driving people to your donation page is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. You can train and email to your hearts content but if people don't donate, you've missed the point completely. Not only because you don't raise money, but a donation signifies that your message is getting through. People not only understand why but believe in what you're doing. 
  • Earning - In a perfect world, this would be my job. But it's not and working to be able to pay for all of this and to live takes time. 40 hours a week to be exact. 
  • Eating - Some say nutrition is 80% of your training. If you put unleaded in a diesel car... it's gonna blow. It's the same for us. If you put the wrong foods into your body then the mechanisms that allow you to progress won't function well, if at all. Finding the right stuff to eat would be easy as pie if you had all the money in the world, but since earning take up our time then it's clear to see we don't have that money. So you have to be smart, and being smart takes time. 
  • Planning - I don't think many people have tried to walk 860 miles in 30 days. Neither does the knowledge on how to come naturally or is it easily found on the net. What to eat? What to take or more importantly, what to leave? How heavy is it all? How much does it cost? If I can't afford that then how do I get the best weight to price ratio? How long is all this going to take? Where do I stay? Will camping be of detriment to my over night recovery? Will hotels be too expensive or not in the spirit of the challenge?  Questions that do not answer themselves... let me tell you. 
  • Sleeping - A training athlete needs 8-10 hours of sleep to recover properly. A normal human being needs 6-8 hours sleep to allow their bodies to repair and re-cooperate ready for the next day. When 8-10 hours of sleeping leaves you with 14 - 16 hours to Train, Email, Promote, Earn, Eat and Plan... then things start to get a little frantic.

Is that all you're going to do? 

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Yup, I'm aware that it sounds like all this blog wants to do is complain. I assure you this is not the case. I want to show you what goes on behind the scenes of those big fundraisers that come into your life as quickly as they leave it. They are a flash in the pan and it is the end result that we see and brings in the donations. Which I feel is a pity if people knew what went into getting the fundraiser to the start line. 

At the moment, making this challenge a success does feel like a never ending circle of things to do, with never enough time to do what we want and always wishing we could do more. 

There are times when I doubt the ideas we have, we argue amongst ourselves and I even question why we even started in the first place. 

Then I open my laptop and read an article on the BBC website. The title reads; 

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CENSUS 2011: SOUTH WALES VALLEYS RANK BOTTOM FOR HEALTH.

CLICK HER TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

I take another sip of my coffee. A strange relief washes over me. 

That's right. After reading this headline, I was not shocked or surprised, nor instantly moved or concerned. I was simply, relieved. 
Relieved because there is a reason why we do this. Why we spend all of our time trying to make this challenge a success. Any way we can. 
Whether it be though a financial partnership, linking up with schools or completing a challenge that hasn't been done before (that is all 860 miles in 30 days, the Wales Coast Path has been completed by 8 people in various time frames).

All of what we do, everything we work towards, is to give children the opportunities and the chances to prosper in their lives. It could be through re-connecting with nature. It could be through learning to fundraise. It could even be by simply knowing that there are children around the world less fortunate than themselves. Everything we've done will have been worth it. 

This is Help Us Learn saying, we're doing everything we can to raise money and awareness for issues that affect children worldwide. We hope you take the time to check that out... and put a cheeky donation down too! We'd also like to put a request in for some more hours in the day. That would be great. 

ALL DONATIONS GO DIRECTLY TOWARDs the JVF-Nepal 'PRIMAry school extension' project/funding projects that re-connect children with nature. 

We prefer paypal for speedy and safe donations. 




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