In October I turn 30 and when I do I'll be in Africa about to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which at 5,895m is the highest free standing mountain in the world. I'm not going to lie, I'm actually pretty scared. When I've told people about the climb I've had loads of support and everyone has been positive about my chances of success. As many of you know I run a lot, train hard in the gym and of course I'm always out walking my border collie Gatsby. However, this doesn't mean I won't find the climb hard, in fact I know this will be the hardest challenge I've ever faced, both physically and mentally. I've never attempted to train at altitude and I've heard a lot of horror stories about altitude sickness. I'm also scared about doing this challenge alone. It's part of an organised trip but I won't know anyone before I set off and as someone who hates spending even one evening alone I'm going to find this aspect hard too. That and I'm also scared of freezing to death in the night in my sleeping bag!
I read a lot of blogs and watch lots of programmes about amazing places in the world to visit and the adventures that people go on. Some days it feels like my whole Instagram feed is full of people not sat at a desk every day and instead they're out creating memories. A few months ago I realised that I didn't want to be one of those people who had big dreams but did nothing about making them a reality. I had often thought about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro so I thought why not start with that to make turning 30 really memorable and finally give me my own adventure story.
Why the Sheffield Children's Hospital?
My family and friends have been asking me for months about the presents I'd like for my 30th and what we'll be doing to celebrate. Despite years of wanting a chocolate Mulberry Bayswater I know that the money will be better spent by The Children's Hospital. So whether you were planning to buy me a present or celebrate with me over a couple of gin and tonics, this year I'd love you to divert your presents and instead support my climb by donating to The Children's Hospital. The Hospital have asked me to raise £2,500 for them towards their physiotherapy unit. As someone who has had a lot of physio after knee injuries I know what an important service they provide so I'm aiming to hit their target and exceed it (no surprise there!). I know that with your generous support I'll do that.
In September 2012 I persuaded (signed him up without telling him) my Dad to achieve a goal of his and run 13.1 miles in the Great North Run. We ran side by side and used the opportunity to raise money for the Sheffield Children's Hospital so that we could help them to continue the great work they do. We managed to raise over £2,000.
The following April, nine weeks after fracturing my leg skiing, I ran the Paris Marathon and again asked my friends and family to support the Hosptial. I raised over £1,000 in the process and helped the Hospital to fund some fantastic new facilities.
Thank you so much for supporting me and my climb and a charity that means so much to me and my family.