Good evening all, and welcome to the first post of my first ever blog.
It's a little bit daunting as I have never tried anything like this before, but as anyone who knows me, knows that I am certainly prepared to give anything a go, a bit like this daft walk we are all writing about !
Anyway, I anticipate that the blogs will be a little disjointed to start with, but then hopefully flow nicely and finish with a crescendo - perhaps a little like my beloved Reds this evening who eventually ran out 3-1 winners at home to Newcastle. As I write I am watching the match played back on everyones favourite digital satellite system. Phew, I thought we would snatch another draw from the jaws of victory, but not tonight because England's greatest midfielder for a generation saw to it that we wouldn't drop another 2 points at home.
I'm watching on playback because I have just spent the evening with Caroline and the kids at the Gaiety to watch the 2011 panto Dick Whittington - what a great show. Congratulations to Matt James on another great production, to Liz Dixon (wife of my Parish 2011 partner and lifelong friend - more about him later) and finally to Alexander Beck on a brilliant performance. I remember him when he was just plain Alex, a snotty nosed young teenager, and in particular when he took a pasting off his dad for taking the family Renault Scenic for a joyride round the Ronaldsway sports pitches whilst Simon was playing for the Ronaldsway Rockets. He probably took yet another defeat out on poor Alex.
I intend to use my forthcoming blogs to give you all an insight into what has motivated me to get involved in the Parish Walk and other walking events. I will share what I have learned since I took the first steps in July 2006 in training for my first ever event, and how I have evolved, whether it be little sneaky tips for avoiding blisters or how to get the very best out of yourself when all you want to do is give up and go home. I have been on both sides of the fence in terms of walking and also supporting, the latter being the most underestimated role undertaken. When you are in the middle of Glen Mona and are ready to call it quits (there is a story here that I will share with you in due course), you are only as good as the person backing you up. Remember, the supporter gets the grief, and the walker takes all the glory. This is something that I intend to put right on this blog.
By looking at my times, it is clear that I am never going to break records. however, hopefully I will be able to give a balanced view and encourage those of you who think "I'd love to give it a go, but I just can't do it" to just go that little bit further. You don't know what you are capable of until you try.
Your body is an amazing thing and can achieve amazing things, it's just your brain that tries to tell you it isn't. This is why the Parish is as much a mental challenge as physical one, and over the course of the next 6 months, I intend to create a positive blog that hopefully you can draw on to help you go some way to achieving your goal.
Good luck one and all, and if you're only thinking about it, why not make it your objective for 2012 and get your entry in - remember the sponsor's discount by the end of January. Let's get over 2000 entrants this year.