I suffered much less than I had anticipated after the gym session last weekend. My arms were a little stiff (whose wouldn’t be after doing squats & lifting a school bench above your head in reps of 10 for an hour?) What really hurt were my stomach muscles, but on reflection, these core muscles were used in nearly every exercise we did on the circuit!

I have taken on board the suggestions made last week about getting race fit. I signed up to a weekly Pilate’s course to build my core strength; now my stomach muscles hurt even more! Saturday I donned many layers (it was a typical wet and grim January weekend) and tackled part of the Test Way from Romsey to Mottisfont. The first part of the walk was through marshlands, I was walking through boggy fields up to my ankles in water (it would have been deeper, but the bottom 6″ was still frozen and I was frequently skating rather than walking). I then trekked through equally wet woodland where I had to improvise bridges over fast flowing channels of water; and onto the pig farm. This herd of pigs (is that the correct term for a large field of pigs?) made lots of high pitched squealing, ran away, re-grouped, then ran towards me at pace – luckily there was an electric fence between me and them! From ankle deep in marsh water (the favoured option), I moved on to ankle deep in cow muck, and out onto better tracks. I had to turn back before Mottisfont; just as the rain really set in, to retrace my steps (what joy!) and collect a waiting child at school. It was a good 2.5hr walk with a ruck sack, at a fast pace. Not a bad start. I would however recommend this particular leg of the Test Way to be completed on a warm summers day!

I finished the weekends exercise  with 1.5 hours Nordic walking (poles, but no skis), on Saturday evening and a lovely 2.5 hours walk with Charlie dog in the sunshine on Sunday. About 20 miles over the 2 days.

This week also saw me starting to contact people about sponsorship opportunities. Everybody has been very supportive, and only one company has said outright no. The theme has generally been “how can we help you”, ” if we can’t help you, we might know somebody who can.” This is a slow but optimistic start, and brings me onto the theme of this news update –  “Kevin!” Kevin?

I have just finished reading the book “innocent our story & some of the things we’ve learned” which takes you on the journey of innocent smoothies, from initial idea to highly successful company over 10 years. I got lots of useful tips from this book, for running my own company Simply Stuck, and for life in general. The “six degrees of Kevin”  is that everyone on the planet  is only 6 people away from knowing Kevin. The theory here for me is that I should know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone … who needs this wacky opportunity to promote or test their brand or products.(even if though they don’t know it yet!). So please think about everyone you know, even vaguely, and if you think there is any possibility of any support (It does not matter how small) then please put them in touch with me!!

It is a  huge challenge to raise the sponsorship and then an equivalent amount for charity, and a few people have told me how tough it is out there (I run a business – I know!), and that it can’t be done. One of the other messages that runs throughout the innocent book is:

no matter how many times you get told “no” or “you can’t do it” – never, ever give up!”