Jingle bells, awards and epic adventures

Hi all,

This is my penultimate blog of the year. Apologies for the lateness but I have a valid reason.

On the 15th of December 2011, my third son, Zacharie was born.  Weighing in at a healthy 9lbs (or just over 4 kg) he is the most fantastic addition to my family and right before Christmas too!  Aurélie and baby are doing exceptionally well.  He’s quite a character and certainly isn’t shy about coming forward and expressing his own opinion; including his disappointment at both myself and Aurélie sleeping at night!!  So, we have both been battling fatigue through lack of sleep whilst being busier than we would ever have imagined at Christmas time.

The last week and four days have been occupied by the Trans-USA challenge.  Thanks must go to Mimi Anderson, ActiveVII, Steve from GoBeyond and also James from Media First, for their assistance so far.  Thanks also to, Russ Cox and James Golding for their support and input.  I’m excited by the prospect of Russ Cox and James Golding undertaking some of the route with me.

Midway through the planning, thinking, and trying desperately to get some sleep, I was invited onto the Malcolm Boyden show and BBC Radio Oxford.  Oxford not being far from me was, I thought, a reasonably safe bet to arrive at 10 AM.  Little did I realise that the pre-Christmas shopping mania had overtaken the United Kingdom and everyone who drives will understand my use of the term “gridlock”.   I was driving and waiting and driving and waiting and more waiting for what seemed like ages.  My eyes constantly returned to the clock in the car, which did nothing to dispel my sense of urgency and my fears that I wouldn’t reach the BBC studios in time.  Thankfully I did.  In fact, right on time!

The producer, Harry, met me at the door and immediately ushered me into the live studio.  Handshakes and a quick cup of tea placed on the desk in front of me and Malcolm launched into the interview.  Honestly?  I think I did okay.  I was dreadfully tired from little to no sleep the previous few days.  Notwithstanding, they certainly seemed happy with the interview and it was good to see Malcolm, Harry and the guys again.  They have been exceptionally supportive of the 10MillionMetres campaign and I owe a lot of thanks to them for that.  Mention was made of an update interview regarding the forthcoming Thames Trot 50 mile race from Oxford to Henley-on-Thames in February 2012.   For which runners and brave interested parties can get a free entry via the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  Please go to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust website at www.cureparkinsons.org.uk for more information and also do let them know if you want the donations to count towards the 10MillionMetres, £1 million fund.

Later that same day I was being interviewed by Colleen on Generate Radio (http://www.generateradio.com/).  Great music and good chat was the order of the show and I had a laugh.  Thanks Colleen and Generate Radio.  In fact, special mention must be made of Colleen as she got married today (24th December 2011)!!  Congratulations and best wishes for the future to you both!

Training has been put on the back-burner for the moment as I still have this nagging cough which won’t go away.  Mimi Anderson has commanded me to rest until the New Year and who am I to argue with such an esteemed athlete.  Seriously, Mimi is correct.  If I don’t look after myself I’ll be unable to summon the best performance I can possibly achieve when undertaking the challenges that 2012 will bring.

On Wednesday I was invited to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London for the deVere Group annual awards ceremony.  This was a black tie do and a spectacular evening was hosted by deVere to thank the very dedicated employees that make my core Sponsor the most successful financial consultancy in the world.  Being a third party (so to speak) it was interesting to observe and meet the people who have supported and aided my 10MillionMetre Campaign in 2011.  The event was a success and to describe the awards as impressive would be an understatement.  I would have liked to have shown some photos but for now your imagination will have to do; as I have no pictures to show.  Save to say, champagne reception followed by fantastic food, dancers, music, awards, Steve Redgrave, Jessie J and a set by Calvin Harris in the adjoining deVere lounge left me stunned.  I feel very honoured to have been there and thankful to all the people I met and their kind words of support.  Hats off to Beverley who organised the whole event!  Thank you deVere for letting me be a part of your evening.

I have so much to do for 2012.  Epic adventures to raise awareness of Parkinson’s don’t just happen by themselves and I’ll probably need three of me to get the jobs done, but I’ll do it!!!

However, that’s not important right now.  Right now is the night before Christmas.  The first Christmas for my little boy and I am going to spend it with him.  So I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy, safe and wonderful Christmas!

For those don’t celebrate it, have a safe and a top weekend to you and your families and I will update everyone with the end of year kit review next week.

Until then, have fun and keep moving!!

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