9 measly days......

.......until I (slash - we, as in the other 399 crazies, that are taking on the Fan) am/are confronted with the Phone Box by the Storey Arms, but this time, it's for real, no mucking about, no more excuses, it's head down, crack on time (well head up really, you need to be looking where you're putting your feet - but you get what I mean)! 

More than just a Phone Box! This is the very symbol of Batshit Craziness, unless of course this is a familiar stomping ground!
Training has once again been hit and miss, last weekend. early Saturday morning I smashed out 7.5 miles in 90 mins with 47lb on my back plus water, which was followed by an hour in the pool Sunday morning, before a dust off of the old legs in trainers for an hour in the evening. I went to bed Sunday night feeling pretty chuffed with myself, and woke up Monday morning feeling like shit! Legs, check. Heart, check. Lungs and chest full of some dirty virus, check! Great, as if Mondays can't get any more bloody miserable! It's now Thursday and all week I haven't been able to train in anger, which is frustrating, even the morning and evening climbs up the escalators between Euston and London Bridge are enough to do me in, but hey the good news is, there's still 9 days (well 8 training days, well 7 as Friday before should be a rest day), every cloud has a silver lining and all that - although to be fair looks more like snow to me! Just another little obstacle to throw into the mix, if the met office report is to be believed, but hey it wouldn't be the Fan Dance in Winter without snow, surely? 

A Sweaty 'Orrible Mess!
To be honest, the way I see it is, that despite the hit and miss with training over the last few weeks, the base fitness is there. I've worked my ass off this year to get myself through two Paras'10 events, and you don't lose that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anywhere near as fit as I would like to be yet, and there's still a fair bit of spare timber around that I want shot of, that will at this point hold me back. Therefore, I'm under no illusions as to the difficulties I/we face and the far greater challenge The Fan Dance presents, but again that's why we're doing it, isn't it? I took a lot of time to decide to do this event and before I decided to say 'yes' I sought the advice of some of my closet friends and of course my wife, as to whether they felt I was fit enough to give it a go, the answers came back as a unanimous 'yes', lets hope they're right! Actually, no hope required, I'm fit enough, but you need much more than fitness, and I've gone over this in the past. I have the heart, I have the desire, and I have the incentive, my personal tribute to my brother, to "go always a little further." 

If like me, you are not superhuman fit (and I dare say of the 400 that will make their way from the Phone Box and back again next Saturday, there will be a few, that a fair few of us we'll be in complete awe of) having an incentive is a powerful thing to possess, especially in the pursuit of that very fine finishers patch.If unlike me and a few others that I know who are doing the event for very similar reasons, then you'd do far worse, than to familiarise yourself with 'Pathfinder'. 'Pathfinder' is an account of a PF mission in Irag led by Captain David Blakeley in March 2003, I've just finished it. Now I'm familiar with some of the PF traditions as Lloydy was PF until 2010, and there are a few quotes and passages worth reciting, that will no doubt puff that chest out to begin with, and give you more strength when you need it. Me, I just think of my brother, but hey, I know I'll be using the following passages and quotes too, not too mention, playing 'Thunderstruck' over and over in my head. So with a little under 9 days to go, prep in the way that works best for you, find those incentives that give you that extra strength you need to push on, and lastly hold your head up high (not just because it's best to, so you know where you're placing your feet), but because, your doing and being part of something quite special and very unique..........

"Happiness shall always be found by those who dare and persevere; wanderer - do not turn around, march on and have no fear." - PF

"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus - William Ernest Henley

See you on the Fan!


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