Sunday, 30 April 2017

KILIMANJARO UPDATE - FUNDRAISING, FITNESS & OTHER



I have now rescheduled my trek twice, the second time being a couple of weeks ago, both times due to my fundraising not going to plan. I am confident that this time I will reach my target and I will now be doing the trek on 11th - 22nd October this year which is actually much better timing for me so I'm putting this down to a 'everything happens for a reason' kind of situation (I'm actually just a terrible fundraiser).

Fundraising struggles

Definitely quite the struggle - I really underestimated how difficult it would be to fundraise such a large amount of money. So many people have donated and have been so wonderfully generous but I think my downfall was relying too much on only donations. I don't mean that to have negative connotations, I believe people will continue to be wonderful and donate but as I would like to raise as much as I possibly can, I should have tried harder from the beginning to source donations in other ways. Lesson learnt - start sooner. There's no such thing as too much fundraising. 

I have a few events planned over the next couple of months, and I plan to self fund as much as I can too. A couple of ideas I had over the course of the year unfortunately fell through and when things like that happen I do honestly become quite disheartened. I don't think anyone likes asking people for money even if it is for charity, so sometimes I do feel a bit like a house fly that won't bugger off. I try to raise awareness for mental health as much as I can too which is just as, if not more important, and is the reason I started my blog in the first place. I haven't written an awful lot yet but I would love to eventually have at least one post per week. Failing that, I do try to share as much as I can on social media about mental health, mostly videos and posts about other peoples stories and my own blog.

How is my training going?

Bloody terribly that's how. I always think I have a generally good level of fitness but as it goes, I don't. I was much fitter in 2015, I used to exercise a fair bit and ate a lot healthier and I sometimes still kid myself that I'm still in the same shape but I'm definitely not. I have a lot to work on fitness-wise and there is no one to blame but myself on this one. I really struggle with self motivation in any situation, especially fitness and whilst I'm not in a terrible shape, I am certainly not extreme trek-ready. Although recently I have started walking, both up fells and in flatter areas, and I track my miles on my phone which I get far too excited by. Another lesson learnt is that I should have started a lot sooner. I still have a fair few months to go but like with the fundraising, it wouldn't have hurt to have gone the extra mile to begin with.

My fitness goals are to up the miles with my walking and do more mountains, start cycling again and improve my diet massively.

Things I am nervous about

Getting altitude sickness, not reaching the summit, spiders/all insects, becoming ill before I go or getting an injury, having to reschedule for a third time because of a reason beyond my control.

Things I am excited about

Reaching my fundraising target and sending the funds to Mind, (hopefully) reaching the summit, just the trek itself as I love walking, the experience of visiting a continent I have never been to, and a whole array of other wonderful things.

Would I do another big event?

I think I would like to focus more on fundraising and raising awareness consistently in my spare time instead of just dong events. Saying that, I would really love to do Everest base camp and also cycle from London to Paris. I am also interested in volunteering for Mind or another mental health charity/other charity and it's something I am going to look into soon.

My advice to fellow fundraisers 

Start fundraising and training as early on as you can. Don't be afraid to ask others for advice, there will always be at least one lovely person willing to be of assistance, if not more. You're doing a lot better than you think you are, and never forget to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing if you start to become a little disheartened or overwhelmed. All your hard work and effort will be more than worth it in the end and every little milestone is making a massive difference to your chosen charity, so never think you are not doing enough, because you're doing so much more good than you think. Best of luck!










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