I always regard December as a month for looking back and reviewing the year that is about to end. There are several reasons for doing that. Firstly to remind myself what I’ve achieved in the year and then to re-play and enjoy the memories once again. It’s also a chance to compare those achievements with the targets I set for the year, and that review process feeds into my planning for the year ahead.
December is also the month when we come together as a nation to review the sporting year via the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards. I’ve been an avid SPOTY viewer since I was about 7-years-old and must have voted almost every year since then – originally by sending a postcard and more recently by texting my vote.
I don’t always watch Dragons’ Den, but on the occasions when I do, I like to think I’m watching for mainly educational purposes rather than just pure entertainment.
Sunday evening’s programme (24th July) just happened to coincide with having a late meal, so I watched the second half of the show and was left thinking about the final item and how it had a relevance to my own work. The Boot Buddy is a great product with a really nice story behind it. For anyone that didn’t see the show it is worth visiting the Boot Buddy website and reading the About page.
When 5×50 became 5×1,000
On Saturday 19th December 2015, I ran the Perth parkrun and reached a remarkable milestone. At least 5 kilometres of active travel on 1,000 consecutive days.
Thank you to the 5×50 Challenge for the inspiration to make such a fundamental change in my life.
A Big Round Milestone
It’s building up to be quite a weekend. On Saturday my challenge of making a self-propelled journey of at least 5 kilometres per day reaches the 1,000 consecutive days mark.
To be honest, I’m struggling to get my head round it myself, but I’ve walked, run, cycled, canoed, kayaked or skied at least 5 kilometres every day since 25th March 2013.
I’ve just read a couple of online articles that have caused me to pause and consider the way in which the majority of businesses in the accommodation sector are missing a golden opportunity to benefit from the growth in cycling tourism.
Proofreading is good for your health
Yes, you did read that headline correctly.
I’ll be the first to admit that a healthy diet and physical activity are way above proofreading when it comes to looking after your long-term health. However, I have had a couple of discussions in recent weeks about the link between sloppy writing and a perceived health risk. Let me explain.
After last year’s Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride, we found ourselves being attracted to Ireland’s equivalent end-to-end challenge – Mizen to Malin. That’s Mizen Head in County Cork to Malin Head in County Donegal.
The plan was to attempt this ride in 2015, but a hint of good weather in early September sent us scurrying into Google overdrive. It’s surprising what you can do when you put your mind to it and four days after committing to the trip we were cycling across Belfast in search of Central Station and the train to Dublin.
5×500 – Adding an extra zero
The 5×50 challenge inspired me to even out my exercise routine and take some exercise every day. I’ve always been into sport and exercise, but it took 5×50 to make me realise that I was having too many days when I didn’t exercise. As I’ve grown older those passive days were leading to more niggling injuries because, when I exercise, I really go for it. Four days of inactivity followed by a long run or big day on the mountain were leaving my body susceptible to injury.
Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail
A great project that I’ve been involved in recently has been the development of the Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail or G2E. I’ve been working with Scottish Canals for about 18 months to pave the way for this project to happen, and over the past four months or so I’ve been working with Donald MacPherson of Explore Highland to actually deliver the project.
The Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail is an 87 kilometre route on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals and was officially launched on June 27th. As well as taking in these two canals and linking the two major cities, the canoe trail also includes the iconic Falkirk Wheel.
Work is really busy at the moment. Since setting up Big Pond Scotland a couple of years ago I have never had so much work on the go. I’m delighted with that and enjoying the many and varied projects that I’m working on.
When work comes in like that it is easy to neglect other aspects of life like getting outdoors for some healthy exercise. Despite being an active person, I have succumbed to work pressures in the past and not taken sufficient exercise for a few weeks. The result has usually been disturbance to sleep patterns and feeling tired during the daytime when trying to concentrate on work.
In 2012 I took part in the 5X50 Challenge. The challenge being to run, walk or cycle 5km for 50 consecutive days. This is the story of how 5X50 has inspired me to take daily exercise, no matter how busy my life might be.