When was the last time you pushed yourself so hard, out of your comfort zone and even to the point of being scared? Whether it’s work or life it’s necessary to do it often, to gain a sense of achievement and if you can do it for a good cause even better.
This week is Dementia awareness week, 17 – 23rd May, and what better way to spend it than taking part in the Mount Snowdon midnight challenge – 20 miles, 1100 metres high and in the pitch black.
Last year I decided to sign up for the cause. My family is affected by Alzheimer’s and I had first hand experience of the emotional rollercoaster of people, places and familiar faces being forgotten.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s have mountains to climb every day just climbing out of bed, so why not raise awareness and funds by doing the equivalent in the dark!
So five months ago the training started, many snowcapped summits, Lake District views, hairy descents and very tired muscles – also a fair bit of complaining en route.
Each time taught me more, the biggest lessons learnt, be prepared for any situation and have lots of small goals and by the time you have reached them, you will be on top in no time. This was soon applied to lots of things I did at home and work too.
I arrived in Snowdonia a little worried last Friday as the hardcore climbers gathered, all 243 in total. Torrential rain, high winds and zero visibility – why would it possibly be anything else?
It’s amazing how people’s life stories, the support of sponsorship and loved ones backing you pushes you further and helps summon energy when you need it most. It was horrendous.
Three hours later a very wet, cold but ecstatic Laura ran through the doors, placed fourth and the first woman home. It’s fair to say I still don’t believe I made it, let alone in such a time.
The most amazing part of the whole challenge is the £3,000 I raised will add to the total of £170,000, which will aid support with research, befriending services, campaigns and publications. Dementia will affect one million people in 2015 and with this disease there are no survivors.
So maybe we can’t move mountains, but we definitely can climb them, helping others preserve, make and keep memories alive. #DF24