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Powering down the Thames

Posted on 6 June 2016 12:33 PM by Forre3J

I felt joy when the news came that I would row the River Thames for the AHOY Meridian Pull Row Challenge on June 10. Doing it for the AHOY Centre charity, as part of team No Punt Intended, is a winning feeling.

Now with only days left to go, I’m just hoping I will be conscious when we cross the finish line. Soon after I got authorisation it hit me like an oar in the guts; I can’t row! And I hate cardio exercise at the gym. And I nearly fainted running for a bus recently. Quickly, my first flush of excitement about this event gave way to the realisation that it’s called ‘Challenge’ for good reason.

Training programme needed
I told my housemates and I can’t repeat what they said, but never have I made them laugh so much. It was clear a training programme was needed, so we went to the pub for a few craft lagers and cigarettes to create it! Soon I had a plan; exercise more, smoke less and no more eating pork scratchings in pubs. I was sure I could stick to this plan by getting into a routine. How hard can it be? However, a mere week later I was off on holiday and beginning the plan then seemed very optimistic. Nonetheless I did the right thing by packing exercise garments. And I did stay active on holiday, sadly this meant racing my fellow holidaymakers to the all-you-can-eat-buffet breakfast and then to the best sun loungers!

With six weeks to go until the Challenge and my holiday belly bulge now showing, training became essential, especially as my team mates were like machines; rowing every day or doing more press-ups than a shaolin monk. So I did what anyone would do in this situation by putting myself forward as captain. So much for keeping quiet and bringing absolutely no attention to myself! It now became impossible to even contemplate faking an injury to rule myself out. Some of my plan has been stuck to, most of it not! I have frequented the gym to gain some muscle. But unfortunately, my hopes of modelling for Abercrombie and Fitch will have to wait.

Massive thank you
I’d like a massive thank you to everyone who’s donated so far. It’s been a big effort and we’ve all done well raising more than £1,400. We have to meet the target or we don’t get in the boat, so please keep contributing! We’ll keep you updated with tweets on the day!


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