What is 50 at 50 and why am I doing it?
As my friends and family will tell you I am always up for a challenge and have always believed in the power of self-belief; not a cocky arrogance but the belief that if you want to do something you can do it. I don’t give up easily and whilst I’m not a gung ho risk taker I do like adventure and physical tests, for example in 1997 I was part of the first all women’s expedition to the North Pole and I have run the London Marathon in each of the last three decades. However, since getting married, having a son, taking on a challenging job and just generally getting older (& more boring!), I seem to have lost some of that spirit and desire/drive to say yes.
As I approached my 50th birthday I decided to set myself 50 challenges. The plan is to do all of them over two years – the year leading up to my 50th in September 2020 and the year of my 50th; potentially a little ambitious but I’m going to give it a go!
[Covid-19 has not surprisingly had a big impact on my ability to complete these challenges within two years so it is now 50 in my 50s - they will all get done, just not by September 2021!]
Some of these challenges are on my bucket list and are the classic physical tests that many people set themselves e.g. climbing Kilimanjaro, running the London Marathon (again) and sky diving. However I also want to set myself some challenges that really put me out of my comfort zone.
I am by nature a fairly traditional person and not someone who wears wacky clothes, has a tattoo or dyes my hair so some of the suggestions that I’ve been given include posing nude for a life class, dying my hair and doing a stand-up routine in a comedy club. All of these scare me witless and I’d far rather run 10 marathons than do a stand-up routine, but that is exactly the reason why I am determined to do as many of these kind of challenges as possible.
The final set of challenges I want to set myself are not challenges per se but the kind of activities that I always mean to do but never get round to it because life is just too busy e.g. helping out in the local foodbank, visiting all eight of my godchildren (its all well and good sending birthday and Christmas presents but I want to actually spend time with them all!), planting 50 trees and so on.
There is another reason that I want to do these challenges – I want to try to raise as much money as possible for 4 amazing charities. All of them have a particular connection to me and as I found it impossible to choose between them, I have decided to share any monies raised. Please do give generously if you can, they all do an amazing job. Thank you.