Friday, 12 November 2010

Hm, new challenge?

I really struggle to get physically motivated without a challenge. Without a reason to train and a date to aim for, I am a lazy slob. When the challenge is fixed, I can be as focused as anyone. And I definitely have some endurance events left in the old body - endurance sits well with me. My best competitive days are still ahead, I believe that. I guess in the back of my mind I've been waiting for someone to beat the record that myself and James Cracknell set for paddling across the English Channel. So that I'd have a reason to have another crack. But that hasn't happened so I'm looking in other directions. I am amazed at how many times I get asked, "So what's the next challenge?" Is it that obvious that that's the way I work?

Hm, it seems that it is. For some time now I've been on the look out for a 'biggy'. One that lights that fire, inspires and really grabs my attention. I often visit the Woodvale Classic site and have the info packs - I've spoken to the organisers ... trying to get my head around rowing across the Atlantic. When James did it with Ben Fogle I followed their progress hourly and wrote to them regularly. I felt as if I was in the boat with them! But, having prioritised family life above all else, to put that personal challenge ahead of them, well what sort of dad would that make me? No, it needs to be a physical challenge where the chances of death are not in the equation. Pain, certainly ("Pain is only temporary" Lance Armstrong), but death, no way Jose!

The RAAM is the ultimate endurance challenge. A bike race across America - 3,000 miles non-stop. I keep going back to it - it keeps coming back to me. It's just come back to me again? I like it a lot. hm.... much to think about.

Back to more pressing issues - Boiler's been on the blink. Ever since we got back from Centre Parcs we've had no central heating. "It's not that bad" Janey argued as the boys ate their breakfast in front of the roaring coal fire! Fair point. And now Sky's on the blink.. turns out that our Sky insurance that ensures that an engineer will come out in three days, can't make it until next Friday! Oh well, I'm on iPlayer listening to the radio - News Quiz with Sandy Toksvig .... starts off with a reports that the Miss Naked America contest has apparently come under some criticism, but then again it will always have it's knockers! I think I'm going to enjoy this.

Don't forget "It's for the kids!"

Spent the last two days manning our stand with Mikey and Wailin at a careers exhibition down at Redruth. Around 3,000 kids from around the county visited the show. Lots of different industries and colleges represented, answering questions and trying to help the kids with planning for future employment. We took our surf paddling trainer along to make it fun and a lot of the kids jumped on board for a go. Not sure how much careers advice we ended up giving, but we seemed to be one of the more popular stands!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Here's today's beach scene. Very windy from the North - this peak looks surfable but it'd be nearly impossible to stay in the right place to catch it - you'd be paddling all day for little reward. This is in the middle of the Bay. So we need to find shelter.
Polzeath faces West - North - West.....
... which is why when we look at the Northern end of the beach, you can just about make out that there's a bit of shelter to be had here from the Head at Pentire. It's one of the only beaches that offers a bit if shelter in a Northerly. The only other alternative would be a trip down to the South Coast.

Large crack found on Butlins Slide!

Of course that should have been the headline "Large Crack found on Butlins Slide" as a 20 stone woman had to be rescued last week from the flume! We were there for the Exmoor Beast the previous weekend. Must have been quite a scene!

Last weekend saw us at another holiday camp - Center Parcs. Centre Parcs is great - if you've got young kids, they absolutely love it. And on that basis we love it too. I think it was our seventh time. Yes, it's cool even with the surfers! In fact last time we bumped into one of the owners of another large surf school! Anyway we met up with my sister and her kids, Charlie (11), Alice (9) and Jamie (6) who are the best of mates with our two boys. My Mum was there in the mix too. The day revolves around footie in the morning, then up to the pool and the rapids for the rest of the day. The rapids is an absolute winner. The kids go round and round and round. As do the adults!

We had a stroke of luck when we were there. It was the weekend of the 'big' firework display being Nov 5th and all. But we decided not to make the trek back down to the lake - instead opting to stay in the pool. And this proved to be a master stroke as we ended up being the only ones left in the pool! This led to lots of tomfoolery as the lifeguards went to sleep. We got away with five of us all going down the big green slide together (normally one every minute!), time and time again with no-one to queue behind! Happy days. Not a peep from the boys in red and yellow. And we had the rapids and jacuzzis to ourselves as well. It's not often that's going to happen - we made the most of it.

Centre Parcs isn't cheap - if you eat at the restaurants, you're going to pay for it. But it is a very good break that the kids always really look forward to. Highly recommend it. Oh, and it's pretty quiet right now - lots of upgrading of accommodation areas.