Posted in: Blog, by sheanna, on 13th January 2016 | Comments Off on

Throw your cap over the wall

The New Year is upon us, and we’re all starting to feel the effect of the Christmas diet,  we’ve put away the decorations, and getting used to writing a ’6’ rather than a ‘5’ at the end of the date, something that usually takes me till February to master.  I hope Christmas was a good time for you, and you’re returning to work excited, as I am, about the next 12 months.

We have 3 small children and so time off when the schools are out isn’t actually time off, it’s full-time child care!  But I did manage to grab a few hours over the holiday to read.  As well as the compulsory Lee Child novel, I was struck by this passage in a John Maxwell book I have had on my Kindle for a while.  Maxwell is talking about how making a public, or at least sharing commitment to a goal really helps him to keep on track with achieving it.  His friends and family can hold him to account for the goal he has set:

“John F. Kennedy loves to tell stories about his grandfather Fitzgerald. When his grandfather was a boy in Ireland, he would walk home from school with a whole group of boys. There were a lot of very jagged, high cobblestone fences. They were kind of difficult to climb, and some of them were ten to twelve feet high, so they were a little dangerous to climb. But, being adventurous boys, they always wanted to go over the walls, but were afraid of getting hurt. One day as they were walking home from school, Fitzgerald took his cap off and threw it over the wall. The moment he threw it over the wall, he knew he had to climb over to get it back, because he didn’t dare go home without his cap or he would be disciplined. Throwing your cap over the wall commits you to stretch and do something you would not normally do.”

This year I have decided to throw my cap over the wall and commit to the StraumaDSC_8116nn Cycle Challenge in September.  It’s been a while since I did something like this, with my Kilimanjaro Climb back in 2011, and so it’s high time I did.  For a recreational cyclist who does at most 20 miles on a Sunday in the summer, it’s a little daunting at the moment… It’s a 500 mile ride over 5 days from the Mediterranean coast to the Atlantic coast, and should be a very challenging ride, but a fantastic experience.

I guess many of us have aims for the year ahead, some will have made resolutions.  In my experience a written goal, and a plan of how to achieve it are crucial for success, and I think a shared or public commitment helps enormously as well.  So having made my commitment, I will be getting down to a training plan, which has started with a turbo trainer in the garage until the weather is a bit more hospitable!

The ride is being organised by our friends at Straumann to raise vital funds for Bridge2Aid, and I am very grateful to them for organising the ride once again.  I’m looking forward to joining the 40 or so other riders and tacking the miles together.  I’ll also be raising funds myself, so expect to see a Justgiving page soon!  Oh, and I’ll be begging the loan of a road bike from one of my cycling friends (who all seem to have at least 3 each, so I’m sure I’ll be fine).

So, that’s my commitment to a challenge this year – a ride well beyond my current capability that will hopefully raise a lot of money for a charity that is making a very real and measurable impact on a worthy cause.

What will you throw your cap over the wall for in 2016?

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