Following the gruelling 2,500 mile round trip to Barcelona in March, the second part of my British Heart Foundation charity endeavour is now looming ever larger, in the shape of Britain's highest mountain – Ben Nevis.
While the mileage covered will be significantly less this time, the challenge is by far a great deal more … especially for someone who thinks a daily 15 minute walk around the block is as much exercise as anyone needs!
To build up to this, a rigorous 'training' schedule has seen me undertake a weekly 5 mile walk (to the pub), as well as a handful of 10 mile hikes, which has seen me take on – amongst other things – a ladder, a nose, the odd crag, and a bluff.
Yep, sadly the biggest discovery in all of my preparations is that sometimes just reading an OS map is entertainment in itself...
Aside from the distress of there being no pub sat atop the summit for a rewarding ale, the Rough Guide to the Highlands rubs it in further by telling me that Ben Nevis is far from being the most picturesque or scenic peak you can climb in Scotland; worse, it warns that the well-trodden path will likely be crowded with weathered walkers and reckless lunatics carrying up grand pianos or whole cars or somesuch.
I trust that our team will simply settle for carrying our lunch up, celebrating a hopefully successful ascent in amongst the clouds with a ham sandwich and a Panda Cola.
Of course, if you believe Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of success is showing up", and so I'll consider it an achievement in just making it all the way to the Visitor Centre at the foot of the mountain early on Saturday.
Once we set off, to keep me going along the trail and up the mountain I will of course have in mind the great cause that I'm doing this for, the British Heart Foundation, as well as the fantastic support of everyone who has donated, and also the inspirational words of Dr. Seuss ringing in my ears: “Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)".
If you haven't yet donated... please, have a heart! (and preferably also a credit or a debit card)
It's very easy!!!
Simply visit www.justgiving.com/heartlookers or text LKRS99 and the amount you wish to donate (eg. LKRS99 £5) to 70070.
ANY donation from £1 upwards is extremely welcome, and will be massively and equally appreciated not just by myself, but also by the British Heart Foundation, and most important of all by the many thousands of people who benefit every year from their essential work and research.