Sunday, 25 January 2009

I've had a rush of blood to the head

Something odd has happened to me. Let me explain....

I woke up on Saturday morning at 6am by two small boys wanting milk. Despite the early hour I bounced out of bed and felt ready to face the day. This was all the more remarkable given that I'd had close to a bottle of wine the night before. I was gagging to head outside for a run. That in itself was odd. I waited and waited for the sun to get its lazy sorry arse out of bed and rise in the sky. When it did, I noted the thick layer of ice covering the world, wavered slightly in thinking a run would be good, but then said sod it. I donned my panty line revealing pineapple leggings, several warm tops, gloves and my husband's ipod and headed out.

It was tricky going - one step forward, two back with the ice - but I soldiered on. I got to the point that was the farthest I've run before (about 1/2 a mile) and decided I still had a bit more in me. So I kept going. And then I went bit further. And then I realised that I was probably close to half way around the big loop that my husband normally runs. I could have turned around and gone back, but I figured if I'd gone this far I should just carry on. Sure my knees were killing me but I was still feeling surprisingly good. At about the half way point, the ipod - my motivation, my inspiration - ran out of batteries. I couldn't get futher away from home and I was without rhythm to get me home. I dug deep and kept running. The last hill was a killer. But not once did I slow to a walk.

I finally made it home. Aching legs but still feeling pretty good. My husband said: "Where did you go?"
"I did the loop."
"Oh, the little loop that we walk?" he asked, familiar with my dismal running track record.
"No, the big loop that you run."
"Wow." Genuine shock registered on his face. Which was satisfying.
"How far is it?" I asked.
"Just under 6 miles."

Six miles! Six miles. I ran six miles. Me. The person who gets puffed out after a 100 meters. The person who comes last in the mums race at sports day. The person who is better suited to pilates than aerobics because the latter requires a bit too much energy. Me. I ran 6 miles. I felt euphoric. And quite tired.

So that was odd thing number 1.

Odd thing number 2 happened today. I was reading the Sunday Times magazine and noticed an ad for this:

It's an around the world yacht race and they're looking for crew members to sail legs of the race. The ad copy said something along the lines of: Sick of the same old, same old. Want to do something amazing and scare yourself shitless? Sign up....

Normally I would have sighed and thought, 'twould be nice and flicked the page over to the shopping pages. But today was different. Today I took note of the URL and filed it away to be investigated later.

Later arrived. I had a look at the website and decided that although it would be an absolutely barking thing to do and one which would require united nations organisational logistics teams to come in and look after my children while I was sailing, I took the bold step and submitted my details. One hour later I received a very nice email from the recruitment officer with all the details of what is involved.

Here are some of the scary bits:
  • I'd have to attend 19 days of training including theory tests (fitting this in around running my business, looking after my children and paying the tax man)
  • I'd have to carry out all the different roles on the boat at some point including being the bowman who has to climb out onto the bowsprit (the long pointy stick out the front of the boat) and hang tight while tying things on while going under waves of ice cold water, climbing up the mast in rolling waves (I'm terrified of heights) and potentially fix electrical equipment and possible sew someone up if they get injured.
  • I'd have to face either extreme heat or extreme cold and potentially life threatening situations.
  • I'd have to sleep in a tiny hammock and not shower for weeks and eat dehydrated food.
  • I'd have to be away from my children for 5 weeks.
  • It would cost me just under £8k (which funnily I don't have).

When I read that I shrugged and thought, well it was nice thinking about it anyway. And then I thought, but 'ang on a minute guv. Perhaps I could get sponsorship. Perhaps I could convince all of my clients and other people in the baby sector to sponsor a mum trying to sail from the UK to Brazil (this is the leg I want to do as I'd only have to buy one plane ticket and I'd have to deal with the Doldrums rather than the Southern Ocean and 40 foot waves).

Perhaps I could create a special blog reporting on how my training is going and once I'm at sea, reporting live from the boat. A mum on a mission ...escaping the laundry and cbeebies. I'm sure I could convince some people to part with money in exchange for an ad on my blog. And all of my blogging friends would help me to promote the blog site thus driving up traffic enormously. (You would, wouldn't you? Please)

I'm not sure what has happened to me. I've suddenly come over all iron woman triathlete-like. Just the thought of the race is making me feel all jumpy. There's no guarantee that my application would even be accepted. And I think if it was I'd brick myself, knowing that it was going to be real. But it's given me something so incredibly far removed from my normal life to think about that I am really, seriously thinking I might do this. So, what do you think? Should I?


Iota said...

Now here's a bit of psychology - take it or leave it.

I think you've asked the blogging world, because you know deep down that we're all far more likely to say "yay, go for it" than "hm, just think about what this means in practice". So I think that you really want to do this, otherwise you'd have asked your great-aunt for advice. On that basis, I say "yay, go for it".

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

I think you need to send some of that inspiration my way!
Wow. And wow.

What have they been putting in your tea!

Welsh Girl said...

I knew exercise was bad for you. Start running and see where it gets you - hanging off a bowsprit in the doldrums!!!

I say go for it. I know a wife and mother who shrugged of her family for six months to go and do something exotic in Mexico on a boat. She said it seemed like the world's biggest challenge but was well worth it and, once she had been back a month, everything reverted to normal as though she had never gone so no guilt!

Ali said...

Wow, that's a big deal. It would be amazing though,I think you should go for it. All your bloggy friends will support you.

Part Mummy Part Me said...

Omigod..that sounds AMAZING!! You just have to do it.

Your local paper would also give you coverage, and I love the idea of you blogging about your adventures. Yor definitely have my support.

You've just given me tingles. I wonder if there's something amazing I could be doing....

that girl? said...

Congrats on the 6 miles! I am inspired - although when I went out walking (on an icy morning last week), Im sure I must've looked a right prat alternately dolly stepping and slipping all over the show!
And for the sailing thing - mountains of admiration (and blog support) coming your way from me if you decide to do it! It's not something I would do after going sailing on a small five berth for a week many years ago to get my Competent Crew certificate. All I will say is... Constipated Crew!

nappy valley girl said...

Goodness Iota said, it sounds to me as if you want to do it, so go for it!

Impressed by the running - I decided to go for one last week in a spurt of desperation over feeling unfit, and it nearly killed me. Never again.

The Dotterel said...

It's a no-brainer! Isn't it?

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Certainly sounds like you want to do it, so go for it! I imagine you could rustle up a decent amount of sponsorship/advertising, especially if you can blog about the experience (can you blog from the middle of the ocean?).

Good luck making your decision.

And if you were looking for a sign of some kind... word verification is abord.

Home Office Mum said...

Thanks to all for the comments.

And Coding Mamma, that is a sign!

Here's an update - I emailed the chappie involved and he said that we are allowed to get sponsors although it is very hard work. (Like I need more of that in my life) and that there are only about 6 places left for the leg I want to do. But he seems so friendly and nice saying he'll do anything he can to help me. And also all the training is flexible too. I need to think the money side through. How I can get a sponsor or how I can generate enough money/publicity to do it. I just can't afford £8k myself. Any brainwaves??

katyboo1 said...

Do it! Do it! Do it for me if not for yourself, I can dine out on your story for months, and all I would have to do is read the blog, promote it like crazy and stuff custard creams down my gullet while you do all the hard work.

I think it's insane. And that's why it's brilliant.

You could try your local BNI for sponsorship. Get one of the members (If you're not one already) to invite you for breakfast. Talk about your stuff and then discuss sponsorship?

A Modern Mother said...


I love to live vicariously, I will help you promote it too.

Home Office Mum said...

THanks for the idea Katyboo - and by all means, feel free to eat custard creams on my behalf. Modern Mother - thanks, that's really kind. I've printed off the form. Now just need to really chat to husband before submitting it. Gulp.

I am officially mad. Mad.

Monika said...

GO FOR IT! Sounds great and what a way to start the year!

Helen said...

Hey I say Go for it!!!! I live in Brazil and would love to meet you - I agree that it is hard to get the sponsoring (to me the most difficult part), but it could really work, and I guess you already have the publicity with your blog. So how about coming over and meet another blogging mum (British born but living in Brazil) - I am sure that if you do come, we can think up some things to do here to further your "worthy" cause! I am serious!!

Home Office Mum said...

NOt a bad idea Helen. Will let you know if I get there!

bevchen said...

You could put a paypal thingy on your promotional blog and get readers to donate money. I totally would!

Home Office Mum said...

THanks Bevchen. That was my very plan.