I hope you have all had a great Christmas and looking forward to a happy New Year, a New Year where myself and my fellow Wooden Spoon LMAX Exchange Everest Challenge team mate will become world record breakers.
Having had a busy build up to Christmas I have not been able to update my blog and there is a lot to update!
Firstly, let’s start with the fundraising. The total is slowly going up and has been helped greatly by a very kind £300 donation by the Freemasons from the Portsmouth lodge. This came from a dad from one of my Rugbytots classes kindly sharing the story of my challenge with his fellow Freemasons. It was also great to be presented the cheque by their Charity steward Bob Cullen at the recent Team Announcement meeting in Southampton.
I was also fortunate to attend the VP Christmas dinner at Eastleigh RFC where I raised £100 from entries to my raffle for a signed Harlequins rugby ball. Also during this event, I announced the Burns night supper we will be hosting at the club next month to support my fundraising. Tickets can be purchased from behind the bar at the club or from contacting me.
I am very grateful to all the others who have donated to my just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jonathan-ingarfield I am looking for more sponsors and if anyone can help me find a few local businesses who would be willing to support me I would be extremely grateful. It’s a great chance to be part of something truly unique and I can offer some great opportunities in return.
As briefly mentioned above, myself and my fellow challengers met in Southampton for the Team Announcement!!!
There was huge anticipation ahead of this event as, not only was it another chance to meet up again, but it was also to find out which teams we would be in! The meet up started with Altitude testing with the guys from The Altitude Centre where we were hooked up to a altitude machine which simulated the lack of oxygen at 4000m and 5000m feet while checking our bodies reaction and ability to recover from the shortage of oxygen. It was good to see my oxygen levels recovered very quickly after each test. I also used it as an opportunity to train my mind while under stress (albeit in a controlled environment), I sometimes allow a situation to cause anxiety but I’m learning to control my thoughts and my heart rate whilst in these situations.
As always, when I meet up with these guys we get on great and I showed a few around my old stomping ground in the evening and friendships grew more over a few fizzy pops.
The following day really blew my mind. First we were fitted with our gum shields by the good people at Opro. The gum shields we have been given are fantastic and it’s great to have them supporting us. Following this we were treated to a hugely inspirational story from Ed Jackson who is climbing his own Everest as he recovers from breaking his neck. As well as being inspired by his determination the thing that touched me was how he talked about the effects it had on his family and made me think of the sacrifices my family are making for me to attempt this challenge and hopefully I can inspire and do them proud them in return.
Then came the big Team Announcement. Although we are one big team, we have to be in teams to play the highest ever game of rugby. For me, sitting there was like watching the Lions team announcement on the Living with the Lions DVDs, my name was called out and I was in #TeamTamara led by England legend Tamara Taylor.
That afternoon we were welcomed by The Solent Sharks wheelchair Rugby team to try their sport and meet everyone connected to the club. They have received funding from Wooden Spoon to support their club and it’s great to hear they have teams for all ages. Having had a few games amongst ourselves we then lined up against The Solent Sharks in a match. While we were pleased with our play between ourselves, they showed us how it was done, their speed and tactics were awesome to see first hand and it’s easy to see why they are one of the best teams in the country. Despite their dominance we managed a few scores and made a good go of it (I even got on the score sheet too, hopefully a good omen for the game on Everest). It was great to speak to a few of the players and meet their coach Gary (amazingly, myself and Gary completed our RFU level 2 together back in the day).
Overall it was an awesome day but also highlights how close we are to going. Currently we are around 100 days to take off. I have a lot of fundraising to go and a lot of training to get though but it will all be worth it when we raise a huge amount for the charity and break that world record.
That’s it for now but there is so much more to look forward to in the coming months.
As it’s Christmas let’s end on a cracker joke…… What’s Santa’s favourite pizza….. one that’s deep-pan, crisp and even.