It’s been a really rocky few months since March. My mum was taken into hospital in March, with a chest infection. Over the course of three weeks her health deteriorated and despite her fighting with all she could, she sadly passed away, aged 78. My sister and I were with her till she passed, we got to say our goodbyes and shower mum with love in her final hours, for that we are really thankful. Even so, we all feel like a hole has been ripped in our family and we all miss her desperately. My mum was a real fighter all her life, the last thing she would have wanted was me moping about feeling sorry for myself.
So with that in mind, I’m setting up some fundraising challenges. I want to visit the places I’ve been to and photographed, that my mum really wanted to visit with me. At each location I will leave a small memento of my mum. She had already completed a Mam Tor challenge with me a few years ago, after seeing some photos I took there. Aged 75, she hiked up and down Mam Tor from Edale and back. She found it hard going at times but would not take any assistance and was determined to reach the top and make it back to Edale on her own accord. She smashed it! That was my mum, always up for a challenge and she never waited for life to come to her. That I will always cherish with my mum!
My Mum and I
The challenges I'm looking at organising...
None of these challenges are set in stone yet but I’m in the early planning stages. They are going to have some physical and logistical challenges, I’m also going to have to work out fitting them in with my annual leave at work.
- Challenge 1: Iceland
When I returned from Iceland my mum was amazed with the locations I’d visited and the first thing she said was “are we going to go together?”. I would have taken her there too. She was blown away with the photos of the mountains and snow. It’s going to be an emotional return to Iceland for me, knowing my mum wanted to come with me. I’m planning on completing a long distance hike while I’m there, camping along the way. This challenge is going to have to be completed in Iceland’s short summer season, as it would be too dangerous in the winter months with the very short daylight hours and sub zero weather.
- Challenge 2: Long Distance Motorcycle Ride Around Britain.
I’m really keen to complete a sponsored motorcycle ride around the coast of mainland Britain. I do not have my full motorcycle license yet, I’m riding a 125cc motorcycle on a CBT. This is up for renewal in August and I’m thinking of putting in for my full bike license at the same time. This challenge is going to take quite a bit of planning to achieve, so I’m not expecting to be ready for this in 2023.
- Challenge 3: Ben Nevis & Highlands Hike
My mum was Scottish and she loved the highlands of Scotland, I know she would have loved to return to Scotland for a visit to the Highlands, so I’m going to do this in her memory. The trip will culminate in a hike up Ben Nevis. This is the easiest trip to plan for, so I’m looking at late spring 2024 to complete this challenge.
I want these challenges to be physically demanding, something that may help raise funds for the charities my mum fundraised for. I think it’s a fitting and appropriate way for me to remember my mum and honour her memory. My mum always greeted adversity with a smile and the determination to see things through, however difficult they were. I intend to continue that ethos in my life.