81. Learn to knit
83. Appear on television
88. Get back in the boxing ring with Josh Leather
91. Meet an actor who has appeared in Coronation Street
93. Meet someone who has had a no.1 single
94. Have a race against an Olympic swimmer
98. Row a marathon
100. Allow Sarah from work to dye my hair pink
These are the remaining challenges from the total list of one hundred that I started way back in January 2014. I honestly can’t believe that 92 tasks have been completed; some were reasonably straightforward, but others have really tested me (both mentally and physically). So whilst the editing process is underway for the book I never imagined would be professionally published, here is how things are looking for the outstanding eight challenges.
Learn to knit
I am left-handed, so I gather this isn’t going to be easy, but Elaine has the needles, the wool and hopefully the patience. The plan is to knit something that will benefit local wildlife… a blanket for a baby shrew seems like a good idea.
Appear on television
I’ve only made one conscious effort to see if this was possible, but nothing came of it. If all else fails, I’ll stand behind a news reporter doing a live outside broadcast piece to camera and do a comedy walk…
Get back in the boxing ring with Josh Leather
I met Josh in Middlesbrough the weekend before last; he suggested we do our sparring challenge again, after describing our first meeting as “fun”—not one of the words I would have used. I was so bad back in 2014, that having another go seemed like a good idea. As soon as I put it on the list, it seemed like a really bad idea, but I’ll be getting some expert training from Coach Imran, I’ll work hard to get in shape, and hopefully come the day (and we’re looking at November) I’ll do a little bit better than last time.
Meet an actor who has appeared in Coronation Street
Not an easy task… but I’m working on it.
Meet someone who has had a no.1 single
All being well, this should be accomplished at the end of September, when three-quarters of the original Bucks Fizz bring their current line-up to Billingham. Is it wrong to be looking forward to it?!
Have a race against an Olympic swimmer
I have an opponent… Chris Cook, the dual Commonwealth gold medallist from Melbourne in 2006, who reached the Olympic 100m semi-final in Beijing two years later, as well as being a member of the 4x100m relay team who finished sixth in the Olympic final. We are going to race over 100m at a time and place that is yet to be determined, but on the basis that Chris has completed four lengths of breaststroke in under a minute, it looks odds-on that I’m actually going to be lapped. No matter, I’m really looking forward to meeting Chris and to giving the challenge my best shot….
Row a marathon
Training is going well for my first attempt at just over 26 miles (42195m). I’ve rowing on average 40km a week, and I’m looking at taking on the marathon in mid-September. Target no.1 is to finish, no.2 is to finish in less than 4 hours, but what I’m really aiming for is no.3… to complete the distance in under 3 hours 45 minutes.
Allow Sarah from work to dye my hair pink
This was Sarah’s idea, and she clearly caught me in a weak moment. The “pink pizazz” will be applied on the last Friday in August. I won’t be going out on the Saturday… I’ll be washing my hair… frequently.
Richard... Jack of some trades... you can guess the rest