The time and effort - both physical and mental - required to plan, prepare and complete the challenges, along with the travelling (8,000 miles and counting); and not forgetting all the work involved with my book … had left me emotionally drained. I realised that I needed time to reflect, to talk (the very thing I was trying to encourage others to do…), and to regain some strength.
Elaine and I have now had the chance to spend some quality time together, and I do feel refreshed … and totally comfortable with the decision to bring down the curtain on the challenges. Aspects of my life have been put into a clearer perspective and priorities re-evaluated.
Of course I will keep doing what I can to keep raising mental health awareness – the subject remains massively important - but it has to be on a more manageable scale.
It’s no secret that Grangetown Netball Club has become a big part of my life, and I am looking forward to doing more interviews and match reports as the Prem squad prepares for its first ever season in the top division of English club netball.
I’ve had so much support from Head Coach Gel Williams, captain Vicky Rees and many others involved with the club, that I want to try and give a bit more back. So, in addition to all the articles and reports, I’m going to attempt a third – and final – 12-hour solo darts marathon to try and raise funds for a club that is flying the flag for local elite women’s sport.
The venue will be the Cleveland Inn in Normanby; the date will be Saturday 15 September, and the festivities will get underway at 8am.
Obviously, having done two of these events before, I know I can complete 12 hours – although I can barely move by the end – so I’m adding a target to make the day genuinely testing.
At this point you need to bear in mind that I don’t play any kind of competitive darts, I’m not in a team or anything like that; I just have the occasional throw at the board in our conservatory…
I’m setting myself a target of at least 300 scores of 100 and above. I won’t bore you with the calculation, but that roughly equates to a ton or more every seventh throw at the board over the whole 12 hours.
I think I’m going to need to practice!
If I can hit 300 good scores, maybe I can raise £300 as well? Not easy because I am far from a “natural” fundraiser. There are so many people out there doing amazing things for great causes … but I’ll just do what I’ve always tried to do – the best I can.
There’ll be more details nearer the time, but please put the date in your diary, and if you happen to be anywhere near Normanby on 15 September, pop in and keep me company for a while. If watching an old bloke throw darts isn’t exciting enough, Cobbler’s Champagne Bar is next door and the cocktails are amazing!