The Genie is well and truly out of the bottle now. I sent out a mass email today to quite a lot of people in my email address book, so there's no hiding any more ... I've got a hell of a busy year ahead, or I'll have some explaining to do!
Just a couple of days in, and I've already raised about a third of the target total - I've been completely overwhelmed by people's generosity, some of whom hardly know me, really. In fact, seeing as my nephew forwarded my email on to a group of his friends too, with a covering note explaining who I am (and quite how unfit I am - thanks, Peter), several of my sponsors DON'T know me at all, and live in a different country (my homeland, Ireland), but still want to support both me and this charity. It's very humbling.
And, just for info, it's quite interesting doing a mass emailing, especially when you've not been on top of your address book for a while. The number of "undeliverable email" and "address unknown" messages that I've had back would be enough for a good crowd at a local football match, but I guess at least it allows me to clear out the deadwood, so to speak. Some of them were addresses - and even names - that I didn't recognise, so now I have a streamlined list for the update emails that will inevitably follow over the coming months. You have been warned.
And you'd never believe how many people are on holidays! "Out of office" replies were fairly popular today too, but hey, I suppose it is August.
But the overall response continues to be very positive, so it was off to the gym again on the way home from work to continue my "preparation training" - it's actually a little bit worrying.
I was a bit knackered after 20 lengths in the pool today. As my goal will be at least 40 lengths per pool visit (that way I should knock off the channel swim in around 35 swims), I think I'll need a few more visits to get this swimming business down. I'm fairly confident that once I'm going regularly, I'll be able to increase the distances, because (time to let you in on a little secret), a couple of years ago, I did the channel swim for another charity, and by the end of about three months, I was doing 80 lengths quite comfortably. Now, considering that I was pretty much a non-swimmer prior to that, I was kind of pleased with myself about that. I had a couple of lessons before that challenge started and it really helped.
But since my six weeks of radiotherapy stopped at the turn of the year, the fact is I've been, shall we say, remiss when it came to exercising. I blame the consultant. All through my radiotherapy, I was going to the gym nearly every day, because I was feeling fine, but on the last treatment visit when I saw the consultant for a review, he commented that I was likely to feel tired for a little while, and suggested that maybe I should take it easy for a couple of weeks to allow myself to recover. That was January 2008 - and I took his advice so to heart that I didn't find my way back to the gym with any sort of frequency until about June, and even then it was only a couple of times a week. So the build up to the 365challenge is noticeable! But, I'm committed (some of my sponsors seem to think that I SHOULD be committed), and I am really up for this now.
I hope I can do all you supporters justice.