The last big charity challenge I undertook was the only one I have ever done that has been run by the charity concerned. The objective was to ski down 24 Austrian mountains in 48 hours – which was even more of a challenge for me as it was at least a decade since I had last skied. (I don’t think they run this event any more, but here’s a link to the most recent thing I can find about it)

This sort of event is often derided by people as something of a paid holiday. For those people I have nothing but contempt. I’ve never been on the sort of holiday that needs three months of training beforehand, or where halfway through you start to lose your vision because your blood sugar has dropped so low.

I actually made things extra difficult for myself on this trip. Coming down the third mountain at some speed I hit some litter, which caused me to fall and, somehow, rip the toenail from one of my big toes. I didn’t realise that it was as serious as it was until I got back home and my chiropodist friend Clare took a look at it, whereupon she immediately pronounced it infected as well as icky.

I did this despite promising everyone that I would take it easy and go carefully and I genuinely did get myself added to the group with the slowest skiers in it, just to keep a check on myself. That turned out to be a double-edged sword, too, because by the time we got to the last half dozen mountains the rest of the party were shattered and I spent my time skiing at the back of the group picking up the stragglers as they fell.

At one time this charity used to do another challenge, to ski every resort in Colorado within seven days. I regret never getting around to doing that one. Maybe one day.

About Richard

Just your less-than-average married father of one
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