Paul is our Doer of the Month for April. He joined 22 others in the MAD Challenges inaugural event in April – a 35 mile hike up the River Clyde carrying 6 litres of water. Why the water? To make it a bit more challenging (and worthy of support), and to symbolise the amount of water wasted by running a tap for two minutes.
Together, the MAD Challengers raised over 500 pledges – 82 of which were made in support of Paul. That’s an impressive count for any Doer, let alone one with no particular prior passion for sustainability. It’s the year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s that motivated Paul… read on to find out how he did it.
- Name: Paul
- Occupation: I work in pediatric physiotherapy and a little sports massage on the side.
- From: Edinburgh born and bred, though I spent the majority of my 20’s playing volleyball in Europe.
- Anything else we should know? I am really tall! 207cm, 6″10. I eat a LOT of ice cream.
What were you raising support for? Any particular reason for choosing this challenge?
I was raising support for climate change awareness. Dave is a good friend of mine, he was organising a 35 mile hike along the River Clyde for MAD Challenges. I wanted to support him and his cause.
Through the campaign, I have actually learned a lot about the many different ways we can save on CO2 emissions and how good it feels to know you’re making a positive influence, so now it’s my cause too and I hope all those people who pledged for me think likewise.
That’s great! So given this wasn’t ‘your cause’ initially, how did you go about asking people to make a pledge?
This was really hard, people said they would pledge, promised to do so when they got home and then didn’t. I had to actually stand in front of them with my phone and go through the process with them (OK not everyone but the majority). I did not feel so bad as I wasn’t haggling for money.
What was the most surprising or exciting pledge someone made?
I guess for me it would be the meal sharing, because now I get free meals and get to share them with good company! I LOVE FOOD.
Given your excitement about the Ben & Jerry’s, I’d never have guessed! So, the walk itself – how did it go?
The start was really tough, lots of winding paths, zig-zagging on the way up with steps straight down again. Me and my friend started late behind the main pack; neither of us had any clue where we were going, we had both hoped to follow others but luckily we saw other travellers marching in the opposite direction, who assured us they had passed several backpackers and EVENTUALLY we caught up.
We had the most spectacular day, the sun was shining and there was a light but cool wind, walking, munching on snacks and chatting away, plain sailing for the first 15 miles.
Towards the halfway mark my friend started struggling, so I took 2 of his bottles of Clyde water (oh yes, we’d had to carry 6kg of water to add to the challenge!). By this time we had already stopped twice, both times he had to check his feet/change socks etc. Like a trooper he carried on for at least another 5 miles before deciding he had to call it quits.
There came a point when my feet started hurting too but I was a little scared to stop and check them in case they were bad, so I just pushed on. I had also ran out of snacks, as I had been sharing them with my friend, assuming he would have shared some with me but now that he was gone and I had no yummy treats to distract myself from the pain. There was only the pain.
The last 6 miles were torture and the last 1 hour 30, well, I felt like crying and stopping and it was all mind over matter (or mind over body).
Keeping going for 35 miles requires grit and stamina – what motivated you to keep pushing on?
My fallen comrade and the distance already traveled. Meeting up with the other challengers who were doing the shorter distances was also great for motivation, I felt like I could leach from their enthusiasm, I don’t think they realized just how much difference they actually made.
And once done, how did you celebrate and recover?
I had a cold pint of beer and ordered two meals at the bar!
Finally – any top tips you’d share with someone else raising support on Do Nation?
If you’re doing an endurance event that borders on 12 hours, make sure to rub Vaseline between your cheeks. 😉
Any final things to say?
A BIG thank you to everyone who help me succeed, who organised, managed and supported but most importantly to ALL MY WONDERFUL PLEDGER’S! LOVE YOUS! xxx
Earn a year’s supply of ice cream!
We really like to celebrate our most enthusiastic and inspirational Doers. So each month, we reward our the person or team who collects the most pledges with a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s fairtrade ice cream!
Could you be the next to scoop the title?