And so it all begins…

My friends know me for having a streak or two of adrenaline junkie/petrolhead/travel addict running through me. Some, I believe, even live somewhat vicariously through my increasingly frequent #kidfree adventures. So with 2017 being a Big Year for me (hard to believe, I know, but yes – I’ll turn 50 in September!), I have already pencilled in a couple of more extreme activities and big trips. Thinking about those soon inspired me to go even further…

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And so it was I came up with #ChallengeKate, launching it with this Facebook post on
1 January 2017:

It’s the Big Five-O for me later this year so I’m calling on all my friends to help make my year super-special. At any point in 2017 please ‘challenge’ me to do something. It doesn’t have to be big/costly/difficult, just something we can do together that’s fun, unusual/different and most of all memorable (oh, and realistic!). After all, it’s the memories that count and those made with my friends are the best gifts I could hope for. Post your challenge on my wall. Excited to see what you come up with! #ChallengeKate.

It took a while to craft the post. While my ‘coming of age’ is no secret, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to plaster the figure all over my Facebook page. But a post that made a Big Deal about ensuring 2017 was filled with super-memorable never-tried-it-before activities intermingled with spending quality time with as many friends as possible was starting to create overtones that I had some hideous terminal disease… Hence in went the age thing.

All about me

Initially #ChallengeKate was about me having all the fun and I considered asking friends to nominate exciting/daring/out-of-my-comfort-zone challenges for me to undertake. Then I realised there’s a whole world of really scary things certain people might come up with so I quickly tweaked the idea to suggest the nominee would partake in their challenge with me. That way, none of my friends (I hope!) will suggest anything ridiculously whacky or dangerous and I get to spend even more time with friends doing new and exciting things. Win, win.

I put the post live just as I went to bed so when I woke up on 2 January I eagerly logged on to see what response it had received. Wow! It was incredibly motivating to see so many of my friends had already liked my post and commented with ideas and challenges!

So, already accepted are:

  • Go to a Metallica concert with Andy (AKA Mosh): He knows I dislike heavy metal probably as strongly as he adores it. But hey, I guess it could be fun. I’m not convinced it’ll convert my musical tastes, but I’ll give the gig a go. Whenever that might be, as no tour has been announced yet…
  • Have a curry with Wendy (my sister): She knows I don’t like curry. Truth is, I’ve convinced myself of that fact without really giving Indian food a fair go. So, in the spirit of stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new, I’ll accept the challenge. Wendy did try to turn the challenge into something more akin to #TortureKate, suggesting she order me the hottest curry going, but I think I’ve persuaded her that’s not actually the point…
  • Walk the Line with Cathy (fellow dance pal). The Line is ‘London’s first dedicated modern and contemporary art walk’, running from the Olympic Park in Stratford to The O2, roughly following the line of the Meridian. It’s three miles as the crow flies, but meanders along waterways so a little longer. It’s a perfect Challenge because it’s something I’d had in mind I’d really like to do, anyway. Thanks, Cathy. You can find out more about the trail at the-line.org.
  • Marvel at the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them artworks at the MinaLina Gallery with Stacey (my Floriday Theme Park Pal and the person responsible for getting me into the whole wizarding world of Harry Potter). It’s a two-part challenge, because we’ve always said we’ll do the Harry Potter Walk in London; however, as that will probably be more enjoyable in the spring, we’re adding in a visit to MinaLina before it closes in early February. Find out more at minilina.com.
  • Compete in a race in a Formula One simulator with Jon (a fellow petrol-head and ex-Spice pal). Brilliant idea! And it’s already in the diary for February. Really looking forward to that… although considering all the karting experience Jon has, I’m sure he’ll comprehensively beat me! Try it yourself at http://www.letsrace.co.uk.
  • Eat in the dark with Lucy (old school pal). Another potential double-header, as Lucy suggested meals at Clerkenwell’s Dans Le Noir – a restaurant set in pitch black – along with afternoon tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Shoreditch. Hopefully the ‘blackout’ meal will be accomplished soon. You can book at com/en/home/ and ladydinahs.com.

No dates have been confirmed for these Challenges yet, but they’ll get nailed down fairly easily, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, there are a few others hopefully in the pipeline…

  • Go white-water rafting with Sherine (one of my lovely neighbours). This one is no doubt inspired by the fact we live practically next door to the British Olympic white-water rafting centre. Ideally, we’d like to get a small team of people together for that one. May has already said she could be persuaded if it’s somewhere warm. Well, Broxbourne can be warm in the summer…
  • Slide down the world’s fastest zip line, with June (another dancing lady). It’s in Wales and has been on my radar since it opened a few years back. Really hope we succeed in sorting out a weekend away to get that one ticked off!
  • Bodyboard with Fiona (old [not in the age sense] but never forgotten colleague). Again, this will need to wait till the weather is a bit more conducive to venturing into British waters as unfortunately a trip abroad isn’t practical within my already-pretty-much-allocated annual leave.

I really hope these all pan out – and I’m relying on you Nominees to firm up plans!

Oh, lastly – or perhaps it should have been firstly, there’s one Challenge I have already accepted: to blog about my Challenges (Thanks Huw, a former boyf and schoolpal, with additional suggestions from dance pal Cathy ). So here it is: blog started!

I hope you enjoy following my exploits and I look forward to hearing how you will #ChallengeKate, either via this blog, on my Facebook wall or on email.

Please pop back for updates!

 

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