April 2017 I loudly and brazenly proclaimed to Facebook my intention of completing 50 tasks before I reached 50 years of age. The list had many different types of tasks, funny things, things I hadn't tried before and a fair few things which sounded ridiculous, for me - running, walking, cooking, abseiling, wingwalking!?
These last thirteen months have been my best of times, and my absolutely freaking worst of times. A few short weeks ago I did what I set out to accomplish - complete 50 challenges before my 50th birthday, yes, I was a couple of weeks late but all things considered I'm having this as a win.
Loads of people start these sorts of lists, 50 before 50, 40 Before 40 - lots complete and lots don't. Funnily enough, the folk who don't complete are generally the people who have seemingly amazing lists, get themselves in to local newspapers, make a huge hoo hah of what they are going to do and then realise it's actually quite hard to keep motivated for this sort of thing. And quit. Personally, I was buggered if I was going to tell folk of my plans and then give up...
Not even when half way through this year of excitement my world fell apart. Completely fell apart. Losing two parents in seven weeks.....I'm still nowhere near getting over this, nor do I actually think I'll ever completely get over this, how can I? It was a brutal seven weeks which has changed me significantly, for ever. :( :( :(
My Mum and Dad had total belief in me and always believed that if I've set myself a goal I'm going to accomplish it. They loved me, they thought I was crazy, and they thought I was completely bonkers and they loved me for it, as they'd loved me for everything I had done in the previous 49 years of my life. So, I kind of did this for them in the end. And I'm glad.
The photos in the collage above are of pictures from the top 9 blogs of activities I've done. In the end, the wingwalk was my most read blog - I'm glad cos before then it was the skinny dip blog which was the most read and that surprised me in many many ways! But in the end, the top activities were wingwalking, skinny dipping, driving a tank, abseiling off the Newport Transporter, sheepwrangling, quadbiking, Velocity - the fastest zipwire in the world, running- C25k and all other 5ks and the firewalk.
I did a lot of activities where there were medals and certificates on offer, I'll do a LOT for a shiny shiny medal or a stificate. This is my 'swag' photo:
The most challenging and the biggest buzz:
Driving A Tank!
The Funniest and Most Quirky Unique Challenge:
Llanfairpg Cream Cracker Challenge!
Think this is a challenge lots of people didn't see, or didn't get. But as far as I'm concerned this is one of my favourite things from throughout the whole year. To say the longest place name in Wales in three different ways. There is NOBODY else who will have tried this, this is me, its my own truly unique item and it still cracks me up: