Rob Wainwright: Coll to Karonga

December 19, 2016 : News

maximillion-3What we are trying to sell you here is a 5555 mile virtual challenge to cycle, run, row or swim, in the gym or out on the road, solo or more likely in a team of friends, family or workmates, from the Hebridean Isle of Coll to Karonga in Malawi, before 27th October 2017.

Now 5555 miles is a long way, even over 11 months, and I am attacking it solo. But the challenge it represents pales beside the greater challenge facing me. And that is inspiring you to join us on C2K – Coll to Karonga. And if you are persuaded, YOU then need to turn interest into action, by conquering inertia and initiating the easy sign up process as soon as, please. maximillion-1

On a Scotland rugby tour to somewhere, back in the day, I remember a player with a minor post-match injury asking the team doctor whether he should go out on the town with the other players that night, or stay in and rest it. The doctor’s answer has become something of a credo for me ever since. “Life is for living ” was all he observed.

Not possibly the best advice in the changed times of today’s rugby, but excellent as a general philosophy. Meaning why live life by proxy, seeking your excitement through the shenanigans of celebrities, the endeavours and skills of sports stars or from the virtual characters of television and film, when there is a real world to be explored, experienced, appreciated, felt, lived.

My benchmark for feeling really alive has to be emerging from a post-sauna cold plunge pool. The process isn’t without some discomfort, but the end result is electrifying. And many of the good things in life are like that. They have to be earned. I now get that same zing from cycling. Particularly when circumstances allow me to throw together the heady cocktail of our amazing Scottish backdrop, prolonged hard exertion, inspiring tunes and a dash of coffee. The endorphin rush this can create takes me back to the euphoria of post-operative pethedine (as a patient, not a doctor, I hasten to add). And it is a feeling of exercise induced well-being I would love you to experience and enjoy too.img-20160626-wa0006

“Life is for living” has a more basic meaning for some though. We live in a world of immense privilege, fortunate to have high standards of living in the UK, and peace on our shores. Not all are as lucky. Nowadays one click on our phones and the world is at our doorstep. So much useful knowledge is accessible to us, but along with it comes plenty less welcome. War, famine, catastrophe, poverty…. And with knowledge inevitably comes some responsibility. I know we can’t solve all the problems out there, but we don’t need to stick our heads in the sand or hide behind such truisms as “charity starts at home”.

We are heading to Karonga from Coll, because 2 years ago a few cyclists from Coll raised enough money to set up a Mary’s Meals kitchen in a primary school in Karonga. For £12.20 Mary’s Meals can give one child their school lunch each day for one year. £12.20 to feed a child for a whole year! All we are asking to join C2K is a £25 donation to Mary’s Meals. Enough to feed 2 kids for a year, keep them from hunger and allow them the privilege of an education.

And in helping them stay alive you will be helping yourself feel alive. Win, win? I think so. If I can do it solo with just 18 miles of Coll tarmac to ride on, if my 84 year old father and my neighbour’s 8 year old daughter can do it in teams, then I feel sure you can manage it too.

Visit our C2K – Coll to Karonga page on Facebook for instructions on how to join, or email and set up a team NOW.

Thanks, Rob Wainwright


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