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Beat The Beast Challenge

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Day 14 has been amazing. The weather was awesome and after a lighter day physically yesterday I couldn't resist the urge. Could I get up Ben Aan quicker than last time?

I jumped on the bus and into the Bus/Taxi feeling a little tired after a poor nights sleep but needing a physical burst of activity. On arrival I made an assessment. It took Harry and I 90 minutes to summit Ben Aan last time so book the return Bus/taxi for 3 hours time. I set off at 1030 with my return transport booked for 1300hrs. 2 1/2 hours time! That gave me 1hr15mins to summit Ben Aan in order to not have to rush down as it is in rushed descents on mountains that accidents so often happen.

I went for it and wow - I summited in 43mins!!! I was thrilled and to make it even better bumped in to Donna who greeted me with a delightfully warm and welcoming smile and a willingness to take some photos for me. Donna was getting cold in the fresh breeze at the top so set off for the bottom with one of my flyers that I had given her asking her to consider joining me on my journey and helping me to spread the word. You have all heard the patter!!

I stayed on the summit for 10 mins or so flush with success and enjoying the peaceful views. With nobody else on the summit or in view I seized the opportunity to meditate in prayer and give thanks for another fabulous day. I think I must have asked for help in spreading the word about the challenge because as I finished a delightful couple with a couple of husky dogs summitted. We had a good chat and they too took a flyer with a view to spreading the word on the challenge. As I descended I continued to meet and in some cases have really good conversations with a further 9 couples or small walking groups. That was 11 flyers delivered into interested hands on one mountain then to my absolute amazement who should come running across from her car but none other than Donna. It turned out that she is an anesthetist at the Eastern General Hospital Glasgow and had read my flyer on return to her car, understood every word of it and thought it was amazing, wanted to encourage me and give me a big hug! I didn't need asking twice!! Brave woman - I was dripping with sweat!!! However Donna thank you for your words of encouragement, the hug and your enthusiasm for the challenge. They brought a huge grin to my face which has returned now as I write this post. Thank you and don't forget to spread the word!!

God continued to answer my prayers because when I returned to Callander to wait for the bus I went to my favourite Cafe, the Deli Ecosse, and while I waited for my celebratory mocha and flapjack the owner Julie said that she would like to copy my flyer to have available in her cafe but would also like to print off some of my posts from facebook for people to read and learn more about the challenge - would I mind. Wow - what a great idea and if anybody else would like to follow suit please do. Once I have published it it is open source and written with a hope to interest, entertain, encourage or inspire those who have joined or are following me on the journey already or those whom any of us might know that might like to see something I have written. There is no copyright so please go for it in the hope that it raises my profile, encourages further sponsorship or helps somebody else. The post from Day 8 for example seemed to generate the most passionate but supportive responses.

Then thinking that the day couldn't get any better Julie wondered whether I would like to come and talk about the challenge to a group she is a member of in Callander. Yes please!! Then on the bus on the way home I was asked by another gentleman if I would like to come and speak at a Callander Rotary club meeting. Yes please!!

Then finally - to top it off as I write this post my daughter bursts into song in her room above me so I get serenaded by a medley of classics from Oliver in which she had performed last year. Beautiful and with a tear of gratefulness for a glorious day I close with the challenge in numbers total since the start:

Days completed: 14
Total Miles Cycled: 47
Total Miles Walked: 51
Total Miles covered under own steam: 98
Total Height Gained under own steam: 4,361 feet
Mountains Climbed: 2
Days of Conservation Activity: 1 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
People Met and Hands Shaken: 47
Pills popped: 64

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on. Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word and please consider sponsoring me to beat the beast, if you've not already.

Thank you

Yours aye

Archie