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To the start line

April 19, 2012

So its here at last. On saturday the journey starts and we’ll find out if I can back up all my talk and if all the support and donations are merited. This Saturday its the 5th Annual Shedweb Lions v Cherrypickers game. A Week later I’ll be getting on my bike and heading off towards Scotland. A week after that its the 24 hour world record attempt at the longest game of rugby played.

I cannot believe how much this has all developed and snowballed.  A year ago I had an idea that was it, I wanted to do something to honour my dad, and repay Winstons Wish for all they did for me and my family. So I signed up for the bike ride. I had a goal to raise 3 grand, and i thought a few fundraisers would be enough. Little did I know where it would all lead.

Fast forward a year, and I am 3 stone lighter, changed job, lost a job, had some major lows, some brilliant highs. I have £3,827 and £960 already raised in each appeal. I am fitter than I’ve ever been. I’ve already pushed myself mentally further than I ever had and learnt a lot about myself. I have benefitted from doing this in ways I never antcipated.

Me not long before deciding to do the bike ride. yes that is a quadruple chin!

Me last week after a year of training


I know the next few weeks will be tough and that at somepoint I will be pushed to breaking point. But I am glad that the waiting will soon be over and I can focus on the events rather than the stress of organising it all.

I will soon find out if I have trained enough and put in enough miles on the bike to get through this. I believe I have the mental toughness to do it and I don’t believe I’ve been fitter. I’m just hoping I am fit enough.

I cannot think of a better way to start the month of fundraising than to run out onto Kingsholm with some of my closest friends playing against some childhood heroes. Kingsholm and Gloucester RFC had a massive impact on my relationship with my dad, and by luck rather than design, is the perfect place to start my events honouring him and raising money for Winstons Wish.

The game itself will be tough, but I am not going there to make up the numbers, I want us as a side to compete and give our all. I want to be able to enjoy every moment of the day, I still cannot quite believe it will be happening. I will be happy to come off that pitch exhausted knowing I have given everything I can and run my arse off. I am far from a good rugby player but on Saturday I will put in 100% effort. I just wish my dad was there to see it.

I will obviously continue to write over the coming weeks and months but I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point so far. Em, who has been behind me 100% the whole time, listened to me bitch and moan, and put up with it all. I love her so much. Bob Rumble for all the advice, support, arse kickings and everything else he has administered over the year. Wills, my best friend who has been a great voice of support and guidance, i couldn’t ask for a better friend. Danny Rumble for all the help. The Shedweb lions and Dowty RFC – a greater bunch of lads you could not wish to meet. My mum, stepdad and brother who i all love dearly. Everyone who has read the blog and donated it means the world to me. I’m forgetting loads of people who will get thanked in good time, there are just too many to list but you all know who you are.

Right its time for bed but i’ll be back after the game, but it may take a few days of recovery before I do so.

Cheers all,

Russ

http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Brookes

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Brookes

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