The end nigh…..
I woke up so early (I think someone was a little excited this morning), then I released I still had 230km to London!
My friend Duffers joined me on the cycle today. He agreed to come and join me to drag me to the end. Ex-army legend, so assumed if I needed to throw him a tow rope and make him drag me round then he would be a fitting addition.
Anyway 8am start, 8.12am Duffers gets a puncture. Now I do not want to tempt fate but I have been puncture free through four countries and nine days. He lasted 12 minutes! Anyway quick change and we were on the move. Great cycle down, made amazing time so decided to stop and see a good friend of mine from school in Witney.
We joined him on his power boat on a lake near Witney.
I thought I had not done enough this week so tried my hand at Wakeboading and then a quick spin on the ‘Alligator’ (think Banana Boat) with his son Joey! Was awesome to see both Luke, Hannah and the kids. This gave me my first thought of the day – if people mean something to you in your life MAKE THE BL**DY EFFORT. Sorry Luke and Hannah its taken me so long – was a real pleasure. Pleased to say no injuries so on I went……
Back on the Bike for the final 15km into Oxford and Karate. I was wondering while doing this final stint into Oxford whether Karate was going to be the end of me. I had made it this far. I had no idea what to expect. My Dad also joined me in Oxford. Just popped in to say hello which was awesome.
I saw my first London sign too! 🙂
Ray welcomed me into the class. Ray is Sensei and also the visionary of the Disability Karate Federation. There was about 20 of us in class. All ages (5 years old to 70 year old), able bodied and disabled. We warmed up, learn some moves, shouted very loudly while throwing punches. I think the class thought I was more a bad ballet dancer when trying to do Karate turns. A little girl decided to laugh at me and then grab my hand and swap them round. “Right foot forward left arm back” she says while insisting I moved them!
Now I get called centre stage…..thanks Ray! I get decked to the floor a few times – no idea what the move was but chop to the floor and smash to the ribs. Actually they took it relatively easy.
We played a bit of ‘bulldog’ – well that’s what I called it at school. I was getting picked on and lost pretty quick and joined the middle as the hunters. Anyway I really enjoyed my Karate session. An amazing mix of abilities, ages, capabilities and disabilities – quite amazing seeing the interaction. Ray talked to me a while about why he set the club up. He travels all around the UK teaching and assisting. He said “Creating social change is the most important thing to him. No point otherwise”. Another powerful comment from a man that is passionate about using martial arts to create social change.
It is also a fitting moment to say a massive thank you to Ash at Adventurous Ewe who has been on this journey with me. He is the top man in the van making sure I was on route, safe, fuelled up, hydrated and not losing my mind. Big thanks Ash!
My day finished up with a big feed, thinking about arriving into London tomorrow and the nine days I have had.
Final thought…don’t think about something, just get up and go and do it.
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