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West Highland Way Challenge

At the time of writing this, I’m deep in training for a mammoth challenge – walking the 96 miles (and over 4000 metres of ascent) of the West Highland Way within 36 hours! Various people have asked me the simple question “why?” over these past few months, and to be honest I’ve also been asking myself the same question as I head out for yet another training walk in the wind and the rain and the dark. Over the years, I’ve taken on a number of these fundraising challenges, both individually and as part of a team. While the training can sometimes be a real slog, it definitely pays off when it comes to the actual event. When the going gets tough, there’s a real confidence in knowing that you have put in the hard work and banked all those lonely miles.

Having said that, this certainly feels like the biggest challenge I have taken on so far, and I’ve had various moments of doubt and sheer panic along the way. Thankfully, I have much more confidence in my companion Andy, who I’m trusting to pull me through as an ex Royal Marine and international athlete! And I’ve also found myself at times out on the road just repeating this Bible verse to myself over and over: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

I guess one simple answer to the question “why?” is because I feel the need to push myself to my limits every so often. It can be all too easy to get into a rut in life, and not to challenge ourselves or step outside of our comfort zones. As amazing human beings, God has made each of us capable of so much more than we often give ourselves credit for. In Psalm 8, the writer asks God this question: “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”. And the answer to that question is a resounding pat on the back for us as human beings: “You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour”. It might not seem like it at times when we switch on the news and see the depraved way we act towards each other, but God designed and made human beings as the very pinnacle of His creation. It’s good to be reminded of that fact and to realise again what incredible things we are all capable of.

And another answer to the question “why?” is because it’s also a great way to raise funds for a new Scottish charity that I have been involved in setting up (Friends of KNFU), helping to support disabled children in Uganda. If you would like to donate, you can do so at this link. Thanks in advance for your support.

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