48 down, 4 to go

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It hasn't been that long since I wrote a post titled "4 down, 48 to go". Flash forward 11 months and with 12 days and 4 challenges to go, things are looking good for finishing the goal I set myself. 52 sporting challenges in 52 weeks.

This afternoon I'm playing my first (and let's not say last yet) ever 9 holes of golf. On Monday, the challenge is to swim as far as we can in 52 minutes. This is the last one that we can all do together so please do come along.

Will have a bunch of eXerK water bottles and headbands to share out, plus a pub session booked afterwards. Meet 7.30pm poolside at the London Fields Lido in Hackney, or complete it at your nearest pool and send me your distance.

On Boxing Day, let's all brave an outdoors swim (sign up and be safe). On New Year's Eve - film yourself dancing HARD to Uptown Funk to complete the final challenge. 

November, which I haven't shared with you yet, was an amazing month, even with just two challenges completed. One of them took a whole month.

I climbed Everest. Scaling 50,000 stairs over 30 days took me up the 8,848m from sea to summit of Everest. I loved the challenge. Not only did it get me super fit, but it had a huge number of people commit to the challenge, discovering more of London as we scouted out accessible steps

I was surprised at how much thinking can be managed while climbing steps. While steps are monotonous, they are not boring. The regularity and lack of roads to cross, people to dodge etc. means that you can get in a rhythm and let your mind wander. 

The Everest Stair Challenge definitely ranks in my top 10 challenges this year.  

The other challenge was hiking along the coast near San Sebastian. On top of the official 52, I organised a second Circle Line Relay, powered by Wistla (follow me). 70 people turned up to run in teams around London, the biggest attendance on a challenge by far!! 

I also failed a challenge. I called it a day on the back flip in early November. It's not over, it's just not going to happen this year. I was going to one gymnastics class a week (which I loved), which isn't enough if you're trying to learn to do a back flip in such a limited time. With big constraints on my time as my actual work (as well as eXerK) has been manic for the last few months, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...Golf has stepped in to fill the challenge gap!

December so far has been snazzy. Starting with a very muddy day of mountain biking in Surrey - a short train ride out of London, you can rent a bike and helmet and go exploring in the hills. Here's how. 

Last weekend I went and explored the Lee Valley activities, completing a triple - BMX, horse riding and an Olympic Pool swimming. There is absolutely masses to do in the valley (eg. white water rafting, golf, diving, velodrome cycling) so go check it out

On Sunday, the challenge was a bit slower, hiking around London with an eye on our city's statues. So often rushed past, I urge you to take time to explore your surroundings. Human power it and you'll see even more, being able to stop when you want - none of this city bus tour stuff. 

Please do come along to Monday's swim so I can see you before the year is out.

Don't forget to take your family on a walk to help digest the Christmas meal, and for a dip on Boxing Day!

Annie