At the start of the summer I set myself some fitness goals. The kids were still in school, my training was going well and the smugness factor was strong.
I started on a nice easy 10k mini marathon in June with a PB and thought I had it all nailed. July was to see my first aquathon, August a Triathlon and 2k sea swim, and September the terrifying Hell and Back Adventure race.
Fast forward a few weeks, the kids are no longer at school, no training is being done and chaos has broken out.
The aquathon was skipped amongst sore throats and missed deadlines, and I cursed my smug mug daily.
The only thing that was progressing well was the sea swimming - a haven of frozen torture in a summer of rain and no childcare.
Triathlon day arrived and with it an orange weather warning. Wonderful. I set the alarm for 5.15am and spent most of the night listening to the torrential rain. Silently I vowed to myself never again. Again.
But I made it. Wet and happy. 2 out of the five ticked off the list.
A week later the sea swim was completed. Easier than expected and actually enjoyable.
Smugness was rising.
With only one event left I skipped out the door on Saturday to do the Hell and Back adventure race. 'Back in a couple of hours' I called out as I dashed off.
I'm not sure there's much point in describing what came next. Mud, mud, and more mud. Ditches, rivers and swamps to wade through. Walls to scale, logs to carry, mountains to run up, electric shocks, ropes, and sure lets thrown in a bit more mud for good measure.
Two and a half hours later these guys hooshed me over the final wall and we were done. Bloodied, bruised and well, just a little bit muddy.
So that's me done. Finshed. Complete.
Oh, and never again.
A team of over 200 took part in Hell and Back for the Gavin Glynn Foundation. Thanks to all who sponsored me for this great cause. Photos by Alan Rowlette Photography.