THE LONG PUSH 2012 is sponsored by...

THE LONG PUSH has been sponsored and supported by the following companies and individuals...



If you would like to sponsor me on my journeys, please contact me at the_long_push@btinternet.com

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Monday, 9 April 2012

"My diet starts tomorrow", and other things I've learnt over the first three months of preparing for The Long Push 2012

"When you're younger you can eat what you like, drink what you like and still climb into your 26 inch waist  trousers and zip them closed. Then you reach that age...24, 25...your muscles give up, they wave a little white flag and without any warning at all you're suddenly a fat bastard!"

Quote by Rimmer in Red Dwarf

And if you think that quote is right about being 25, it sure as hell is when you're 47!! 
I'll get back to the topic of this post shortly, but for now, indulge me a minute or two, with a post I've had in 'draft' for a month or so...

I've talked about the poor weather over winter here in the UK quite a few times in this blog so far. It hasn't only stop me from getting out on the longboard, but I couldn't use my two wheel love, my Triumph TT600 motorbike between Boxing Day and March this year either. So I was hopeful of some decent weather on my two days off in the first week of March, to just get it back out on the road again for the spring/summer, and maybe get up to the weekly Monday evening bike meet at St. Annes for the first time this year. 

Swapping 4 wheels for 2 - 'Yellow WKD' at Lytham Windmill
I follow the same road as the route plan for The Long Push to get to St. Annes on the bike. I just get there a LOT quicker! And I was lucky enough to win some brand new Triumph leather trousers in my size, 32" waist on Ebay recently, so I was really looking forward to getting kitted up and out on the road. After a few false starts the bike (I call her 'Yellow WKD') started up and ran fine. Time to try the leathers on. Expected no problem. My old ones are a 32" waist and the 34" ones I have are a bit drafty round the waist, so should be fine.

Now, it could just have been that the pants were still new and stiff and need wearing to flex them a bit. No, really...stop sniggering at the back there...it could! I suspect however that the sad truth is more like...
  • My eyes are NOT bigger than my belly! I eat too much! And as a result,  I'm a tad closer to a 33" waist than a 32" at the moment!  
Ahem! Seriously, I need to address my diet, structure my meals and work out a fitness plan to support the training I need to do to push a longboard 50 miles a day for two consecutive days. And to be honest, that ain't gonna do me any harm. It's long overdue. I'm already using RunKeeper to track my training rides. Now I've added 'My Fitness Pal' to the apps on my phone, to track my calorie intake and match that to my training. So now that the chocolate fest that is Easter is over, I need to get this 'healthy eating' trip on.Easier said than done for a chocaholic like me!

So, that's one thing I've learnt through the last three months or so. Which leads neatly back to the theme of this lil' blog post,  other things I've learned this year so far...
  • If you really must start training for a longboard trek in December in the UK, don't expect to get out on yer board much before March!
First time I've done anything like this, for charity or otherwise, and the winter UK weather wasn't the best for longboarding, so the first few months have been busy getting all the social networking set up in place, making contact with people, getting logos done etc while it's been cold, colder, downright freezing and/or wet! But at least for next year I'll have this experience already. Next year I'll wait till March to kick things off.
  • The closest I am to an 'athlete' is having Athletes Foot! 
Sad, but true. See above re: diet etc. but also regarding my feet! Two thirds of my life wearing skate shoes has left me with all sorts of bumps, bruises, verucas, seed corns, hard skin and...athletes foot. And with two 50 mile pushes ahead of me, now more than ever I need to get my feet sorted. I feel my first trip to a chiropodist comin' on!
  • Blue is the generally adopted colour to raise awareness of autism!
I realised this after I'd decided to adopt the yellow/black colour scheme for The Long Push for 2012 of course! Doh! Still, I've got a bright scheme to attract attention, and now I know how to 'tweak' it for next year. Yup, I'm thinking about 2013 already! 
  •  Take your time to find what works for you before looking for sponsors.
Actually, I've pretty much done this. My initial plan was to not try to get a hardware sponsor for this year, just to use my own kit, but now that I'm happy with the set-up I've decided to use I may contact some of the companies to see if they will support The Long Push by replacing the kit that is going to get worn out in the process. Plus, it's another way to widen autism awareness.
  • LISTEN to those with more experience!
There's a wealth of experience on offer at the likes of  http://www.skatefurther.com/  http://www.pavedwave.org/ and http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com/ among other forums. This I DIDN'T do enough of at the beginning of my planning for this year. But now I'm going to address that over the months leading up to the 2 day journey.
  • Autism is EVERYWHERE!
The amount of connections I've come across and made through this process so far has been amazing. From other skaters who are parents of autistic kids, to the amazing work that the A.skate Foundation do at  http://askate.org/home to staff from MONSTER ENERGY (see the Long Push page at http://www.monsterarmy.com/members/thelongpush/ ) who have friends on the autism spectrum, and even longboard companies who make and sell their own products to fund autism therapy http://zealouslongboards.com/ 

The connections between the skateboarding/longboarding communities and the autism commuinty are huge and inspiring. And I hope to continue to reach across these two divides with The Long Push over the next 4 years until 2015. Then I think it will be time to stop, and slow down a little, aged 52! Just a little though!

"Wait a minute dude? What about longboarding and yer training?"
Ah yeah, well it's been a rough week for training this week, as you may have noticed if you've been on the Facebook page. After shorts and T-shirts a week ago it's gone cold and wet again, and other comitments have gotten in the way of skating again. My cat's got on the board more than me this week!
Perry on the 'Switchblade'
But that's life and it is always going to happen. I managed to get out for a quick 6 miles yesterday before the rain came again, but I'll leave that for now and add it to the next full training blog. Problem is that this coming week the weather looks crap again, and I have a week at work that includes 36 hours at work over 3 days...and it's a 6 day week! So trying to get any miles in this week is going to very difficult. But we'll see. Gotta be positive, but I'll try to keep sharing links on Facebook if I haven't got anything to update the blog with.

OK, I'm going to finish this post with something I posted on the Facebook page the other day. Another fundraising idea for The Long Push, and one I could use some feedback on please.

I'm looking for a corporate sponsor to fund the cost of getting some charity wristbands made for THE LONG PUSH. 250 bands are going to cost £142.50. Sold for £1 each (assuming I sold them all of course) the donation would boost by another £107.50 to £250.

500 bands would cost £210.00 and potentialy generate an increased donation of £290 to make £500, again asuming all the bands were sold. I don't want to risk a large donation by not selling all the bands, so the bands would be made in THE LONG PUSH 2013 colours, so they could still be sold next year too.

Prices found here...

So the two questions are: Would you guys buy the bands for £1 each and...is there a corporate sponsor out there who will make the donation to fund the bands please? I hope you'll contact me either on here, at the Facebook page or at the e mail address with any feedback, or if you are one of those sponsors coming forward to help the cause.

More soon. Have a great week,


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