well well well, #togetherstronger

that, for those of you who don't follow football, was the hashtag and theme that the welsh football team adopted and used throughout their recent campaign at the european championships, which saw them become the most successful welsh team in my lifetime, only just missing out on a place in the final, with a team that truly believed in themselves, and played very much as a team, and not a group of individuals.

the great thing for me about all of this was that it seems to have brought together a nation, welding them in a way that makes them, literally togetether stronger, and i have had two business meetings this week where the term has been used, and long may it, and the positivity within this country seems to be electric, so well done mr coleman and co, you have inspired a nation, and long may it rain over us :)

this positivity was mirrored in my own week, as i set off on my journey to everest, taking my first steps to raise the money i need to buy my ticket.

my girls are away working up and down the country, so i have been home alone with lots of time on my hands, which has allowed me to catch up on my reading, and i devoured the recent tale of phil knight, the creator of nike, 'the shoe dog' which was a great read, and fuelled my week with drive and commitment, so thanks phil, a thank you note is oregon bound.

i also took delivery of my dirtbag runners shirt this week, what are dirtbag runners, well they are a bunch of running dudes who describe themselves thus

Dirtbag Runners is a community of trail and ultrarunners from around the world. We love adventure, minimalism, story-telling by a fire, making new friends and celebrating life on the trail. It doesn’t matter if you can only dirtbag it on the weekends or you are living on the road full-time. Being a dirtbag is a mindset. Are you a dirtbag runner? Join us in the revolution!

ok, you got me, i'm in.

so, as i head off to my first meeting of the day, which was with my friend rhys, who owns crafty devil brewing company in cardiff, i sported my dirtbag runners shirt adorned with a sports jacket, and my bedrock sandals.

i am, i guess a hippy.

but hey i am what i am.

as i entered the coffee bar with grass on the walls, i greeted rhys, who proceeded to tell me how his goal of eventually giving up his day job to follow his dream of brewing the most mighty fine craft beer, had come to fruition, and he was now working full time, and he was dressed in a comfortable looking tee shirt as opposed to the first time we met when he was in a suit.

the dream continues, and i love watching his story unfold.

when we first met, a couple of years ago rhys was kind enough to offer to produce a bigmoose beer for me, which we sold to friends and family, and used the money to fund things we needed to buy for our events, and i could tell we had connected, and his generosity was humbling.

fast forward to july '16, and as he headed off to go a craft brew tour, i told him of my dream to go back to nepal to see if i could scale the mighty everest, but that i needed help to get there.

as i talked, and talked, and talked, my passion flowing in bucketloads, rhys listened with a poker face, and i feared he may have sneakily painted eyes on his eyelids, and be having a little snooze.

i finished, and apparently the crafty devil had been awake all the time, and just listening.

'we're in' he calmly said. (note to self, do not not ever play poker with rhys)

'you're in' i excitedly said.

'yep, i've got a few ideas' rhys offered up, and proceeded to tell me how they will brew an everest beer for me that they will sell, and how they will have an everest night at their newly opened tap house which holds 200+ people, and a variety of other funky ideas to help me fund my ticket back to the tallest mountain in the world.

rhys pulled out his calculator, not his phone, a proper palm sized calculator, and punched in some numbers with a dexterity only seen before by myself when watching my daughters type on their phones.

'hmmmmmmm', he pondered, 'all in all, we should have seven grand profit, quite easily'.

'seven grand', i repeated, as i felt this could be the moment early incontinency kicked in.

i then swore.

'are you serious', i asked hesitating somewhat, just in case this question prompted a retraction of his offer.  

he very seriously informed me he was serious, and they would love to be involved.

i'm not gonna lie, i wanted to cry, i got a bit emosh, just thinking about how this guy, that i didn't really know that well, was willing to help me all he could, and that he seemed to want to see me succeed almost as much as i did, and i had to fight back the tears, so i didn't embarrass us both.

'man that's amazing, i can't believe it, thank you' i burbled.

that's alright, now tell me about the 'running for emily' i want to do that as well?

'geez louise, you're gonna to break me', i thought.

so as i opened the text message from rhys later, he informed me that he and the brewmeister that is adam, want to run for emily, and raise £600, and as i let it wash over me, i thanked my lucky stars that i have so many cool people around me who love helping others, and i felt very very humbled indeed.

so that was my first meeting of the day, which was all about everest.

my second meeting was with the new marketing girl at john lewis, with my work hat firmly on, in a role that i have with one of my clients pa black, that i do a day a week consulting on marketing for.

as i met bethan, i remembered that i still had my dirtbag runners shirt and bedrock sandals on, and i judged myself for a second, was i pushing the 'be me' thing too far as i stepped into corporate world.

i needn't have worried, bethan was delightful, and we clicked immediately, and we are now going to do a co-branded event with john lewis and pa black, which is a massive big deal, and the dirtbag shirt was 2 and 0, as they say in sports.

one of the main reasons i mention pa black is as well as being a client, they also sponsored me when i last went to everest in '14, so they are great supporters of my madness, and as i got dressed yesterday, i pulled out my freshly washed dirtbag shirt, and i knew exactly what i was doing, this badboy had brought me super luck earlier in the week, and my sports career superstitiousness was creeping back into my real world.

i pacified myself, 'it's only a shirt, don't be daft', as it slipped over my head, and felt good next to my skin, i put my jacket on, and looked in the mirror and smiled, i like this shirt.

this day, i started work at 7am, and finished as 9pm, with seven meetings all of which were fun, and varied, but one of my favourites was where the man from pa black confirmed that they will be sponsoring me again to follow my dream, and whilst i am not at liberty to disclose the sponsorship number, it has taken me over the ten thousand pound mark, that dirtbag shirt aint coming off baby!!!

over ten grand in week one, i am so happy, but i mustn't become complacent, i have to keep going, i still have a long way to book my place on the team to climb everest, so if you know anyone that would like to get involved (unashamed plug, and whoring of blog, sorry) please put them in touch, i am hoping we are going to have a lot of fun on this journey.

i have to admit that so far i have been surprised at how amazing people have been, and my final win this week (so far) has been with the people that massaged me on my last everest trip, baseline physiotherapy, who i religiously went to for work on my legs last time, as i was training so hard.

i contacted them this week, and told them my story, and asked if they would be willing to sponsor me this time, and low and behold nikki and rebekah said yes, which is amazing, so thanks guys, i won't let you down.

which is probably what i'm feeling most as i write this, i won't let people down, and that is going to be my driver. lots of people have already been encouraging, and to have such support is brilliant, and i hope you are enjoying the story so far, i'm sure it's gonna have a lot of twists and turns.

i have just seen the time, and i've gotta get trucking as pritch would say, so have a lush week, do some cool stuff, follow your dreams, and don't you dare say your scared, i will not listen to that la la la la la la, not listening, are you doing it yet?????????

i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,