Andy J
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Challenge update: South Africa here I come!

Andy J
Posted by
11 Feb 2014

No challenges completed but lots of exciting news since my last post. 

First and by no means least, Lauren and I finally got round to booking our flights to South Africa to visit our friend in South Africa which we've been promising to do for almost 6 months.

I'm super excited as I've always wanted to go and it'll also help me tick another challenge off my list - visiting a continent that I haven't been to before.

We haven't made any firm plans on what we're going to do whilst we're out there but one thing we're definitely going to do is climb Table Mountain at sunrise as that will ensure I complete another of the challenges on my to do list.

Challenge 4: Go to an Arsenal away game in Europe

Earlier today my Dad got confirmation from the Arsenal press office that we could have a couple of tickets to the Bayern Munich - Arsenal game on 11th March after weeks of negotiation.

I am an Arsenal season ticket holder but don't have any away ticket points so contacting the press office and going on the charm offensive was the only real option left available.

Initially it didn't appear as if we were going to have much joy, and, having already booked the flights out to Munich, it looked like we'd have to fly out and try and get a ticket off a tout but my Dad came up trumps after persisting with the press office when I was prepared to give up and try next season and he came up trumps.

I couldn't be happier as going to a european away game is something that I've wanted to do ever since I was a little boy. Fingers-crossed it's a good game and that Arsenal go out there after the first leg in a position where they've got a chance of progressing into the quarter finals so there's something at stake in the match.

Challenge 7: Read 30 books

When I haven't been working, wedding planning or house hunting I've also been taking every opportunity available to get stuck in to Great Expectations - my 8th book so far.

After making a fast start with the Game of Thrones series, I've dropped off the pace recently and I am going to need to step it up in order to get this challenge done before October.

The key is reading a few shorter books to get back up to speed and I've had loads of suggestions on my Challenge Facebook page. My friend, Ellie, has also brought in a few short books for me to sink my teeth into which will also give me the opportunity to get back on track.

Challenge 12: Watch the top 30 films of all time

I've also made some headway on the film front adding Goodfellas to the watched list taking my total to 3 - Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects and 12 Angry Men.

It's not exactly racing along but I'm confident I'll get this challenge completed in time if I get into the habit of watching a movie a week and chuck in the odd movie marathon. One thing I do need to, though, is lock down the list as because it's top-rated the top 30 could end up changing before October. With that in mind, I'm going to use the list as of 10:46 pm tonight:

Challenge 9: Run the Berlin Marathon

Besides the more passive pursuits of reading and watching movies, I've also begun to make strides to build up my now non-existent fitness in time for the marathon at the end of September by running a few 3 milers over the past few weeks.

Not even a year ago I'd have been able to run 3 miles without a moment's hesitation but since my lung deterioration this has become a real challenge which for someone who's run from John O'Groats to Land's End has taken some adjustment.

However, I've come to terms with things now and it's a case of doing the best I can with the lung capacity that I've got. In many ways this will be the most satisfied I will ever be on completion of a marathon if I get round and I include running my first ever marathon whilst undergoing treatment for leukaemia in that list.

Overall, I've made plenty of progress in recent weeks despite having so little time to dedicate to it all.

That said, I am going to struggle to get all of these challenges so if you could help in any way that would be extremely helpful. Two challenges which you could help me with straight away:

Follow me on twitter to help me reach 30,000 followers.

Make a donation to help me reach my £30,000 target.

Do you know someone called Andy Jackson that would be willing to meet up with me? Drop me an email at:


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