7th challenge completed – Golf

2 challenges completed in 3 days.

I’ve played Golf most of my life, but prior to today my experience was limited to causal rounds with my mates and participation in our annual BOS Golf tournament, where the focus is primarily about drinking and less about the scoring. As a result my game has pretty much stagnated over the past 10-15 years.

I was therefore looking forward to entering a tournament and hopefully moving my game forward.

Having joined the UK Golf League (www.ukgolfleague.com) a couple of weeks ago, I received a text this morning confirming my tee-off time at 2.30pm at Strawberry Hill Golf Club. Slight panic set in as I hadn’t played Golf for almost a year so I headed to the driving range to get in some practice.

Things didn’t start particularly well with the first couple of balls ending up closer to the unsuspecting golfers on the range than to my intended target. However, things improved quickly and I left the range feeling surprisingly confident ahead of the competition.

On arrival at Strawberry Hill, I was placed into a 4 ball to start my first ever competitive round of Golf. This was round 9 of the league and with only 1 round after this before the final, the majority of my competitors had been playing regularly for a number of weeks. I was slightly nervous on the first hole and thinned a 9 iron 30 yards through the green. Luckily the lie was playable and I escaped with a 1 over par 4. The round afterwards was pretty scratchy and I ended the 9 holes with a score of 50, which was 18 over par. It wasn’t my best round of golf, but I enjoyed the day and hopefully I will find the time to participate in most of thel 10 rounds of the league next year.

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6th challenge completed – Fencing

En garde

Yesterday I completed the 6th of my Olympic challenges – Fencing. I signed up for a 4 hour intensive course with Fighting Fit Fencing (http://www.fightingfitfencing.com)  that I found through Groupon. There was 12 of us in the group, all complete beginners.

We started by learning the basic rules of fencing, before moving onto footwork and some of the introductory techniques. It soon became obvious that my lack of flexibility was going to be a hindrance. To my surprise we were kitted up and using the ‘foil’ within the first couple of hours. Despite the foils having rubbers on the end it’s a strange feeling launching a sword towards your support.

I soon got into the swing of things and we introduced the ‘parry’ and ‘riposte’ to our fencing bouts. Next up was the electric jacket and foil. Things were about to get a little bit more serious and definitely more competitive. We were split into two teams of 6 and given a number, which was used to determine our opponent. I was number 5 and my team had pretty much given us an unassailable lead by the time I was up. Nevertheless, my competitive nature took over and I was determined to win my individual bout – despite not really understanding what was going on. I went on to win 5-4, probably with more luck than judgement and overall we took the home the contest 21 points to 10.

I really enjoyed the 4 hours and have signed up for a 3 month membership starting in October, so look out for more Fencing posts and updates on my progress.

Here’s to the next challenge.

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Racketlon

I’ve been looking at entry level tournaments for both Badminton and Table Tennis. Whilst there are events, they are few a far between. I recently came across Racketlon, which should help me to achieve the above challenges.

Racketlon is a combination of Table Tennis, Squash, Badminton and Tennis, where matches are played to 21 points across each of the disciplines. There are events played throughout the year and I’m confident of being able to hold my own in Tennis and Table Tennis. Badminton will take a little practice and I have little to no experience of Squash.

The first opportunity is the English Open in October but I may wait until next year to hone my Badminton and Squash skills.

http://www.englishracketlon.org/

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Wrestling

The challenge is to learn the techniques of Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling.

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Modern Pentathlon

The challenge is to take part in each of the 5 disciplines:

  • Fencing (completed 23rd Aug, 2013)
  • Swimming (completed 23rd Mar, 2013)
  • Show Jumping
  • Pistol Shooting (completed 2nd Dec, 2012)
  • Cross-Country Run (completed 26th Oct, 2014)

Fencing, Swimming, Show Jumping and Pistol Shooting will all be covered by other challenges.

In addition to the above, I will need to enter a Cross-Country race.

 

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Equestrian

The challenge is to learn each of the equestrian disciplines through taking lessons.

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Boxing

The challenge is to learn how to Box and complete a sparring session.

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