Sandra Dick: Spirit is willing but flesh is wobbly

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On Sunday I squeezed into my running gear (I know the image of Lycra stretched to snapping point across my generous bahookie is one you’d rather avoid, but stick with me), and set off for a sluggish 5k jog.

Barely 100 yards in, the heavens opened. Think freezing sleet, biting wind, filthy puddles – the kind drivers love to hit at speed, drenching lardy ladies in Lycra to the skin. By the end, I was working a “living dead” kind of look and seriously questioning if this fitness lark is as healthy as it’s meant to be.

Naturally I needed a calorific hot chocolate and a Twix to help me recover – immediately undoing any “good” that may have come from slogging through Arctic conditions wearing clothes no more substantial than a soggy Kleenex.

Enjoyable it was not. It’s since been slotted into my already bulging “don’t do that again you utter idiot” file.

A mere 5k and I was DONE. Paula Radcliffe may want to slap my face and tell me to man the hell up but you must understand, I’m the woman who chomped through several chocolate digestives without a pang of guilt while action man Dr Andrew Murray explained to me how he was to run 550k in blistering heat across the unforgiving sands of the Namid desert.

There’s something weird in the DNA of those who have so much get up and go that they don’t just tick the “5k jogged today, feed me immediately” box, but who put it in a backpack and take it for a hike up Everest. Probably while naked, pausing only to do a “Bear Grylls” and drink their own urine.

Take adventurer Mike Laird, who has revealed plans to cross the freezing Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska – a journey that doesn’t merely cry out to be filed under “bonkers”, it needs blasted to Mars, never to be talked of again.

Once crossed, he’ll then turn around and walk – heck, maybe swim – back the way he came.

For him it’s about adventure, experience and man versus nature thrills. Partly why 21 hardy souls will set off on Thursday for a 62-mile Arctic trek, pulling a sledge across frozen landscape.

They also hope to raise at least £10,000 for the Edinburgh-based It’s Good 2 Give charity, which helps teens fighting cancer.

We can’t all be superhero adventurers – some can’t even run 5k without almost expiring.

But we can share in their incredible journey by sponsoring them on the way.

I, of course, am with them in spirit. Pass the biscuits.