Free and Fit Challenge 2018 - Boldness - Commando Spirit The SF Experience...by John Colquhuon
It was spring 2015, and I was temping at London Fire Brigade HQ as an Admin Assistant. At the time I had been going to church for around 7 years, I felt very spritually weathly after realizing that I had been self-righteous and having been set free from a life of ticking boxes to check if I was good or not. Fitness wise, and in my work life, I was a bit deflated. Been doing a lot of walking between home, churches and work. Therefore, I thought it was the right time to take on the 30 mile Commando Spirit yomp for The Royal Marines Charity, Sept 2015. So I signed up... "Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3 New Living Translation Training was loose and consisted of long walks in London and treadmill work. September 2015 came, I then was on a Virgin Trains train to Glasgow from London. There was a gift from God, before I got my temp office job at LFB HQ I was working for Virgin Trains for the same agency. Had a great time working as a 'posh' waiter in First Class coaches to Glasgow, Manchester & other locations for 6 months. On the train to the yomp there was some of the managers I worked with, they let me sit in First Class for free at no extra charge. I was now traveling all the way to Glasgow from London in First Class for the price of a standard ticket. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 New International Version Got to Glasgow, then had another long train journey to Fort William. When we got to the highlands everyone was humbled by the presence of the mountains, just like when people enter a church in the presence of God. It was the day of the 30 mile Commando Spirit yomp in the Scottish Highlands! Another gift from God, many people staying at the B&B I was in were also there for the yomp, so a saved a small fortune on a taxi to the start at Achnacarry Castle. "The settlement has a long association with Clan Cameron: Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel built the original Achnacarry Castle in about 1655. This was destroyed by government troops after the Battle of Culloden, but "New Achnacarry" was built near the same site in Scottish Baronial style in 1802. It was used as a Commando Training Depot during the Second World War and the village retains close ties to British Commandos." Source taken from Wikipedia Race and safety briefing by Royal Marines was done, we were put in different groups, then we were off! I had only one plan, finish the race. First or last, didn't matter... "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13 New International Version First friend? In my group was a man in his 60s, he was kind and humble enough to let us know he had a quadruple bypass on his heart 7 years ago. No dilemma, so I stayed with this gentleman to make sure we both finshed. Thankfully most of the route was on flat road, we passed forests, lakes and the inspiring Commando Memorial. "The Commando Memorial is a Category A listed monument in Lochaber, Scotland, dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle." Wikipedia We did it! "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope," Romans 5:3-4 English Standard Version (ESV) We suffered, we endured, had character and hope and reached the gate of Achnacarry Castle. We exited from a different gate to first one, and celebrated our success as we knew the end was just round the corner. Alas, we did not know that the Chief of Clan Cameron had the longest driveway in the world. Every corner we turned in his forest had nothing but more road and forest, a mile later we reached the castle. We were welcomed by Royal Marines and given finisher medals. You can still support Royal Marines and their familes to overcome their challenges by donating to my The Royal Marines Charity link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-colquhoun Sadly, the 2016 Commando Spirit 30 mile yomp was the last, which I finished in a faster time. I didn't mind as I discovered The SF Experience's. THE FAN DANCE, A 24KM ROUTE MARCH IN THE BRECON BEACONS WHICH IS INFAMOUS WITHIN THE RANKS OF ALL UK SPECIAL FORCES.
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