Thursday, 31 January 2013

My First Post

Musings on the irony of hypocrisy

So, having resisted social media for so long, I have gradually become obsessed. It seems strange that I didn't embrace the power and freedom of social media from its embryonic stages (given my geeky disposition). Ironically, my resistance was centred around the disbelief that I could really be that interested in what people were doing in their every day lives. 

And now I find myself blogging.

Honesty reveals the true reality of my resistance. Why would be interested in the topics about which I would write and further more; even if they were interested, my prose would be lacking eloquence and wit. Therefore it seemed most sensible to boycott the whole thing.

Only time will tell whether I was right in any case!

It now becomes clear that I am indeed a hypocrite. Whilst I'm still not that interested in what other people are doing in their every day lives, I feel compelled to share a small segment of my own.

I am now a regular user of Twitter (@mcinsley83), and an avid reader of many blogs including that of my father-in-law (Canoe's, Mountains and Caves).

What do I do, and what have I got to say

As my brief description declares, I am a happily married father of 2 amazing children. 

I earn my living as an IT Manager for a major bank and have done for a number of years. An IT and maths geek at heart, I never miss an opportunity to solve a tough problem from Sudoku to devising innovative ways of keeping my team engaged and efficient.

With non-trivial effort, I make time to enjoy mountain and trail walking with my family and; pursue my obsession with running (road, trail and fell). The latter of which this blog will mainly centre around.

Back in 2007, my wife had a place in the Great North Run, planning raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. Upon discovering that our first child was due in November of that year, it became unrealistic for her to run a half-marathon in October. So, rather than let the place go to waste, I arranged to step in and take one for the team. This had two implications: 1. I would become obsessed with running, 2. I had to run around Tyneside in a bright pink vest!

Shortly after completing the Great North Run (1:52:xx), I read Richard Askwith's inspiring book 'Feet In The Clouds: A Story of Fell-Running Obsession'. The very fact I can recall the author, title and subtitle with word-perfect precision (coupled with my terrible memory) tells you something about the regard I hold for this book. I would urge everyone to read this book. For me, it sparked an obsession with fell running and a desire to get out into the fells and explore them at speed. Unfortunately, this is slightly more difficult than the a book can convey, and actually takes quite a lot of training!

I have had numerous epic experiences with fell running, which can be categorised under three main events:
  • The Old Crown Round (completed in 2010 with my aforementioned father-in-law's to celebrate his 50th)
And so it begins...
  • A self-planned half-marathon which included the first half of Leg 2 of the clockwise Bob Graham Round (completed in 2011 also with my aforementioned father-in-law)
Me on Raise
  • A personal goal to run the remainder of the Wainwright Northern Fells during 2012 (achieved apart from an elusive Meal Fell which remains unvisited)
Windy on Ullock Pike Ridge


2013 is my year for the London Marathon, running for the official charity (RunForIt), an awesome collaboration between YouthNET and AgeUK to help motivate young people and end loneliness for the elderly. If you are able, and feel inclined, you can sponsor me here.

I intend to spend some time over the coming weeks and months posting some of the routes I have covered so far in the fells, share my experiences with taking young kids in the mountains and anything else I feel compelled to share about my every day life.

If you made it this far, thank you and good night!

With the wife and kids on Cat Bells

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