It was with some trepidation my new husband David approached me recently to tell me he’d decided to cycle to Barcelona…in nine days. But it was OK – he was doing it for charity.
I know him well enough to know that the last bit was not his main motivation. It was the actual crazy, hare-brained challenge of cycling 900-odd miles with three mates in a ridiculously short amount of time that was his real stimulus.
When I think of colleagues and friends who have embarked on similar marathons or bike rides, I realise that it’s the actual challenge of completing the events that is the real reason they are doing it, with the fundraising element either a condition of taking part, or tagged on for good measure.
And it made me wonder if the charities mind? Should it be charity first, challenge after? Or does it not really matter?
Take David, for example. After deciding on the challenge, he then sat down and thought: which charity? Without having a specific affiliation with any, he settled on the very worthy Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity as the recipient for his intended £4,000 prize. I’m sure they’ll be hugely grateful for the donation, which will no doubt save many lives.
But I found it interesting, being a complete couch potato myself, that the only thing that could motivate me to do something similar (though far less impressive), would be the benefit it would have to charity. It would be the thought of the good it would do, rather than the motivation of seeing the El Clasico football game in a bar in Barcelona at the end of the nine days, which is my husband’s.
Don’t get me wrong – I am hugely impressed and proud of what he is going to achieve and know that he is glad that a lot of good will come out of his expedition. As am I awe-struck by colleagues who spend months training for the marathon in all weathers. But it did make me wonder.
And, whatever his motivation, it’s still £4,000 more than I’ve raised from my sofa.
If you want to find out more about his crazy challenge visit his JustGiving page.