Bryn :: Goodbye 2011, Here We Come 2012!!

Superlatives loom large in the pages of this blog. Fantastic! Incredible! Amazing! are all sprinkled about with gay abandon. So much of 2011 can be summarised in those words.

2011 was the year that WobblyWilliams became something more than a carry on. We became much more credible, listened to and serious. Above all we became SERIOUS. SERIOUS about curing this disease. This new SERIOUSness came from an understanding we have a combination of attributes which contribute to our success….

We have infectious enthusiasm.
We have unconfined imaginations.
We have passionate people.

Passionate people. People who’s individual goals are not necessarily to cure Parkinson’s disease, but who are using their efforts to achieve those goals to cure Parkinson’s.

Did Mark Cooper run 131 miles in 24 hours to cure Parkinson’s? No. He did it because he wanted the challenge but he used it to raise awareness, raise money and raise the bar for our team of TryAthletes.

Did 100 runners turn out on a December’s morning to run the Unofficial 10k/half marathon to cure Parkinson’s? No. They did it because it was engaging but they used it to raise awareness, raise money and raise the idea of a whole different way of organising events.

Did I run three marathons in 22 days to cure Parkinson’s? No. I did it because it was a challenge and I used it to raise awareness, raise money and raise the eyebrows of those who thought I was mad.

We all do things for different reasons, and in a way Parkinson’s is a side show. And that is how it should be. In each of the examples above, the focus wasn’t on a depressing subject like Parkinson’s it was on something else, something more engaging. Similaraly, The Great Scots Cup was about golf and laughter. Everyone knew it was in aid of Parkinson’s but it was only mentioned in passing. Likewise, the Big Fat Wobbly Wedding was a brilliant parody on a wedding, not the usual charity dinner.

This year we have raised over £200,000. In total we have raised £400,000 since 2008 and in a single day this year we raised £40,000. The same amount we raised in 2008. And it should have been, could have been, so much more. With better organisation and structure we could have got more money in from our magnificent TryAhletes and followed up the many opportunities that came our way but were lost due to lack of resources.

The highlights of 2011? There were many….

  • Setting a chain of events in motion that led to Parkinson’s UK becoming involved with Steven Gill’s research.
  • Hearing Gavin Hastings say “We at Wobbly Williams” at the Great Scots Cup.
  • Learning the meaning of the word determination at the end of July by being part of the team that supported Mark in his record attempt.
  • Reaching the summit of Ben Nevis in July with Karen, having climbed the back route and traversed the Arête from CMD.
  • Watching the sea of pink at the Great Scottish Run, the Unofficial 10k and the Men’s and Women’s 10ks.
  • Meeting the Miss Scotland finalists, and especially the amazing Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch.
  • Jennifer committing to our cause and realising pages of coverage in the press. Six days on the bounce in The Sun.
  • The brilliance of the Big Fat Wobbly Wedding. An amazing spectacle.

Disappointments? There have been a few…..

  • My response to injury by giving up exercise rather than exercising differently.
  • Being unable to do more of the Wobbly Walk and go to WobbleAid.
  • By allowing what I do dominate everything, causing difficulties in my marriage and for me to neglect those closest to me.

2012? There are many plans afoot regarding how we develop to capitalise on the missed opportunities of 2011. But first and foremost one thing looms large. Kilimanjaro. 9 days to go. I cannot wait.