Paul's 50 Challenges


In my head I am still 30, alas my body tells me something different.  More importantly my birth certificate confirms I am most definitely not 30 but will in fact turn 50 in December 2019.  I know it is hard to believe!  Most of you are now realising that in fact I do not dye my hair grey, it is just my natural colour.  The reality is I can either run away from the fact or embrace it.  As someone who tends to face things head on I have decided to embrace it.  If I am celebrating half a century of life, I want to celebrate by a year of life and challenge.  My greatest passions in life are my family and sharing the Gospel.  I know I will have some great times with my family but I also want to mark the moment by doing something significant to help Youth for Christ Gloucestershire share the Gospel with more young people so they can be changed by Jesus.

The question is how can I do something significant?  When I do a fundraiser people expect me to wheel the bike out and pedal off into the sunset.  I have thought about cycling from North to South Wales or possible tackling three iconic Tour de France mountains in the Alps.  These may be possible but instead I have chosen to tackle 50 challenges in my 50th year to mark each year of my life.  Thinking of 50 challenges is not easy, perhaps it is challenge number one!  That is where you come in.  I am opening myself up to accept challenges from people that I can do throughout the year.  Challenges can be big or small, individual or with others, short or year long.  I can’t do 50 massive challenges as I only have one year and I am taking on 49 challenges more than most people do in a year.  All I am asking is that you think of a challenge for me to undertake and work out how much it will be worth you raising to make me do it.  I am setting a target of raising £5000, £100 for each year I am celebrating.

Now before you think I am a complete fool to open up myself to this there are a few rules, besides the challenges being legal.  The rules are as follows:

  1. I get to choose whether I accept your challenge.
  2. I may be willing to accept your challenge but will only do so if you agree to raise the financial target I accept.  I am not putting my head in a lion’s mouth for £10, in fact for that challenge see rule 1!
  3. The challenge period starts from my 49th birthday in December 2018 until the day of my 50th birthday in 2019.
  4. Where possible challenges will be adjudicated and filmed, although a sponsored silence could be a rather dull YouTube video.
  5. Challenges may be combined in some circumstances. e.g. a challenge to walk 1000 miles in a year could include a challenge to walk the Cotswold Way.
  6. All money raised must be donated to Youth for Christ Gloucestershire.
  7. Others may join me in the challenge if they choose to do so.

So those are the rules, here are some of my initial ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Cycling Challenges

  • North to South Wales (250 miles)
  • Cycling up Alpe d’Huez, the Galibier and Mont Ventoux (about 15000ft of climbing)

Short Challenges

  • Wearing a Portsmouth shirt (I am a Southampton fan)
  • Anything involving heights (I am not scared of heights, I am scared of falling off them!)
  • A 10k run, or even 5 of them (I hate running)
  • Row 50 miles
  • Go a week without coffee (Why would anyone suggest that?)
  • A leg wax
  • Do a variety of good deeds.

Year long Challenges

  • Swim 50 miles in a year.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Walk 500 miles.

That is a few starters to get you thinking, now it is over to you.  To send me ideas please email me on

I look forward to hearing your ideas.