This week three old gits and a fat bloke are canoeing down the Thames. Their words - not mine. As a feminist I know better than to comment on age or weight. (And one of them is my son-in-law; but I'm not saying which!)
But there's no getting away from it - these are not streamlined young men. They are ordinary men who have worked and drunk pints and played with their children and talked from time to time about getting fitter but let's have another beer first. So why canoe down the Thames? To raise money for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
Just over a week ago thousands of men and women, of all shapes and sizes, pounded the streets of London. Some just did it for fun (not my idea of fun, but hey ho!), and many did it to raise money - for huge appeals and for small local charities. A daughter and grandson are running the Race for Life this year (she is fit, and he is nine and even fitter), contributing to Breast Cancer charities.
If they can ... can't we all?
Actually, no - we can't all run marathons or row down the Thames. Some because we will never be fit or well enough. Some because we have commitments which make it impossible to leave those we care for long enough to do the training. Some because the idea of all that effort is enough to make us reach for the smelling salts.
Most of us do our best. We put the occasional tin or packet of something in the food bank bin at the supermarket. We stop to help the old person who has dropped his shopping. We help in charity shops or do our bit for small charities that keep our rivers clean or help young families. We dip into our pockets to sponsor friends and family doing wacky things.
Today I propose that we raise a glass to all those who go that extra mile (so to speak) and actually put their effort into doing arduous physical challenges to raise money to help people they don't know. They cope with wind, rain, and bodies aching in places where they didn't know they had muscles. I couldn't do it - and I suspect a few of you who drop by here couldn't do it either?
So cheers to you, three old gits and a fat bloke. I'll cheer your exploits from the safety of my sofa this week. And if you, too, want to see how they get on, you can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1708936316061250/. And if you live near the Thames, maybe you can work out when they pass you and stand on a bridge to cheer them on.