Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 5, 6 and 7
by Lynda Harwood on February 22, 2013 16:47
We've officially got 7 days and counting until race day! We can't believe how quickly the last two months have gone by, but we can't wait to finally be participating in the Nut Challenge race after all our hard work and training.
At time of writing, we have raised £530.58 which we are all delighted with and which will get us ever closer to naming our very own guide dog puppy.
Dan, Gavin and I have been continuing with our training as well as starting to think about the race day itself...more specifically the cold weather!
Gavin is already used to running and cycling in all weathers so he is well prepared, however Dan and I had to purchase some thermal sportswear from a well-known sports retailer yesterday. We are now ready for the race and even have padded, fingerless cycling gloves (to overcome the climbing obstacles) and cycling socks to keep the heat in....who knew you could buy cycling socks!
We also have our Guide Dogs t-shirts ready for the race thanks to the Guide Dogs Events Team. The photo above is of our team meeting in sunny Weymouth last weekend.
The other piece of good news is that my article on our Guide Dogs fundraising challenge will soon be published in World Dog magazine. World Dog magazine is edited and produced by JCI Dublin member, Thaynan Mariano Costa who JCI Reading have worked closely with over the past 6 months, in order to raise awareness of Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK as well as JCI Reading's fundraising for the cause.
A big thank you to all who have donated and sponsored us for Guide Dogs, a fantastic charity which provides mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people as well as campaigns for the rights of people with visual impairment. In addition, few people realise that Guide Dogs also educate the public about eye care and funds eye disease research. I think Guide Dogs' visions sums up the charity and its work perfectly:
"We will not rest until blind and partially sighted people can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else."
All in all, it has been an exciting few weeks for Dan, Gavin and I which has included lots of training and preparation for the challenge next Saturday.
Remember you can donate via our fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs
Wish us well everyone!
Lynda, Dan and Gavin
Back home from JCI today
by Clare Franklin on February 16, 2013 21:50
Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 2 and 3
by Lynda Harwood on January 27, 2013 15:50
It's now the end of our 3rd week of training and we have 35 days to go until our Nuts Challenge...the time is flying by!
Last week we had to move our training indoors due to the snowy weather in the South East...we didn't want to take any chances slipping on the snow and ice and doing ourselves an injury, especially as we get closer to D-Day!
Week 2 saw Gavin fly off to Amsterdam for work, so training was put on hold for him until he returned. However, he's certainly made up for it now with 20km cycles reaching 33mph (!) and lots of rowing and cycling in between.
Dan's been hitting the gym almost every day after work, running and training with weights as well as taking up 5-a-side football. Unfortunately Dan dislocated his knee this week so has to rest for the next few days. He's hoping to be back up and running next week but we'll have to wait and see what the Doctor says. We'll keep you posted.
As for me, I now have a new found love for swimming and it's all because of the snow! As I couldn't get out running in the snow, I started to think about the next best alternative. I'm not really a big fan of the gym and would prefer to try another sport so I thought I'd give swimming a shot...and low and behold I've found my new favourite sport! In fact, I'm off to the swimming pool in a minute for my third swim of the week :-)
All in all, we've had a mixed bag with our training over the past two weeks but we're all still really determined and have been encouraging each other with our "Nuts Challenge" Whatsapp messages! Go team!:-)
You can sponsor us at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs with all money raised going towards our £5,000 target this year for Guide Dogs.
Thank you all for your support and kind donations,
Lynda, Dan and Gavin
Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 1
by Lynda Harwood on January 13, 2013 21:13
Dan, Gavin and I have now finished our first week of training for the "Nuts Challenge" and have officially 47 days before we take part in the muddy, arduous military assault course to raise £500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind - JCI Reading's Charity of the Year
Unfortunately my training had to be postponed this week as I came down with a horrible bout of the flu...perfect timing, eh?! However, Dan and Gavin have been doing the sponsors proud with lots of training. There has been 20km bike rides, 10km runs most days as well as weight training, trips to the gym and protein shakes. My training officially starts tomorrow with a run after work to see how far I can actually run without stopping for a breather J I'll let you know how I get on next week!
I spoke with Sonia, the Nuts Challenge organiser, this week as well as JCI Manchester's Caroline McCarron, who completed the Tough Mudder last year, to gain some hints and tips for training. Caroline's advice was to start training as early as possible and build up your training slowly but surely. Sonia explained that lots of running and cardio will get me through the toughest parts of the course as well as building up my arm muscles to overcome obstacles such as the cargo nets and rope swings! Eek! Nevertheless, the best piece of advice was from Caroline who added "Simply enjoy it!" That's what it's all about - doing a challenge as part of a team which will raise money for a great charity and enjoying every minute of it from training to finish.
Please help us raise money for Guide Dogs and sponsor us as we train and participate in one of the toughest military assault courses! www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs
We appreciate your support, Lynda, Danand Gavin
Something to talk about... the JCI Reading Public Speaking Club
by Clare Franklin on January 6, 2013 20:32
Public Speaking? 'No thank you!' - That would have been my answer until very recently, Although I would be telling you a lie if I said I love public speaking now and jump at every opportunity. Nevertheless, the fact that I am now able to put together a presentation and overcome my nerves to deliver it is largely, if not exclusively, down to my JCI Reading membership.
As a lawyer, many people are surprised when I tell them that I don't do a lot of public speaking. My role mainly involves client face-to-face contact , never taking me into the courtroom and rarely putting me in front of large audiences.
JCI Reading's personal development programme of workshops covering debating, public speaking, presentation skills and spontaneous speech gave me the opportunity to 'have a go' and practice such skills, thus, allowing me to make mistakes in a 'safe environment' -where the reputation of my employer was not on my shoulders, and where the faces listening are those of my JCI colleagues, not prospective clients or business contacts. Such practice led me to a point in my professional career where I felt confident to deliver legal presentations to local interest groups in 2012.
It's always good to keep encouraging ourselves to develop and it was with this in mind that I committed to a number of public speaking engagements at the JCI National Convention in Belfast in November last year. As a 'first timer' at a national convention I dived in and took advantage of all the opportunities open to me - such as representing JCI Reading in the national extempore (spontaneous speaking) competition and delivering a presentation to the National Council meeting about JCI Reading's Guide Dogs fundraising and awareness raising project which is running throughout 2012 and 2013. As well as enjoying the convention immensely, having opportunities to again practice my public speaking skills in front of different audiences was of great value to me - and has even made me consider doing more spontaneous speaking work!
That's what JCI Reading is all about - gaining skills and developing ourselves whilst meeting people and having a good time. I invite anyone in the Reading area to contact us and come along and see what JCI Reading has to offer you.
JCI UK wins Queen's Jubilee Award
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on December 12, 2012 11:59
Breaking news! - Just recived in an email from Solveig (JCI UK National President)
JCI UK is awarded the Queen's Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to voluntary organisation. I'm just blown away. This is the year the UK rediscovered volunteering through the Olympic Games and its such an honor to receive this award. You can read more about it here: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/sixty-awards-sixty-years-queens-diamond-jubilee-award-celebrates-great-british-year-volunteering
A First-timer at JCI UK National Convention 2012 in Belfast
by Lynda Harwood on December 6, 2012 10:02
Some of us at JCI Reading have recently returned from the annual JCI UK National Convention which was held in Belfast last weekend.
This was my first time attending a JCI UK National Convention and what a great experience it was!
The conference was held at the Hilton hotel in Belfast with a wide variety of events from training, business lectures, a treasure hunt around the city and, not to forget, the fantastic JCI Gala Dinner and Awards held in the recreation of the Titanic ballroom at the Titanic Belfast Museum.
The weekend started on Friday afternoon with registration, networking and catching up with fellow JCIers. I previously lived in Glasgow so it was great to catch up with my JCI Glasgow friends.
In the afternoon, I took part in a business mentoring session with young entrepreneurs from the Princes Trust. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic, like-minded young business people to share my experiences and offer advice of setting up a small business.
The evening entertainment was held at the Ulster reform club with traditional Irish music and food as well as an extempore competition (when you have to speak for two minutes about an object which you pick from a bag - much more difficult than it sounds!) Our very own Clare form JCI Reading participated in the competition and did a great job managing to talking about hair clips (!) for two minutes and making them sound interesting!
Our Saturday was filled with sightseeing, business and professional development lectures, networking as well as the all important JCI Gala Dinner and Awards. Everyone was dressed to the nines and had a fantastic evening…it’s not every Saturday night you get to attend a fantastic dinner and awards ceremony in a recreation of the Titanic ballroom!
Sunday was a time for recovering from the night before, some more sightseeing and shopping at the Christmas market next to the town hall. Then it was time to say our Goodbyes until we all get together at the next conference in Monaco in June.
As a first timer to the UK Convention, I had heard a lot beforehand about how good the conventions were. My expectations were high and JCI Belfast delivered with a fantastic JCI UK Convention in 2012! Well Done! I’m already thinking about the next UK convention in Leeds for November 2013….
by Faisal Mooraby on November 22, 2012 00:36
I am a late discoverer of the Gangnam style sensation. If you do not know about PSY and Gangnam style, then here is a link to the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0. I do not know about your point-of-view on this sensation but initially, I thought the music video, and the song itself, was over-the-top, cheesy and absolutely awful. The accent, the fashion styles and the dance routines were definitely a cocktail of the worst music video ever - so I thought then.
But my opinion has since changed and I think it was a very creative and interesting way to engage people around the world. The original music video makes fun of a posh South Korean area, Gangnam, obviously out of frustration of PSY (and others). You may think I am crazy but put it this way, Gangnam style has sling-shot PSY to the UN to meet world leaders. His music video has become a medium in itself for others to voice their satisfaction of dissatisfaction of the world around them in a fun way. Gangnam style has spun numerous parodies, but the ones created by the political machines on the run-up to the Presidential election 2012 shows how influential PSY has been. Here are two parodies produced by the Democratic and Republican parties:
Mitt Romney Style:
Gangnam style to me shows how you can be creative, especially using the media and social media tools. You may not like it but it has certainly gone viral and in the reach of billions around the world. Being creative is to engage your audience and one way is to be cheesy, over-the-top and outrageous.
If you want to learn on how to be creative in your work, then attend the Creative Thinking workshop on the 22nd of November, delivered by Sofie Sandell:
|Venue:||Dexter Montague LLP Solicitors, 105 Oxford Road, Reading, RG1 7UD|
|Date:||22nd Nov, 2012|
|Time:||18:45 for a 19:00 start ending by 21:00|
Book your slot at the following URL:
You may want to find a medium to express yourself in a creative way, so do join us in our Public Speaking Club which starts on the 13th of December:
|Venue:||Odd Fellows' Hall, 118b Oxford Road, Reading, RG1 7NQ|
|Date:||13th Dec, 2012|
|Time:||18:45 for 7pm start ending by 9pm|
Book your slot at the following URL:
Have you heard of the movie 'Undefeated'? It was an Academy Award nominee last year. I certainly have not heard it before today but I am sure you have heard of Gangnam style. So, you decide!
JCI Reading presents the Public Speaking Club
by Faisal Mooraby on November 17, 2012 15:14
The late actor Robert Benchley (1889 – 1945) once said: “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.” I also believe there are 2 kinds of people: those who want to become public speakers and those who don't. However, I also believe that both groups can benefit greatly from public speaking training and practice.
Whether you are a politician, lawyer, engineer or from any background, you are very likely required to speak in public at least once in your lifetime: maybe you can be required to deliver a presentation to your team or executive, it can be that you may have to speak to a public pitching the essence of your business, or it can even be that you have been chosen to deliver a toast to a newly married couple. In my opinion, public speaking is a skill for life and that is why JCI Reading is starting a Public Speaking Club.
But practicing public speaking has other important benefit. From my experience, the more you speak in front of a large audience, the more your confidence and self-esteem increases, especially in a safe, fun and motivating environment – which is what the speaking club is about. I can testify from experience that practice indeed makes perfect. The club gives you the opportunity to practice your speeches regularly in a positive environment. Each speaker will receive constructive feedback from a dedicated evaluator, which focusses on the 'how' and 'why' rather than the 'what' of your delivery. But most importantly, the feedback will allow you to see the great skills you have as a speaker.
The meeting will be divided into impromptu speeches, prepared speeches, evaluations and a mini training at the end to keep you energise.
So, if you are looking to improve your public speaking skills, increase your confidence and self-esteem, or maybe simply to meet like-minded people, come along to our meeting:
Thursday 13th of December at 6.45 pm
Odd Fellows' Hall
118b Oxford Road
Reading RD1 7NQ
Book your place on our dedicated Eventbrite page: http://2012jcirdg-speaking-dec.eventbrite.co.uk/
There are two kinds of people in the world, those who want to speak in public and those who don’t – which kind will you be?
How JCI Reading helped me today
by Clare Franklin on September 17, 2012 18:21
As a Solicitor it is often assumed by people who don't know me that I must be very confident in speaking publicly as I must surely be in and out of court representing clients in front of judges.
So, today when I stood up in front of a group of parents and carers at a seminar arranged by Mencap, to co-deliver a talk about Wills and Trusts for those who have children or relatives with learning disabilities, you might be surprised to learn that actually I was far from being in my comfort zone. Since qualifying as a solicitor in September 2007, I have worked and specialised in Wills, Trust and Probate law - an area of law that does not take me into court or before judges. All my work is desk based, advising clients as individuals or couples on a face to face basis in the office.
Public speaking has always been something that, to put it mildly, frightens me half to death and has in the past been the cause of sleepless nights and anxiety. Now I'm not going to lie to you - I did not go along today without nerves, but thanks to my time and experience in JCI Reading, I did go along with a certain degree of confidence.
As a JCI Reading member I have attended a number of workshops and training events that have provided me with practical tips to deliver presentations to audiences, whilst managing my feelings of nerves and helping myself to overcome the confidence issues that previously I had with speaking. As a result, while I cannot say that public speaking is something that I necessarily enjoy, I am now no longer struck down with complete fear at the prospect.
Communication, public speaking and presentation skills are regular topics that are included in the JCI Reading programme of events. Not only does this mean that more and more members come along to improve their skills in these areas, but there are opportunities for members like me who do not have the chance in my regular day to day working life, to practice and receive constructive pointers to improve. The value of this for me is that when, like today, I do need to give a presentation in my work, I have confidence that I can do it, know how to prepare and can, possibly, even enjoy the experience a little.