Friday, 25 September 2009

flingforlogan website

Freshened up the website last night - new layout and couple of new links

- - new line of products with funds going to Logan (more to come)

- easyfundraising - difficult to explain this one but if you buy goods from online stores (NEXT, Tesco, Asda etc) then the stores will make a donation to Logan on each purchase - costs nothing to use and everyone, ie Logan, wins

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Other projects

Bit busy with a couple of other projects just now - mainly trying to finish our long awaited national DVD.

I am now back in control of it and am keen to get it online before the end of October

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Logan's Bear locator map

I have spent a wee while playing with my mapping and have put together a map showing the location of the 'fling for logan' challenges, logan bear sales and donations.

If i have missed your please let me know. then then click on the 'map' link (top right)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Where did you fling?

As I get updated from my friends about the various 'fling for logan' fundraising campaigns that they have undertaken I though it might be interesting to try to map them.

Please contact me with the location of your fundraising event and I will try to put together a summary with categories example:

- furthest from me
- most northerly or most southerly
- highest or lowest
- shortest or longest
- earliest in the day or latest
- most participants
- strangest

photos would be good too

Please give it some thought and do get in touch.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

wipe out

just finished a great practice session - not sure where the motivation or energy came from but did 40 minutes to ipod on ramdom - started by jiggin' it and finished with a wipe out

feels like i've just had a shower (reminds me of the old practice sessions i used to have)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Cowal 50 step fling challenge

Part 2

Cowal 50 step Fling Challenge

part 1 of 2

Cowal Fling video

I hope to get a video of my Cowal Fling on youtube later today.

It seems to have taken for ever to do this but I did encounter several problems:

- Deryck had my camcorder (eventually got it back last weekend)
- I needed to renew my software licence so that I could process the video footage
- eventually got this all done early Thursday morning & uploaded
- when I checked last night I got a message to say that the video was deleted as it was longer than the maximum allowed on youtube of 10 minutes (guess I'll need to dance faster next time!)

I am now splitting the video into 2 bits and hope to finish this later today.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Photos now uploaded

You can see pages from the US album with some others on the flingforlogan site / photo page.

Click here

Friday, 11 September 2009

Photos from the US

Yesterday we received a package in the from post from David Tague on on behalf of FUSTA containing a cheque for funds raised at various events held at the Pheonix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Costa Mesa, Campbell, San Diego & USIR events. In addition, we received an amazing album containing photos of some of the raffle winners, USIR qualifiers and some of the youngsters taking part in the coloring in events.

We all loved going through the album, talking about the competitions and venues and seeing some dancers that we know and many that we do not but Logan and the girls were puzzled at one of 2 guys dancing with no socks or shoes - check the photo for details when I get it uploaded.

I will be creating a photo page with some of the pages from the album.

Many, many thanks to all.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Started practicing again

Gave myself a few days off after Cowal but am back practicing again.

What for? I don't have anything specific in mind but am playing with a couple of ideas.

Anyone else doing any flinging?

Friday, 4 September 2009

Video clip of Cowal Fling

Video footage of a video by the team

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Cowal Fling Challenge - what now?

Well, the fling has been flung and my legs are back to normal but the challenge goes on.

This fling challenge was not about me but instead was about raising public awareness of the duchenne condition and pressure on government to bring forward clinical trials, currently underway but underfunded, and treatments for our boys.

If I could do this then we can do anything - please help me to make it happen.


Cowal Fling Challenge - the fling

I was not sure what sort of crowd to expect - I knew that the Cowal committee gave me the prime spot before the major bands but thought that the tent would be quiet with people taking a break - WRONG - the tent was packed!

I got onto the stage, found a spot between the speakers, mikes and cables and was looking for some decent space when the music started - flinging had begun.

I started trying to pace myself but the noice from the crowd was so deafening and enspiring that excitement took over.

I knew that I needed to be backstepping til step 16 but I lost count and found that I had danced 2 toeandheel steps when the music changed - got a bit tired at this point, mentally more than physically but the same effect

Toe and heels, shakes & rock steps went pretty well and I think I got back on schedule.

The crowd cheering all the way, some girls screaming in the front (I know who you are!) each time I changed step type - I got a boost each time they did - THANK YOU

I was determined not to repeat steps - my fling was intended to comprise 50 unique steps and this was my challenge.

I think I moved onto pointing steps more or less on schedule but was feeling the heat and so my waistcoat came off - not sure why I did this but I did get a big cheer.

I heard the music change and knew that I was on step 4o - I could feel the end in sight and now knew that I should have enough steps left to complete my fling.

Onto the crossovers and a 5th or 6th wind kicked in - lowcutting, pause, extended, shake, pause & extend, pause & shake and then onto my last steps.

The normal last step first and then onto no 50 - 8 turns.

Adrenaline had truly kicked in by now - a few more turns and then it was over - 50 steps.

Fling done - pumps off - talk to some guys from the media and then, as I forgot to bring water, head down the hill to the catering tent - no chance of water - got a couple of bottles of the sponsor's finest straight from the fridge!

Cowal Fling Challenge - day of the challenge

5.00 am - got up around and jumped about a bit in the house - it was raining and when I checked the forecast I realised that it was on for the day.

6.30 am - got into my kilt, had breakfast and went down the field.

7.45 am - started printing off Worlds Finalist certificates and getting the system ready for the day

10.00 am - dancing started and we started crunching the numbers

1.00 pm - I decided that I needed time out to stretch my legs

1.30 pm - met an old friend then headed up to the ceiligh tent

1.50 pm - time to put my pumps on (toeandheel GOLD open to 4 in case you are interested!)

1.55 pm - started jumping about to get warmed up

2.00pm - Deryck & dad arrived and the MC announced the challenge

Cowal Fling Challenge - Cowal schedule

My practice schedule, once I got to Dunoon, grinded to a halt.

Deryck & I run the scrutineering for the dancing at Cowal and so we spend all day Thursday (7.30 am til 6 pm) and Friday (7.30 am til 6 pm) and Saturday (7.30 am til 5 pm) in the scrutineering cabin (which is a wee bit more cold and damp that is ideal in the final run up for a physical challenge).

In addition we take part in the UKA Championship step lecture on the Thursday evening.

I did manage to dance early Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings - but not as much as I would have liked.

Cowal Fling Challenge - the week of the challenge

The week of the challenge was pretty crazy on a number of fronts:

- our school term started on the Thursday the week before the challenge and so morning school preparations were still new and routines not yet set
- Deryck & I were putting finishing touches to our latest DVD
- I was trying to manage my work schedule to work around my time off
- my legs were getting a bit tired and starting to get sore

I left for Cowal straight from work on Wednesday - no looking back now

Cowal Fling Challenge - PR

The main drive behind this Fling Challenge was to increase public awareness of the Duchenne condition and through this to drive forward the current clinical trials to some kind of treatment.

Pauline Foster from Cowal Gathering's PR company got on the case - press releases were prepared and distributed to all the Scottish media and articles appeared in many of the papers, radio and online advising of the challenge and pointing them to the actionduchenne website.

A considerable amount of time was spent on the phone with Pauline discussing our PR angle - working out the delicate balance between family, duchenne and the fling challenge - and I have to say that it appears to have been successful.

An article was also put in the Cowal Games programme and space was given to us in the games Information Kiosk to sell our Logan's bears.

Many thanks to the Cowal Gathering committee and Pauline for all their assistance.

Cowal Fling Challenge - injury worries

As this was quite a physically demanding challenge my family was a bit concerned that some of my old dancing injuries might raise their heads (truth be told - they have never gone away!) and so enquired of some local sports clinics for some preventative treatment.

I was very lucky, and extremely grateful, to the Simon Grant of the Rannoch Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic (Balneggie, Perthshire) and the Liz McColgan Health Club in Carnoustie for the treatment that he provided by way of sponsorship.

I received twice weekly physio sessions, including massage, ultra sound and some needles (I thought it was some kind of voodoo medicine but Simon assured me it was accupuncture!)

Thanks again Simon - all done and new new injuries.

Cowal Fling Challenge - workout schedule

I had planned my workout schedule to give me plenty of time to build up the stamina and memory required to make the 50 steps with everything in place by the middle of July.

I started my daily routine (walk, jump then dance through at 5 am and then also 10 pm each day) and managed to achieve this most days (I was keen to get this underway quickly as we had a family holiday planned for July and also August during which the required intense practice would not be possible.)

Some sessions were great whilst others were a bit more challenging - my studio is separate from the house and so sometimes I got a bit wet and cold crossing the garden at 5am in the rain!

I managed some dancing during our July holiday (as were were in a cottage) but only danced twice during the August one - we had hired a campervan and so the only opportunity I had to dance was at 6am outside on the grass (still damp with morning dew!) in my pyjamas.

Back home and normal service resumed 15 August - only 2 weeks to go!

Cowal Fling Challenge - music

Sorting out the music was a major issue for my initial fling and could have been a problem for the Cowal Fling.

However, I decided that rather than becoming concerned whtether the music was exciting I needed to make sure that it told me where I was in my challenge.

So I decided to work from my old music and just add to it.

This gave me certain milestones where I could quickly and easilly determine my progress:

The music changed after 16, 32, 38 and then 44 steps and after this I should be able to plan my final few steps.

Pulling the music together only took a few minutes - and updating my trusty ipod only a few seconds.

SO by the start of August I was good to go (really!!!)

Cowal Fling Challenge - memorising the steps

Now that I had the steps sorted it was time to commit them to memory.



I printed the steps (in large type) and stuck them on the mirror of my dance studio and my daily schedule was roughtly as follows:

5.00 am - get up and walk through the steps as an aid memoire and also a bit of a warm up
5.15 am - put the music on and jump through the steps
5.30 am - dance the 50
5.45 am - ease the legs out

I then tried to repeat this at night (once the gang had gone to sleep!)

Cowal Fling Challenge - steps

Figuring out my steps should be fairly easy since I had already done & scripted 42 - well not as easy as I thought!

One of my main difficulties in my 40 step fling in April was recalling the steps - not during practice sessions but when the adrenaline kicks in and tiredness starts to bite - I was determined that this would not be an issue with the Cowal fling.

There are a great number & variety of old fling steps (way more than I needed for this challenge) but I needed some that would be interesting, could be danced at speed and were easy to remember.

I decided to link my steps with the music - the music changed after 16 and then 32 steps and so it followed that I should change steps at those milestones also.

The plan was -
1 - 16: 1 first step then 15 backstepping steps
17 - 32: 8 toe and heel steps then 8 shake / rocking steps
33 - 42: pointing steps
43 - 50: 6 crossover then 2 last steps

I sorted out the steps and then started the challenge of memorising them.

Cowal Fling Challenge - how did it go?

Well, after several months of planning and several weeks of intensive training Saturday 29th August (and time for my Cowal Fling challenge) came along very quickly.

It was my favourite Cowal games weather - cool and wet - and the ceilidh tent was packed. Adrenaline, music, cheering, screaming (and that was just in my head) and some 12 1/2 minutes later it was over - 50 steps.

Want to know a bit about my build up? - OK