There is undoubtedly a time in everyone's life when they find themselves in a situation that is so ridiculous that for a split second they can visualise themselves from a bystander's point of view. For a large number of us this out of body' experience may have occurred as a result of a fundraising event. It was certainly the case for me on a September Sunday morning as I hopped out of my car into a howling gale and lashing rain to meet my two Galbraith teammates Alice Wilson and Jack Marshal at the start of the Crossmichael Triathlon.
The gauntlet had been thrown down by a team from Savills earlier in the year, and as the sun glittered on the loch and the south-west Scotland countryside glowed, I coerced my team mates into thinking what could be nicer than a swim in the loch, a pedal through the pastoral, and a jog through the hills.
It was a very different scene on the day! Jack, who was on a graduate placement in the Castle Douglas office, battled through waves and murky water, Alice cycled off into fog so thick that we despaired of her return, and I ran up a seemingly endless hill wishing for windscreen wipers to clear the relentless rain and mist from my face.
The result of this effort was not only a feeling of immense satisfaction, but an increased sense of team spirit, an entirely new skill set for Jack, who discovered the joys of open water swimming, a feeling of belonging to the local area, and ultimately of having raised money for two incredibly important and worthwhile causes, Alzheimers UK and Marie Curie Nurses. I don't think it would be far-fetched to suggest that the British attitude to fundraising is fundamentally humorous, based on our national love of being at the centre of a joke. We Brits are very good at laughing at ourselves. The naked calendar' is testament to this, and the 2003 film Calendar Girls tapped into this peculiarly British method of fund-raising.
Not put off by her experience in the Crossmichael Triathlon, Alice Wilson took on another charity challenge.
Last August, a fine selected (and some would say well-trained) squad from Galbraith, including myself, took on the Great Glen Challenge competing against other rural firms in a battle of four disciplines. It involved individuals from teams walking, cycling, kayaking and running from Fort Augustus to Fort William all in aid of RSABI, a unique Scottish charity which is close to the hearts of many of our clients.
Throughout the day, our teams battled with the changing weather conditions, moving those legs and pedalling and paddling with grit and determination. Most importantly, an abundance of fun was had. It was a challenge that epitomised team building and in spite of its competitive nature there was a real sense of community and unity as the common goal of fundraising for a great charity shone through.