Comfort Zone Challenge: Giving Blood

Watch me crap myself Giving Blood

In this video I share the footage of my first Comfort Zone Challenge of the year – Giving Blood

It might not sound like a big challenge to a lot of you, but for me, it was a big deal. 

As soon as I see the claret red, I feel woozy and light headed. It’s a psychological link I’ve created for myself as a child and I’ve been unable to shake it. I’m hoping that this step will get me closer to handling my own blood in a more rational way. 

More importantly, it’s something I’ve been keen to do in order to help other people in need. I love to help others. I’ve always liked the ‘idea’ of giving blood and potentially saving lives. I’ve just not been brave enough to voluntarily face becoming vulnerable in front of others in this way. 

Will I do it again?

I was asked during the filming, and on my Youtube channel if I would do it again. I wasn’t sure at the time of filming, but I am now. I will and here’s why:

My mum shared this amazing story on facebook of how a women almost died giving birth. She lost 4.5 litres of blood and went through 21 blood transfusions. She thanked everyone at the hospital for saving her life, but was unable to thank those 21 people for donating. 

As a recipient, she couldn’t donate blood back in return, so she resolved to requesting her friends family and followers on Facebook to donate on her behalf. At the time of writing she had 14 people donate or sign up to donate. 

The story really got me. That’s why people do it. 

I want to use my competitive nature to donate shit loads of blood, and help to inspire others to do the same. My drive can be used to challenge myself and see how much blood I can donate. Could I get to 21 by myself? Perhaps 50. Wait, what about 100!!!! 

That’s me to a tee – getting carried away with it all, but I think it’s best to recognise our strengths, harness them and use them for good wherever possible. 

As a by product of all of this, I’m sure the more I do it, the more natural it will become, and then I’ll no longer fear seeing my own blood. I think it has multiple pluses and next to no negatives for me to avoid doing it again in future. 

Perhaps, I could film every one of them for people to see the progression on how I developed from a Scaredy-Cat to a Blood Giving Beast!

Please Note:
This video does NOT contain any blood or footage of needles, for those of you concerned. 

It just contains an anxious ginger man!

Do you give blood? How do you find it? Does it get easier?


  • weenie

    Reply Reply 11th March 2016

    Well done and congratulations on doing this and for filming this for us, Huw. It could not have been easy at all and it was very clear that you were not comfortable – bravo!

    I've had to have a lot of blood tests in my life, so donating blood isn't something that I do voluntarily. If I had a rare blood type, I would probably reconsider.

    And well done to Lou in her efforts to keep you calm and engaged.

    Anyway, see you both soon!

  • Tawcan

    Reply Reply 11th March 2016

    Great challenge. Been giving blood regularly. I think I'm at 45 donations right now. My goal is to eventually reach 100 one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It's pretty routine for me now. The actual appointment usually takes about an hour for me but the actual donating part is about 5-6 minutes.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 11th March 2016

    Awesome job Tawcan. What a huge contribution you've made. Well done! If you're doing 3-4 donations a year that would account for over 10 years. Inspiring stuff!

    Thank you for sharing your donations and you ultimate goal. I like to know what's possible, and what I can shoot for.

    Keep on fighting the good fight!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 11th March 2016

    Thank you Weenie. I didn't want to film it when I was there, as I was feeling quite anxious but I committed to filming these events, and I know the honest/real footage makes for better viewing. As I mentioned in the video, it actually helped to have someone to take my mind off it.

    It's interesting that you mention blood type. I'm not sure what mine is, or how common it is. I can see, based on the past 33 years of my life, why someone wouldn't do it. Having done it now, I can see why someone like Tawcan has done it 45 times.

    See you very soon!

  • Richard

    Reply Reply 12th March 2016

    Well done Huw

    Even though you said there is no sight of blood or needles in the video I cannot watch it. To be honest I haven't ready your post fully just scanned through it such is my fear of blood. If I see a needle or blood I am out like a light.

    When I was younger I took a sheep to the vet for a caesarean and passed out when he made the first incision. From that point on the sight of blood or even the thought of it and I am out like a light.



  • PinchThePennies

    Reply Reply 12th March 2016

    Hi Huw,
    Thank you for donating blood and Welcome to the club! You are one of only 4% of people who donates blood – I hope you can do so for many years to come. If you do and are healthy you can give blood into your 60s/70s.

    As this was your first time giving blood you should receive a donor card via post shortly. This card will display your blood type.

    As for blood types/groups – have a look here:

    or here

    Most, if not all, people I have spoken to about giving blood are vehemently against doing so themselves. Reasons range from having no time to not wanting to see any blood or needles. The fact that there is trained staff on hand doesn't seem to make a difference.

    They would, however, accept blood given to them in emergencies / acccidents and expect to be treated before anyone else.

    Then again, I have not spoken to masses of people filling Wembley stadium …

    Regards, Pinch

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th March 2016

    Hi Pinch,

    I hope to continue donating for as long as I am able to. Great to hear you can continue into 60+ all being well.

    Thank you for all the information. I look forward to finding out the details of my blood.

    It's an interesting point you make on people not donating but being open to receive blood. I never thought about that previously. I for one would have been in that mix.

    Uptake in voluntary activities of an uncomfortable nature, with potential health risks (albeit it low), with very little pressure and perceived 'incentive', means that giving blood will always be a difficult 'sell' for many. It's perhaps when it becomes more real – like a family member or friend having a blood transfusion that can open people up to the idea.

    Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing you views!

    See you next weekend


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th March 2016

    Thanks Richard.

    So there's another thing we have in common! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, I can empathise with how you feel about it. I don't have it as strongly as you, but I know exactly what you mean.

    I feel determined to conquer this weakness of mine, not to be super-tough or anything, just that I don't get all giddy seeing blood in future. We'll see how I get on.

    See you next weekend!

  • Louise Thompson

    Reply Reply 14th March 2016

    Hello Huw

    Giving blood was one of the things on my list of 'choose something every year you're scared of and do it anyway'. I did it twice, both times I reacted badly despite not seeing any blood or needles and they told me I wouldn't be allowed to try to donate in future. I took up a bed far longer than I should have because every time I tried to get up after my legs wouldn't support me. I did try though, and am still quite proud of that, as I really am needle phobic. Well done you!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 14th March 2016

    Hi Louise,

    I love the list idea BTW. Great attitude!

    I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you. Congratulations on fronting up to your fear and giving it a go. That's all you can do, and far more than most people.

    The fact that you went back in for a second go, based on the first experience makes it even more admirable.

    I'm interested to know what else is on your list for the taking this year!


  • Louise Thompson

    Reply Reply 15th March 2016

    Hello again Huw

    Thanks for that, it's disappointing to me but something in my brain just seems to take over unfortunately and I haven't been able to overcome it. Another example from my list was scuba diving, I had a very frightening experience with water as a child and didn't learn to swim until I was in my mid-teens. I am now an advanced qualified PADI diver however, with nearly 50 logged dives ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looking forward to an update on how your Kindle publishing figures are looking if you don't mind sharing them as I've just finished a draft of my first book (hope you don't mind that I've emailed with a few questions!)


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 16th March 2016

    Hi Louise,

    I love the way you go and attack your weaknesses. It's inspiring, and motivating. That's the plan for me taking on my weaknesses too. Hopefully, with enough exposure I can overcome my irrational thinking.

    Thanks for the email. I dropped you a reply, and let's hook up on Skype next week.



    Reply Reply 26th March 2016

    Well done mate!

    I started about 2 years ago so given about 5 times now. I agree that once you've done the first one you really do see no reason why you wouldn't just carry on doing it, the need for blood is constant and I don't think donors are really jumping up so repeat lifetime donors are really what they need.

    So let's go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I never really had a fear of blood as such but it's still a daunting process the first time you do it, and makes you feel a bit weird, but overall I didn't find it unpleasant enough not to go back.



  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 26th March 2016

    Thanks TFS!

    Great point. I don't enjoy the process, but it is a feel-good experience afterwards. If Pinch's comments above are accurate and only 4% donate, we have an opportunity to make up for the remaining 96%.

    Here's to many more pints of blood between us! ๐Ÿ™‚


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