Challenge Chris 2018 - fundraising stories

Challenge Chris – a fundraising challenge like no other

Prior to this year, my fitness achievements stretched as far as one half marathon. So when I was talked into doing 12 fitness challenges in 12 months, I’m not really sure why I thought it would be a good idea. Even more so, to let all my friends and family pick the challenges was utter madness. But guess what? That’s what I did.

From trailing through the sheer darkness of the Forest of Dean, climbing steep mud hills for mile after mile, clambering up mountains in the Vietnamese rain, crawling through swamps and most recently, seven 10km runs in 7-days which ended with a BIG PB at the Great Bristol 10km, I’ve been pushed pretty hard. Well, I thought so anyway.

But it turns out, all that was just a warm up.

As far as fitness challenges go, I’m pretty sure the next one will be the toughest voyage of my life. In a few weeks’ time, it will just be me and an inflatable kayak travelling 142 miles (ish) from Lechlade-on-Thames to Central London. Now, as anyone who’s used an inflatable kayak will know, they do not go very fast. Just thinking about the 5 long 12-hour, 32-mile days and the uncomfortable overnight camping makes my back and shoulders sore. To be honest at first, part of me thought “it’ll be tough but fairly relaxing”. Then last weekend I kayaked 23km, so now my thoughts are, well, unprintable! Then I remembered England rains a lot; that won’t be much fun. But I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got. I’ve trained my shoulders really hard in preparation for this. My neck, however, I seem to have neglected. In fact, there’s a few muscles I didn’t really know could become sore, but they are. And that’s just 23km. It really has hit home how big a challenge this is, both physically and mentally but there is one thing for sure, I will get to the end (and celebrate in style, probably with one beer and fall asleep).

After this, I think I’ll deserve a good rest. I won’t get one though, as 6-weeks later I’m cycling 100 miles (having not touched my bike since last summer), walking 100 miles, running the Spartan Beast and maybe, just maybe I can be roped into a marathon in the December colds over the Brecon Beacons.

So when people ask me why I am doing all of this madness, the answer is really simple. I feel so inspired by the work Winston’s Wish do to bring about positive outcomes for bereaved children. Improving mental health is something I am really passionate about and the work this charity does giving hope to grieving families is really important. If being a sucker to peer pressure and not being able to say no to a challenge is only good for one thing, let it be to help these amazing people continue their great work.

You can follow Chris’ progress on his Facebook page. You can donate to his fundraising efforts here.