This is a quick (!) blog post to explain the seemingly endless amount of press ups you may (or may not!) see me doing in the early mornings, and to hopefully encourage support for the charity we are raising money for.
On the 22 March of this year (which happened to be Mothers Day and also marked the start of lockdown) I started a year long press up challenge. Each day that has passed since I have added one press up on a cumulative basis, so that today (now past half way) I did 188 press ups and tomorrow will do 189, and so on until I reach the 365th day. It’s best not to dwell on the total amount this involves, but I am aware that it is something like 77,000 press ups over the whole year and the second half of this challenge involves roughly 51,000.
I am not alone (thankfully!) in undertaking this. I am in a team with three other members of our gym (Blitz) and we regularly check in with each other about how the madness of so many press ups a day is going!
Given the context of what was going on in the world, we wanted to dedicate these efforts to an NHS/Covid supporting charity, and a friend suggested CW+ (which specifically is the official charity of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, our local area) and in particular its COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund (launched in March 2020) which is a fund dedicated to supporting the CW staff (in all their hospitals) provide the best care to patients throughout the Covid outbreak by providing equipment, technology and crucial support to their frontline workers. Through donations to this fund, CW+ have been able to provide sleep pods, well being hubs and care packages for NHS staff isolated from home, amongst many of their initiatives which you can read about on their website and instagram page.
To date as team we have raised over £2,000 for the charity and hope that this continues as the second half of the year progresses (and I have no doubt that they are still very much in need of financial support. We are, it seems, far from out of the woods yet.) If you would like to support, our Just Giving page is here, and we would be grateful if you would also share it with anyone you think might like to support the charity. (Massive thank you to those who have already donated!)
This challenge has also taken me on a bit of a personal journey, physically, mentally, possibly even (on difficult days!) spiritually. It has not been easy particularly now but it isn’t supposed to be, and having tactical ways of trying to deal with this (mostly involving rising early!) has helped me, and sometimes on “flat” days, the routine of just getting up and getting them done has lifted my spirits, as has doing them on random runs in the Lake District and in Cornwall, sometimes in pouring rain, sometimes next to sheep (now very often now next to a crazy kitten!).
Also, while recording them and (more to the point!) watching them on instagram stories may make for painful viewing, it has given me a strange motivation, not only to do keep doing them, but to do them well (trying my best to adhere to Crossfit RX standard - with the gym coaches to keep me in check!). I have found strength (literally) in being accountable - to myself, the other team members, the charity, the very kind people who have supported it so far, the very lovely people on instagram who from time to time message me with words of encouragement (this has been so helpful, thank you), and to our kids who (I hope) may appreciate the value of commitment.
Anyway, that’s it in a nutshell! The superstitious part of me has been reluctant to write this for fear of injury so I will end this with a big TOUCH WOOD that I don’t get injured and an even bigger THANK YOU for reading/supporting/sharing. See you on day 365!!