On the 26th July I took part in a 12 hour charity event to raise funds for a local special school for young people with severe learning difficulties. I agreed to take part when it was first mentioned and it was only later that I started to wonder exactly what I was letting myself in for!
As part of my preparation, I purchased the 30 Day Shred DVD and some dumbbells, but sadly only managed to do a week of it as I managed to injure my leg whilst rolling in aikido. I was a bit concerned at one point that I might not be able to take part in the event, but lots of rest, stretching and a fantastic session with a sport therapist meant that I was raring to go (if a bit nervous).
I packed my bag the night before with deodorant, Lucozade Sport drinks, bananas, protein shake, water, towel, change of kit, boxing gloves, wallet, phone and cereal bars.
I then did some positive visualisation of seeing myself on the following day feeling strong in the sessions and enjoying it. I also decided to work on pacing myself through the day and gave myself permission to sit out if my leg was too sore or I felt sick.
I arrived at the venue at 5:50 a.m. (a 5:00 a.m. alarm was a bit of a shock) to give us time to sign paperwork and to split into two teams of thirty people in each. Our team started our first half hour session at 6:00 a.m. and in total we all worked out for 6 hours of the event alternating a session with a break and then back on again. As the day progressed those breaks definitely felt shorter! One thing that I did start to struggle with was the heat. It was cooler first thing, but as the day warmed up I found that I wasn't cooling down very much in a break and I just started to feel like I was cooking. Luckily the venue has a couple of showers, so a cold rinse was very much appreciated at the halfway stage.
After about four sessions I started to feel a bit tired, but some protein shake helped me perk back up. I'd started off at a good pace, but went a bit crazy in the middle, so needed to remind myself that I still had quite a few more hours to go. It was an absolutely amazing day and I'm so proud of how well we all did. In a normal Dawn Breakers session we do 15 rounds of exercise, but I am told that we each did 180 rounds during the event! I'm pretty impressed with how I did and everyone's energy helped me keep going. In hindsight, I could've drunk more as I only had 4 litres of Lucozade Sport and water in total. However, I made sure that I kept drinking lots of water later that day and for several days afterwards. Overall, my energy levels were pretty good during the 12 hours, I was able to push myself in our final session and I felt pretty emotional at the end.
I'm glad that I took the following Monday off work as I was a bit sore and tired still. Our goal was to raise £5k for the school to purchase a lift to help the children in wheelchairs get in and out of the playground. Thanks to lovely generous people, I personally raised £150 and at the last count we have all raised over £11k in total! Donations can still be made to the main fundraising page. I am very grateful for being involved in such an awesome day and we all worked very hard for the sponsorship raised.