“Each year 1190 men in the UK die from prostate cancer. 11 grams is the average weight of a prostate. 1190 x 11 grams is near as damn it 130 kilograms. We’ll carry 130 kilograms somewhere and we have to make it somewhere tough. No point carrying it somewhere easy. Up and down Snowdon it is then.”
“What about those who can’t make that day?”
“They’ll need to do something else. I know – ascend the 8,848 metres height of Mount Everest on foot or bike, indoor or outdoor over the course of November.”
And that was pretty much the conversation surrounding this year’s Team Training challenge to raise money for the Movember charity which amongst other things raises funds for research into prostate cancer.
The next challenge:
The next challenge was to fix a date for Snowdon, find out who was doing it and to decide what form the 130kg would take. 10 men committed for Remembrance Sunday the 14th of November and it was decided that the 130kg would be split between them in rucksacks – roughly 13kg each made up from weight plates, sand and water.
Note: Carrying 13kg on your back 9 miles up Snowdon and 9 miles back down is hard. Go carry 13kg to the end of your road and back to get an idea. Rough terrain plus a steep incline and descent makes it all the more difficult but we love stuff like that, and integrated into a structured fitness programme it can be very beneficial too. More on the benefits of rucking here.
The day arrived and all made their way to the foot of the Pyg Track to begin the ascent. 5 men from our Team Training group plus another 5 willing friends and associates. The descent was down the Llanberis Path. I’ve got to mention at this point that unfortunately I didn’t take part in this climb. I’ve got a knee injury that’s preventing me from certain activities and this is one. Onto what I did for Movember later….
Back to the mountain
The weather was as good as they could have hoped for and visibility was great. They had a very special remembrance service at the summit “For me, the best bit of the hike was getting to the summit 5 minutes before 11am on Remembrance Sunday and witnessing an emotional tribute with 1 minute silence on the top of Mount Snowdon above the clouds” said Amit. Many thought similar.
Prosecco, thanks Ben, and samosas, thanks to Amit’s wife, were consumed at the top to fuel the descent.
It’s events like this which are so important for many of us at the gym.
As Andy mentioned, “…it was having a laugh and getting to know the guys better” which was the best for him. Part of Movember’s charity work is to help men with mental health issues and prevent suicide and what Andy said there is so important to what happened that day and what we try to do every day; get guys to hang around with each other, have a laugh and share in the struggle. Yes going to the pub and getting drunk is bonding and having a laugh but it’s not the same. Alcohol is a depressant where uniting in hard work to achieve something of significance only results in happiness and feeling good.
It’s the whole ethos of what we do at Team Training.
James echoed similar words. “Having never climbed more than a flight of stairs, the achievement of overcoming a new challenge and pushing beyond my comfort zone was great. The best thing though was the amazement on my little boy’s face when I showed him a picture of me above the clouds at the summit. Having that experience and sharing it with a great group of men was made all the more special by the kind donations to a wonderful charity picked up along the way.”
What else did we do:
As mentioned earlier, for those who didn’t climb Snowdon that day, there was the option to ascend the 8,848 metres which is the height of Mount Everest. It could be done indoors or outdoors on foot or bike and this is what I chose. Before any of you reading this give me a drubbing when I tell you how I did it, I’ll give it myself first. I climbed on the Wattbike on Zwift. Yes I sat on the bike indoors, switched on a computer and linked my bike up to ascending a hill. I didn’t get wet, I didn’t get cold and I stopped whenever I wanted. It wasn’t “really” hard. It was tough because I set speed challenges for certain climbs I did over the month but I always knew I was going to achieve it.
Man of the Match
One man who deserves particular credit here is Glyn Knight because he went and did it the proper way; well not as proper as climbing Everest in shorts and vest but still good enough.
Over the course of many mornings in November, Glyn drove to a local steep hill called Old Pale in Delamere Forest where he ran up and down it until the height of 8,848m had been completed. There was rain, snow, darkness and and many times he really didn’t want to do it but he did. Oh and he was in the Snowdon climb too. He gets my vote for man of the match.
We raised a huge amount of money again and it is still coming in. Last count we were at £3,650 raised for Movember and a further £2,319 for Macmillan Cancer support. In total it will be another £6,000 raised from a small group of men. Thanks to Stephen’s company APC Cardiovascular Ltd too as it matched funding to a pledge of £500 per fundraiser, a total contribution of £1,000 this year.
It is amazing what we can do when we have a challenge and get together as a team. It makes any project far more doable unlike tackling a huge project on your own.
Thank you to all our sponsors and of course the team:
• Amit Patel
• Andy Firth
• Ben Flynn
• Ed Jackson
• Glyn Knight
• James McEwen
• Kris Ellis
• Matt Westmoreland
• Paul Connor
• Wayne Hasselby