When it comes to exercise and staying active, most people have the best of intentions. You start the week raring to go, but somehow life just gets in the way. You end up having to work late, you miss your train home or that planned early morning run goes out the window as you hit the snooze button for 30 more minutes in bed!
One woman who’s determined to shake off the shackles of the 9 to 5 though, is Annie from London. In 2015, alongside her busy job in the City, Annie will be undertaking 52 physical challenges, one for every week of the year. From walking along the Thames to hiking up Snowdon, the list spans a wide range of activities and, indeed, countries.
If this wasn’t amazing enough, Annie has decided to complete this awesome feat whilst fundraising for Sported and Children with Cancer.
We caught up with Annie to find out more.
So what exactly are you doing?
“I’m doing 52 challenges in 52 weeks this year. It came about as an idea to get me to focus and to do the things I love, which is being outside and active.
My goal is to make you want to get up and go – to explore, to experience and to energise. That’s why I’ve chosen such a variety of places. The aim is to gather a crowd for each event to travel, participate and celebrate together. I want to help remove the barriers to being active – I’m trying to remove all the excuses. It’s more about showcasing the joys of exercise and exploring.”
How are you going to fit in all the training and challenges into your already busy schedule?
“I prefer exercising in the morning. I will get up at 6am and do an hour’s exercise, get to the office and be at my desk for 8.30 every morning. I prefer evenings to be my down time, relaxing with my friends and family. At weekends I slog it though!
Last year I barely did any exercise, I kept fit but I didn’t do any challenges, other than one overnight cycle. It’s going to be really tricky to fit it all in and it has been an issue in the past. I’m lucky in that I can tailor my commute to incorporate exercise, so I can cycle, run or walk into work. To me that’s an easy time to be efficient, in terms of exercise. Just training for it takes a crazy amount of organisation, let alone the weekend challenges. I’m constantly thinking – ‘Have I got the right kit?’ ‘Where did I leave my bike?’
What has been the response from your friends and family?
“Friends and family think I’m crazy, but they are really excited. A lot of them will be joining me; my two brothers are super sporty so they will join me for quite a few of them. ‘Inspiration’ is a word that is being used a lot, which I think is way too much, but at the same time that’s what I want. People think ‘Whoa you’re doing 52, but I could probably do one’. It’s helping and it’s all positive. I’m not trying to spam everyone at all, but the great thing is that friends are thinking ‘I know ten people that would like this’ and sending it to them, which is good because I want reach the right audience.”
Out of the 52 events, are there any which you are really looking forward to?
“I’m really excited about the Alpe d’Huez triathlon. It won’t be my first triathlon by then, but I’ve never done a triathlon before. It’s in the French Alps so you’ve got all the breath-taking scenery, the swim is in a mountain lake and the cycle summits the mountain, so that will be really exciting.
Snowdon is the one on home turf that I’m really excited about. Again you’re summiting a mountain, but there’s also been a lot of interest from other people wanting to join me.”
You will be raising money for Sported and Children with Cancer, why are these two causes close to your heart?
“Cancer is something that just makes me angry, in that it still exists in our world. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a child go through it. And the cause of Sported is brilliant – keeping young people busy and active is such a brilliant way to better their lives and those of their community. It’s something I really believe in.”
If you have been inspired by Annie, here is how you can get involved:
- To see the list of Annie’s challenges, visit her website http://exerk.com/
- Annie is still looking for challenge ideas, so if you know of any cool events, get in touch with her via firstname.lastname@example.org
- To sponsor Annie, please click here.