The Step-Up Challenge was created by 3 guys from Bournemouth: Ty Temel, Ben Banks Reynolds and Jamie Whisken. The aim was to complete 20,000 steps a day for 50 consecutive days, totalling 1 million steps. The focus being on raising awareness of the importance of exercise towards maintaining mental health. And importantly, to create awareness in order to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.
Easy right? How hard can it be? Well let me tell you….
This was one of the most physically and mentally demanding challenges I have ever done.
But also one of the most rewarding.
20,000 steps a day equates to roughly covering 10 miles. The toughest part was waking up sore from the previous day, looking out of the window, seeing it was dark and raining or freezing cold and knowing you had to put in 20,000 steps before your 12-hour shift.
This was made tougher when combining it with a pandemic which was causing fear, anxiety, stress and low mood for the whole of society
So what motivated me to keep going?
Maintaining a positive mindset. Reminding myself that once completed, the joy and elation would far outweigh any low mood, anxiety or physical pain I was feeling. Also reminding myself I was helping raise money for a worthy cause. I managed to raise £671, and collectively over 100 participants raised over £38,000.
We also helped raise lots of awareness about mental health. The money raised can literally help to save lives. Suicide rates are likely to be higher than ever due to the impact of Covid-19.* This fact helped me to find the mental strength to maintain resilience when faced with any adversity and keep going. The challenge was a break from the pressures and stresses caused by this pandemic and gave participants something positive to focus on.
What was my favourite part?
Certainly the most enjoyable part of the challenge was hiking along the Purbecks. Old Harry Rocks, Swanage to Chapmans Pool. Breathing in the sea air, enjoying the spectacular views. For me, there is no better therapy than that. The combination of mental and physical benefits. Blood flowing around the body, serotonin and dopamine released in the brain. The perfect release from life’s stresses. When you are outdoors doing this you start to remind yourself there is
So how has this challenged changed me?
Since completing the challenge I feel like my self worth has increased. I certainly feel better about myself. I have a good routine, where I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to make the most of my mornings. I have now started doing sea dips, hiking and running more regularly. Having a positive mindset, a routine and regularly exercising have helped to keep my mental health in check. I have also realised the importance of self-love in terms of allowing yourself rest and downtime to recuperate both physically and mentally.
This challenge has definitely been life changing for me. I am thankful to the guys who created it and to everyone who donated. I hope all the participants have helped to inspire a few people to be more active in order to improve their mental health and make positive live changes too. It is amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind towards something. I can’t recommend the benefits of partaking in a challenge like this enough!
*This comment about suicide is not true in Dorset, according to the Dorset Suicide Prevention Panel.
To our guest blogger and Active Monitoring Practitioner Scott Deakin, for writing this brilliant blog. Scott’s now undertaking a 100km Ultra Challenge along the Jurassic Coast on 22nd May!
Photo taken by Scott himself.
If you’d like to take part in one of our fundraising challenges simply follow us on social media – or take a look at the organised events we have here.