#FitFor30Challenge – Gemma’s fundraising story
Gemma from Daisy and her Dachshund took on the #FitFor30Challenge in September 2020 to raise vital funds for Canine Partners. This is her fundraising story.
September is coming to an end and with that I am reflecting on the Fit for 30 Challenge. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part. It has been an honour to help raise awareness of the wonderful charity Canine Partners.
This challenge has encouraged me to push myself. During lockdown earlier in the year, I found it hard to keep motivated in terms of exercising. The gym was an important part of my routine; it allowed me some ‘me’ time away from my busy life with a toddler. It also helped me manage my mental health.
When the gyms reopened, I couldn’t wait to get back. But, my fitness was nowhere as good as it was. This was frustrating as I felt like I was having to build my fitness levels up. I kept turning up to Les Mills BodyCombat classes (a group exercise class based on a variety of martial arts and boxing) and I felt like I was improving; being able to do higher impact moves and not tiring as quickly.
As my confidence in BodyCombat grew, I decided to reintroduce a weights class. This was more of a challenge for me. I have always enjoyed BodyCombat more than weights. The first weights class I completed was incredibly challenging. I felt like I was struggling so much and had to really will myself to keep going. I remember being so sore for days after too! But I kept pushing myself. I am able to lift heavier weights, lift for longer and my form has improved dramatically.
As a dog lover, I truly appreciate the benefits a dog can bring. From my own experience, having our Dachshund Walter has helped me immensely with my own mental health. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. Walter came into my life at a time when I was struggling a great deal. He gave me a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed.
I would encourage anyone to take part, to raise much needed funds for Canine Partners. Dogs can do so much to help so many members of our society, including those with physical disabilities. I think a lot of us, myself included, take for granted the things we do in any given day.
Canine Partners are doing amazing work training dogs to do everyday tasks and match them to the right person. These dogs are having a positive impact on people’s lives.