Tuesday, April 1 – visit to the Bubble Foundation at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary
Last year, I was asked to help the Bubble Foundation by running a midnight beach bootcamp. I have to be honest and say I didn’t really know much about the charity when I was first approached by fundraiser Gill Johnston.
After a meeting and a visit to the Bubble Unit I was totally won over – they are world-leading in saving lives of babies and children born without an immune system.
This year’s Fit Factor finalists decided they would like to raise money for the foundation by running the Great North Run in September.
We all met Gill at the RVI and she talked us through the history of the foundation, including some heart-wrenching stories. We were then shown around the amazing Bubble Unit facilities.
When Gill first started as a nurse in 1995, six in 10 babies didn’t survive. Now, due to the fundraising and more research, one in 10 don’t survive, but one is still too many.
I explained to the Fit Factor finalists that their hard work and hours of training is nothing compared with what these children and their families go through. At least they know something can be done about their weight and health. The children in the Bubble are relying on others to save their lives.
This is very humbling and gave the finalists a reality check as to why they let themselves get to this point with their own health.
Wednesday, April 2
This was the toughest session by far. The work by all of the finalists was relentless. Our visit to the Bubble Unit seemed to have changed the mindset of the group and given them even more drive and determination to hit their targets.
They worked in twos tonight and it was good to see how well they push each other. This year’s finalists are working superbly as a group and have gelled brilliantly. When you have close support, both in and out of the gym, the 12-week journey becomes a whole lot easier.
Thursday, April 3 – huge coverage in The Journal
The embarrassment of their first week’s photos was a tough one for the finalists, especially when they were splashed all over the paper. However, seeing their 5st 7lbs weight loss in the first two weeks allowed them to open The Journal and start to see progress, and even start to think, “Yes we can do this and make these dramatic changes.” Their confidence is slowly starting to improve.
Saturday, April 5 – beach bootcamp
Craig, Brian and Ash were unable to make the bootcamp due to work reasons, but the others were fresh, and powered through, looking very comfortable and holding good posture throughout. My sessions are designed to suit everyone and it’s down to each individual how hard they push themselves. They all managed much more speed and endurance this week, proving that their minds and bodies are becoming much stronger session by session.
Monday, April 7
Tonight I took the finalists down memory lane with a “back to school” workout in the sports hall and they loved it.
The school benches, crash mats and various balls were used in a fun circuit workout. The good thing was they had no idea how much effort they were putting in as there was no specific structure to the workout.
It was a real change from the norm and most hadn’t done this type of exercise since school.
After about 40 minutes we went back to the gym for some short, sharp activities.
Yet again, I couldn’t have asked for any more effort from anyone.
We had one slight mishap in the sports hall as Gemma tripped while running, but she managed to do a superb forward flip and carry on running. We now have a potential gymnast on our hands – a lucky escape as the sports hall surface is rock hard.
All the finalists are going from strength to strength, and as their trainer it’s very exciting to see this sort of progress in such a short space of time.
David Fairlamb Fitness