Tough Chick Challenge
“There’s a lot of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they have no time to enjoy it” said Josh Billings, writer and lecturer from California, US. So far this has proved irrelevant in my experience with ‘Teenage Girls Fitness group’ created and managed by Run by Women personal trainer Alex Ryan. Monday and Wednesday afternoons are spent busting our guts doing a wide range of fitness and cardio exercises with a group of around seven motivated and energetic girls. Every session is different. Whether it’s up stairs, along a track or lunging up and down a hill, spending time with a group of our own “species” doing something exciting and great for your body always makes you feel amazing and ready to face the world at full speed. As well as these weekly gatherings, there’s a hard eye kept on look out for upcoming events and fun runs. Determined to step it up a level, we decided to enter the group into Tough Bloke Challenge or as we like to call it; the Tough Chick Challenge. Prior to the event, we spent our training sessions getting stronger and fitter, preparing ourselves for the monster event we had signed up for.
All suited up with matching headbands, the anticipation kicked in. The first obstacle, suitably named ‘Mud Bath’; Cold, thick mud covered by heavy-duty barbed wire. The only way was under. As we emerged, caked in a substantial amount of weighty muck, feeling bulky and reasonably exfoliated, we continue on. Over, under and through obstacles including the Goldmine -a dark crawl through large concrete pipes- before eventually reaching the final challenge. When we came across the high-slung ropes straddling an approximately 15 metre long space, we initially had mixed feelings. After the original wave of anxiety had passed we began watching the tough blokes and chicks work their way across, some falling and some not. As each of our turns came, with the shouted encouragements from both parents and complete strangers we managed to establish a firm belief in ourselves and our ability to finish this thing off and launched head on into the upside down crawl through the air towards the finish line. As we crossed the line and received our medals, muddy and exhausted we were proud of what we had been able to achieve.
Completing the Tough Chick Challenge made us realise how far we’d come and how exercising weekly had helped us on our way to incredible achievements such as this one. The idea of challenge is often thought of by people as a bad and scary affair, especially among this age group but after doing something like this we really would encourage everyone to start setting themselves active goals and monthly –or even weekly- outdoor challenges. Being a part of Alex’s fitness group has taught us a lot. Not just about exercise but about how to look after yourself and how to become stronger and fitter people with a few simple tips. Getting motivated and involved although it seems like a daunting prospect, is definitely worth it and always manages to produce an energy and inspiration that you never knew you had.
Alex Harverson, Paige Lambert