Monday, 22 December 2014

Poppyfields Annual Challenge Team

Life is a challenge. The luckiest of us get to choose our challenges and our lives are not on the line if we fail. Sadly, not everyone is as lucky. Many have challenges forced on them. Often the challenge of surviving a serious illness. Not too long ago a child diagnosed with a brain tumour had an impossible challenge to overcome but thanks to places like Birmingham Children's Hospital and the work of experts like Dr Peet the odds are turning. My niece Poppy was diagnosed with a huge brain tumour when she was 14 months old. She had her first operation within days of diagnosis and was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the operation. After a further three operations (the last in 2012) and radiotherapy and chemotherapy her tumour is a negligible 0.01% of what it once was. It has meant that Poppy is now in her first year of secondary school and thriving. Poppyfields was set up to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital and their research and treatment of child brain tumours.

In 2013 we tried to have a bit of fun and exercise everyday in January and raise a bit of money. That steamrolled into a year of exercise and about £2000 being raised. In 2014 we planned to log our exercise miles and exercise the equator. We managed that by mid February and so over the course of the rest of the year we have logged enough exercise miles to reach the moon! 217,000 miles, £3,200 raised and counting!

The 2015 challenge has a new FB home, a new Justgiving page, a new structure and a new logging system. The aim is still to get fit and raise money but with a set of personal challenges within the challenge.

The Challenge is to exercise everyday in 2015 and pay a charity fine of £1 for each day we miss up to a maximum of £5 per month.
You define your exercise so it can be a 50 mile run or a 1 mile shuffle. It can be 10 press ups or a 2 hour weights session in the gym. It can be a Zumba marathon or a 30 mins yoga class! Its your challenge and your exercise so don't fret that you've got to break yourself everyday. Rest days are important and its easy to exercise on a rest day too.
Each month we set ourselves an individual target. A public target! We set it for our circumstances that month. There are no restrictions and you are your judge as to whether you pass your challenge. It is entirely based on your honesty. Of course if you cheat then you're only cheating yourself. If at the end of the month you have passed your challenge then you get a daily exercise fine exemption for the following month. If you fail your challenge you pay a £5 charity fine.
The challenges are yours. They are limitless based on your imagination. Some examples could be
Run 100 miles
Ski 10 times
Cycle everyday at least 5 miles
Swim 5 miles
Do the 30 day plank challenge
Complete a level of insanity
Attend 10 Zumba classes
Race 4 official half marathons
Do 2 unofficial marathons in a month
Learn to swim
Walk a mile a day
Lose half a stone
Increase max lift in the Gym by 20%
Row 20 miles
Hit the cross trainer everyday
Go to the gym 4 times a week
Do every parkrun this month
Improve a PB by 10%
To not use the car to go to the local shop for a month
Run 3 times a week with a friend
Do Outlaw on a BMX
Commute by bike each day
Swim as a family every weekend
etc etc etc etc
Hopefully you can use your imagination to test yourself and have fun with it. The options for a challenge are endless and can be as easy or as hard as you want for that particular month.
You put your challenge up at the start of each month and at the end of the month either confirm you hit or missed your challenge and confirm the next months challenge. If you have failed a challenge you might want to have another go at it or you may have a different challenge each month in mind.
The aim is for us all to improve ourselves and raise money to help improve the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves.
If you want to register and do nothing but pay a tenner a month then that's fine with me. Anyone can join at anytime so spread the word.

It is this simple:-
1. Pay a £5 registration fee at or simply text PACT98 £5 to 70070.
2. Tell me you have paid and I will let you have the Poppyfields Challenge login details.
3. Sign in to the site and log your challenge for January 2015.
4. Exercise everyday in 2015 and pay a £1 charity fine for each day you miss. Pay on the above link in a monthly lump sum or text PACT98 £1 to 70070.
5. At the end of January confirm whether you have passed or failed your challenge and set your February challenge. Repeat throughout the year.NB: You have to confirm you completed your challenge by the 2nd of the following month otherwise the logging system will assume you didn't complete your challenge so don't be late also you can add as many challenges in a month as you wish but you have to have completed them all to 'pass' the month.
6. You pay £5 if you fail your monthly challenge. Use the link to pay or text PACT98 £5 to 70070 but you enjoy an exemption for daily fines for the following month if you passed your challenge.
7. Join in at the FB group Poppyfields Annual Challenge Team and tell us what you're up to and how your challenge is going. Spread the word on Twitter with #PACT2015

All donations go straight to Birmingham Children's Hospital via Justgiving. Justgiving take a nominal percentage of online donations for providing their services however if you donate by text the full amount goes to the charity. This challenge is based on your circumstances and is judged by your honesty. It is your challenge! We will do our best to support, cajole, encourage and assist but if we are going wrong anywhere or something isn't working right or needs a tweak just let me know either on the FB group, on twitter @sidowski or on the blog

Good luck in your challenges and thank you sincerely for helping kids fight brain tumours, We know the difference you make!

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