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The Discovery participants have been specifically hand-picked as we consider these guys to be the most athletic, vigorous and fittest members of our team, lets meet them!
Jimmy is the General manager of Discovery Flexibles and also the resident fitness guru.
“Who am I and why am I doing this? Because I love these types of events and someone said there’s cake at the end!
I suppose it goes back lots of years, and is probably a similar story to many people of a certain age….school days …was always sporty, played football, ran cross country for the school….ran everywhere as a kid ..could never sit still. Loved PE at school apart from the country dancing! Then at the age of seventeen I got a car, a big mistake in many respects, why run when you can drive everywhere? As time went on I got married/had kids, never lost my weight gained during pregnancy….stopped playing football, moved from an active job to an office / desk based job and piled on the weight by eating too much cake. Over a period of about twelve years of relative inactivity it was time to do something about it as I didn’t want to have to give up red wine or cake.
I had tried (half-heartedly) over a number of years to change my ways but struggled to find a sport or a group of like-minded people that worked for me. I’m not a gym person, I prefer the great outdoors. Then one day I stumbled across British Military Fitness (BMF). It’s an outdoor fitness class which runs regardless of weather and delivers training across the UK for people of all abilities. I’m totally hooked on it and have gone from parties and drinking every weekend to running 10K’s, half marathons and adventure races! Last year I completed twelve events and never won any of them. However it means that I have collected a vast array of medals which my wife polishes every week.
Prior to joining BMF I went out running one day and could just about manage one lamppost of walking, one of running. Within six months I had completed my first half marathon in 1hr 44mins! I’ve added events such as Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest – all over the UK, The Mighty Deerstalker, Spartan Race & Total Warrior to the list of muddy/wet challenges.
The Ben Nevis challenge looks really good fun, so it was simply a case of trying to convince some others that they really want to do it! We’ve managed to get a golden oldies team together as our combined age exceeds 180 years!!!
As far as the fundraising goes, I live quite close to the air ambulance and regularly see it in the air. I think it’s great to have a life-saving service which offers such a rapid response to the whole of Scotland. I hope I never need to use it myself.”
Mark is the next best thing to a Royal Marine, his countless activities in the fitness world are regarded close to that of 1st Duke of Marlborough. In his youth, Mark played water polo to a high level, went skiing, mountain biking, etc. so fitness is in his blood. However, by his own admission he isn’t as fit as he used to be and was “looking for something” to kick start him into getting fit again.
Mark is the Quality Manager at Discovery Flexibles and believes he is a true Scotsman as his favourite food is a McDonalds!
Dickie is the veteran of the team and Printer here at Discovery Flexibles so is always on the go. He is also the only member of the team to have received his gym pass and bus pass on the same day!!
“I will be in my 62nd year when we take on the Nevis challenge. I have decided to participate in this challenge for two reasons, a great charity and to recapture my previous fitness which I had when I used to run Marathons. I ran Five Marathons and umteen half marathons in my hay day and have always had that small niggle that it would be good to get back to some kind of fitness level so that I don’t stagnate. I know that it will be quite hard to become a bit fitter but I will give it a go and see what happens. The Air ambulance deserves every penny we can raise so that will be a great incentive. Already made a start as just back from my first ever gym experience and my legs are like marshmallows”!
Owen is the Process Development Manager at Discovery Flexibles and the only “foreigner” in the team being welsh! Until recently he was a total petrol head with driving dominating his means of transportation. “Travelling more than 100 metres is the reason cars were invented” was his philosophy!
At 49 years of age, Owen is the 2nd oldest member of the team and has never attempted anything like this before! “In my youth I was fairy fit as to go anywhere I had to cycle. I played rugby in school and Badminton and 5-a-side football out of school. Weekends were often spent at the local beach running up and down sand dunes with the family dogs so I was reasonably fit.” I did participate in the 64 mile British Heart Foundation London to Brighton cycle ride in 1989. This has been the only endurance event I have ever participated in. I was probably the fittest I’d ever been with the peak being a charity race over part of the Royal Marine assault course at Exmouth in Devon as part of a four man team coming in as the fastest non-military team (although still over a minute behind the Marines themselves)!”
“Changing jobs and starting a family lead to a complete lack of physical effort on my part until about 18 months ago when a routine weight check showed me to be the heaviest I had ever been and VERY over-weight! With the support of my family, I stopped eating rubbish and started gentle physical exercise, slow but sure being the plan. At first it was hard going but it gradually became easier leading to joining a gym, something I never thought I’d ever do. 18 months later and 3 stones lighter, I’d achieved my goal!”
“I was looking for a new challenge and so Jimmy didn’t need to twist my arm too much to join the team for the Ben Nevis event. Not wanting to let the team down, I enlisted the help of a trainer at the local Puregym and Kevin has been superb at building the exercise gradually to the point I am fitter now than I have been for decades”!
The Air Ambulance is a great cause and hope we can reach our sponsorship target to help them keep the service going.