Lent is here again. Last year after a Rabble pancake night, it was suggested that we should be challenged to give something up, with the obvious solution being clothes. This led to a painful 40day stint of feeling horribly exposed everyday. Yeah, a lot of fancy dress.. irreparably etched into my memory include a day covered in real lettuce, PJ’s preventing entry to a meeting at an investment bank and a ninja turtle suit in the Gherkin.
40 days felt like a long time, I’d never spent longer things about what I was going to wear in my life and my microwave had also broken so it was a particularly stressful period! On completion, real clothes felt like a luxury, travelling around without the stares, smirks and selfie requests was novel. It was hilarious and hideous in equal measure. But this alternative and slightly uncomfortable way of living reminded me that being alive is a luxury so often overlooked. And whilst looking like total muppets, we generated a priceless number of smiles, memories and stories as well as raising enough money to save another life via the Air Ambulance. A charity without which I would never have seen these 40days.
I don’t remember much of the interaction I had with the air ambulance. I was fighting to remain conscious with both lungs punctured. I remember no one in that scene, struggling with the levels of pain inside my own small sphere of hell but the team around me was working tirelessly to save my life. It took 45mins of work to get me stable enough to even get stretchered into the helicopter. I would not have survived without their skill, speed and diligence. Being seriously short of air, I just made it through. And only because there was a doctor on board this flight, who was able to perform the chest drain procedure at the roadside and again in the helicopter. Piercing holes in each side of my chest to try and restore pressure to the deflated lungs. Doctors appear in only 2/5 flights. I was lucky. Helicopters obviously also have a speed advantage in which they were able to get me to hospital rapidly, where I was put on a ventilator and assessed for the rest of the damage.
So for everyone who asks me how the helicopter ride was (bizarrely common question), I have absolutely no idea, I was far from loving it but I owe my life to it and feel a responsibility to support them in saving the lives of other unfortunates.
So here we are again. Another 40 days of challenge but this time we’re going to push ourselves further. Reminding ourselves we are in fact alive we are willing to face all the emotions, adrenaline, shame, pain, euphoria and fear. Aiming for a record attempt everyday and to save one more life.
We kicked off attempting to answer the burning question of how many eggs can you smash with your forehead in 30s. With the current record standing at 70. Henry got very close with 62 whilst myself and Mark failed with woeful strategies. A special mention should go here to James Phillips with degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge failed to time thirty seconds and possibly jeopardised Henry’s record.
Next came the classic cream cracker eating challenge. Three cream crackers in 49.15 seconds. Never fails to sound achievable and for which reason I’m sure most of the population have succeeded in only drying their mouth out to the extreme. Then speed typing a message with our nose – non trivial. But we had more success with the most kisses in 10s. With me matching the record at 21 and Henry kissing 22 of the Rabble in 10s!
We’re hoping to create laughter, encourage inspiration and collaboration, challenge ourselves, feel thankful for life and save one other.
We hope you have fun following the journey and we’d love to encourage you to join us along the way with comments, challenge suggestions, challenge participation and donations 🙂
Good luck in any lent challenge you have running!