In simple terms. "An 'Everesting' is climbing the total ascent of Mount Everest (8,848 metres / 29,029 feet) cycling on one hill repeatedly in one continuous activity until complete".
(More info: https://everesting.cc)
I have previously ridden from 'John O'Groats to Lands End', from 'London to Paris' and 'Coast to Coast in a day'. However none of these come close to this, the amount of continuous climbing is borderline bonkers.
The Everesting is both a highly ambitious physical and mental challenge, one which will take (all going to schedule) around 16 to 17 hours to complete covering around 170 miles over 48/50 'reps' on the same 1.75 mile hill.
The challenge is planned to start at 10pm on Friday 2nd August and finish around 4pm on Saturday 3rd August just outside Chesterfield.
Training began in October 2018 where I was out on 'the hill' from as early as 3.30am in the dark, cold and rain. This to help acclimatise to riding through the night and well, if I can ride it freezing and wet in October then August should be easy right?
From October 2018 to June 2019 I have lost almost 10kg in body weight (lighter is definitely better for this one) and increased my cycling FTP (Funtional Threshold Power) by more than 50% to my highest ever level.
This has been possible through a rigorous training schedule of indoor virtual training (Zwift), indoor cycling classes, Peak District cycling, running, resistance training as well as mobility and flexibility work (S40 Personal Training, Chesterfield have helped here). Not to mention some 'silly' sessions on the hill itself, the longest one to date being 20 'reps' of the hill covering >70 miles and around 13,000 feet of climbing. There is one more 'silly' session planned before the actual challenge which will be 30 'reps' and take around 10 hours. This will be 20,000 feet of climbing and still only two thirds of the 'Everesting'.
"It is not the goal that matters, it is what it will make of you to achieve it"
Having suffered with serious illness in 2012 (see below) I remind myself how lucky I am to have the ability to ride a bike at all and feel compelled to do something positive with the abilities I almost lost.
But this sort of challenge is reserved for super climbers and gifted ultra endurance athletes right? Not average people like me.
In October 2018 when I started on the the 'Everesting' journey I was unsure if I would be able to manage the training load, make the necessary sacrifices, whether my family would be understanding enough and take me seriously, even whether I would take it seriously. I just put the proverbial 'one foot in front of another' and slowly progress has been made.
There was no doubt in my mind that to have a proper go at this it would require absolute, almost 'monk like' commitment from every element of my life. My mindset, body, sleep, nutrition, diary management have all had complete overhauls.
Part of my motivation is to hopefully inspire others to find their 'challenge', commit and go for it, no matter the outcome.
(Much) Bigger than this though, this is an opportunity to give back. I am fundraising for Meningitis Now. A charity who is leading research, support and awareness of this awful illness which continues to affect so many people young and old, one which has personally impacted my family also.
In 2012 at 27 years old, I had a headache. One I couldn't shake off, it lasted a couple of days then three and four. The GP put it down to a pressure headache as I was quite active with exercise back then. After a week the pain in my head was close to unbearable and early one morning other symptoms emerged. The whole right side of my body dropped unable to move. I was unable to speak and make any sense and I developed a severe painful sensitivity to light. The pain in my head was debilitating.
My now wife Mel called an ambulance which rushed me to the hospital and into resus. My symptoms were being caused by a form of Viral Meningitis which had led to complications such as encephalitis (swelling of my brain). I was very quickly administered an anti-viral drug which without I would have almost certainly died.
There were no guarantees I would regain full strength in my right side or complete speech however I have been extremely lucky my wife acted when she did and the hospital administered the right vaccine in time. In the weeks and months following I was able to make an almost full recovery. I personally knew someone who had exactly the same illness as me and did not make it. I am a very lucky survivor.
I am thankful and grateful there is research happening which leads to continuing improvements in medicine to prevent fatalities and help reduce fatalities and lasting effects of Meningitis in both forms.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. Anything which you can donate will go to a great cause, please give generously.
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