The Big Event
Hi guys. Later this month, on Saturday March 28th, 24 Fit Derby will be hosting their annual charity event. Once again it will be at Village Primary School between 11am and 1pm and it’s a rare opportunity to get all of our (ever-expanding) family of instructors together in one place for a couple of hours, and equally a chance to get a lot of you together too. Progress is a wonderful thing, and I feel personally immensely proud to be part of an organization that has brought (I hope) such a lot of happiness and fun and friends to so many people, and continues to grow and reach more and more people all the time. I do however miss the days when I actually knew every one of our clients personally, and saw them all regularly, and all of our instructors regularly too.
So, for me, and I hope, for a lot of you, the charity event will be a great social catch up and a huge amount of fun. But community has always been at the heart of 24 Fit Derby, and a charity event is a fantastic way for us to give something back to the communities we serve, by raising as much money as we can for worthy causes. There are so many great organizations out there, all deserving of support and all doing a great job. Choosing which to donate money to, is always difficult. The universe is amazing though isn’t it, and this year has had a hand in our decision-making. We like to support local concerns, and so once again we will be giving half of the money we raise to the mental health organization Head High. This year, however, we will also be donating to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Read on to find out why.
This two hour non-stop variety-packed class costs just £8 and all proceeds will be evenly distributed to our fabulous causes. You can find and book the class on the schedule on your app or the website. Just go to Saturday 28th March and book now!
As I’ve already said, 24 Fit Derby is all about supporting our local communities and Head High is one such local community organization. It aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues, so that we can all find it easier to open up to friends, family, work colleagues and even sometimes medical professionals, even strangers about how we are feeling, and we can all feel more equipped to listen to someone who might be struggling and just wants to talk. We live in a world of pressure, don’t we? From our education system, where everything is about academic results, to the world of work, where we strive to succeed based on our income and social standing, to social media, where all we see are examples of the perfect life that everyone around us seems to be living. It is little wonder so many of us feel inadequate and overwhelmed. My 19 year-old daughter was talking to me only the other day about growing up in a world of hyper-connectivity, where such a lot of social interaction is played out on our mobile devices.
“Mum,” she said, “you don’t understand what it’s like. Today we have the technology to talk to anyone, anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night, constantly. It never stops, but we’re all doing it in isolation, sitting on our own in our bedrooms. You don’t know what that’s like. It’s so isolating. If someone is saying horrible things to you, or harassing you or commenting, you are alone with it and no one else knows. When you were young, you didn’t have that technology; you had to socialize properly, in a group. It was impossible for one person to bully someone else in that group, without everyone knowing.” I thought back to my childhood and remembered plenty of occasions when friends fell out, or one of us felt picked on, but I knew instantly what she meant. Young people don’t have to get together any more to be in touch, but it’s not the same.
Head High aims is to give people real social interaction back, by offering a place where anyone who feels alone can go and talk to someone. This amazing group of people have regular sharing events, community meals and they offer the night bus, a café where you can go on a Friday and Saturday between 10pm and 1am, if you don’t want to be alone. I like to think our community classes offer something similar; a safe place to go, be yourself, make friends, have fun, get fitter and hopefully feel better. Everyone is welcome; everyone can do their own thing and go at their own pace. Nobody is judged or criticized or pushed. Being active has a huge influence on our psychological well-being. Exercise is intrinsically linked to feeling good and boosting self-esteem. As instructors we have a crucial role to play in helping people feel better about themselves, making everybody feel welcome and a part of something really special. I actually think it’s the most important thing we do. The getting fit is a bonus!
Head High’s motto is “If we can impact positively on one life, then we have done a wonderful thing.” As a community organization committed to delivering fun fitness classes, I feel we have a unique and wonderful opportunity to impact positively on lots of lives too. How amazing is that?
Teenage Cancer Trust
This year we are also raising money for this crucial charity and staying true to our community spirit, by supporting one of our clients. The Teenage Cancer Trust is a cancer care charity dedicated to improving the experience of young people aged 13-24 who are living with cancer. It is the only charity of its kind in the UK and we have a very particular reason for choosing it. Connie Spencer, whose mum Kate, is a longstanding member of 24 Fit Derby, is only 16 and has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. She is a truly remarkable young lady and is currently undergoing a gruelling six-month treatment programme, alongside studying for her A Levels and trying to keep up with all her weekly activities. She, along with her family, is fighting her hardest ever battle, with positive thinking, determination and courage. Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer and the most common cancer in young people. It develops when white blood cells grow out of control. Because it is carried in the blood, it can manifest itself anywhere in the body, and often in more than one place.
Connie’s cancer is at Stage 4, which means it is already in multiple places, but she refuses to feel sorry for herself. This is what Connie had to say about her diagnosis in a recent interview with the Derby Evening Telegraph: “The cancer couldn’t get any worse so I’m not going to sit and cry about it, because it isn’t going to change…I’m just trying to make the best out of a rubbish situation.” Her friends, family and doctors have all been amazed by her strength and her positive, down to earth attitude. As Connie says, it’s a rubbish situation, but the good news is that the type of cancer she has is treatable, and she is going to meet it head on. That does not make it any less scary or any easier to deal with, but they say that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers, and you can’t help but feel that Connie is going to kick this thing very much into touch. I have never met Connie, but I felt truly humbled reading her blog. I was left with tears and smiles and an awful lot of respect and admiration for this inspirational young woman. I think it only right that we should do all we can to help Connie and her family on this rollercoaster of a ride. If you’re in any doubt, I urge you to follow her journey and read her inspirational blog yourselves. Find it on Facebook by searching for Connie May and Lymphoma Life.
Connie, all of us at 24 Fit Derby send you heaps of love and wish you all the very best. Keep fighting and remember that something will grow from all that you are going through, and it will be you.
24 Fit friends, please, please find a little time to come and support us on March 28th. Every little bit helps. Cancer has had the upper hand for way too long. Mental health issues only seem to be gaining ground. We need to do all we can to stop them both in their tracks. We can’t all find the cure for Cancer. We can’t all wave magic wands and solve everyone’s emotional, psychological and social issues overnight, but we can all do just a little bit. And that’s all we’re asking for at our charity event. Just a little bit. We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with great love. And if you think small things can’t make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito!