When I first got invited just over 3 weeks ago to join the Grubby Gardeners for a 12km mud run, I jumped at the chance, partly to join the grubby gardeners and partly to do something for Perennial. In hindsight, I underestimated and misjudged what the ‘run’ would entail, and on reflection, I’m so happy I did, as it would certainly not be something I would normally do, as I haven’t always been someone who has taken my fitness particularly seriously… up until 2 months ago I smoked 20 cigarettes a day …

No problem anyway I thought, I’ve got all the time in the world to get myself ready ….

With a week to go, I’ve dug deep, and I’m getting a routine together, timings are improving, body parts are still hurting, but significantly less since I first started. Although there is still a feeling of dubious anxiety for a potential of failing, the motivation and determination for the run is increasing with a week to go, and is driven by being part of the team with grubby gardeners, (deep heat is also helping a lot) as well as the rapid education from Dirty Dozen very own ‘the beard’ video’s on YouTube, of exactly what the ‘run’ would entail.

It has improved my confidence, made me more conscious of my diet and increased my energy levels. Most importantly, I have enjoyed it. It is certainly driving me to make a big step change in my attitude to my general fitness for my time after the run.

As I’ve worked through my training schedule at various paces, it has felt very challenging at times. There have been plenty of times I’ve convinced myself against completing that extra run of the park though.

Despite these hurdles, it has been great to have something to focus on and without the Dirty Dozen run; there is no way I would be running so regularly or for such long distances. That alone is such huge progress for me.

The physical challenge is a big motivation for me, but also I have been spurred on by my decision to fundraise for Perennial, who are the only charity in the UK dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when times get tough and I want to do my generous sponsors proud., however whether I can master the monkey bars, is something I just don’t know…

Find Gareth on twitter: @garethkinsella2

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