Ben Heads to the Mountains for the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge with Centre for Integral Health

Ben Heads to the Mountains for the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge with Centre for Integral Health

Ben Heads to the Mountains for the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge with Centre for Integral Health

It has always been an important part of my life to feel that I am giving, gifting, supporting and helping to see change in those around me. Part of my ethos for having founded the Centre for Integral Health is that that it should be a resource that gives to the community, adds energy in to our lives and boosts those around us, so we in turn are boosted. 

So back in January, I let Centre for Integral Health Coach and PT Christina Morgan, a fabulous hypnotherapist, mindfulness teacher, coach and personal trainer, founder of Snowdrop House, talk me into thinking it would be a good idea to see how many times we could go up and down mount Snowdon in Wales for charity. We do something good for others and and return earn some good karma, have some fun and introduce the Centre to a few new people in the process. And she said it would be fun.....OK I say, I like fun things that help others too, why not.

So on the 6th and 7th of July 2018, that's just next week, we are heading off to carry out this challenge, hoping to do 4 ascents of the great welsh mountain and earn some money for the nominated charities. 

We decided to split the charity givings between the Midlands Air Ambulance, which is who I am raising for, and the Shropshire Staffordshire Blood Bikes, for whom Christina has a close connection and has been raising money for for years. You can help to boost our fund rasing and help us reach our targets by jumping to our just giving pages for Midlands Air Ambulance or the Blood Bikes. Christina has her own story on why she has chosen the Blood Bikes and for me the Air Ambulance is something that I see as essential for helping to save lives, but receives NO GOVERNMENT OR LOTTERY FUNDING at all, so they have to raise around £7 million a year to provide the service. Through my connection to them in Severn Buiness Network, I want to provide what I can to help as I really see the value of what they do.

We won't be alone on this challenge either, my partner Jayne will be there with us and a few of the Centre practitioners are coming in various capacities, plus Christian has a group of clients and friends that are joining us for some of the ascents, including Integral Health massage therapist Gemma Price who will be walking with us on one ascent with her 5 yr old daughter Darcy, Maria Franklin who is coming to offer us some on the spot EMMETT Technique sessions to ease our aches and pains between ascents and the talented nutritionist Kate Bevan Wood who will be preparing some great nutritious snacks for us to help us (healthily) stay fueled and energised. We have also been receiving behind the scenes support from Alexander Teacher Patrick Pearson, who is very experienced in using Alexander Technique to support the training of high level sporting events.

The one thing that really interests me about this is the difference in training approaches that Christina and I have had. She has been doing a lot of what I would class as hard training, which is part of her PT approach to work on strengthening. So she's being doing lots of fast ascents of the Wrekin and other hills, carrying weight, working out etc. She is a little powerhouse of determination and physically you can see she is strong.

Me on the other hand, with a long history of hill walking and time in the mountain, have been doing things a little differently (oh the surprise I hear some of you say). I've been doing the two things I enjoy, climbing and Qigong. The climbing is my main strength and weigh bearing exercise from a traditional point of view, but I just do it because it is fun and gets me to beautiful places where I can play and set reasonable challenge for myself. But from a less conventional point of view, the Qigong is what is strengthening my legs, from extended standing practice. I have been working on calming my system down, helping it to have optimum repair conditions, keeping my joints loose and mobile, finding as much ease in my body as possible. I have also been working with my breathing and feeling deep connected flow in my body. I really compounded that with a 6 day LifeForce Qigong Training in Poland last week where I was assisting my brother Simon Calder and so doing about 5.5 hrs of actual practice a day.

And I'm interested that this feels like enough training for me. But, like everything we'll see.

To add another layer to this experimental side of the event, my partner Jayne and I were joking in that she will inadvertently become the control subject in this, as she highlighted that she has done no training and doesn't know if she'll go up more than once (I think she will). But it will be fascinating to see what comes up for us all as these two different styles of training, soft and hard, face the same challenges on the hill.

This is going to be a great event and there is still time to either donate to the cause, using the links above, or if you would like to join us, you can do so by registering your interest through our Facebook Event Page. You may wish to come for one or more ascents. 

Whatever you do, remember we are doing this because we love gifting to others and in that know that we are receiving. The views and experience on the mountains together will be reward enough for us, but to give some significant funds to some awesome and essential services will also really brighten our day. At Integral Health, we recognise and value both the conventional medical approach and the non-conventional, and due to my connection with the Air Ambulance, and Christina's to the Blood Bikes, we know how essential these services are to the people of our community and that lives are saved by their everyday actions. But they need funding, without which they are significantly limited, so please help yourself and help others by contributing.

Hope to see you on the hill

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