This is a statement I never dreamed I would have to write but unfortunately, there have been developments that have forced me to make the extremely tough decision to cancel my upcoming challenge attempt.
We had a contingency plan in place if there was a government instruction or a confirmed case of Coronavirus at the gym and it was to close, however, this is also not going to be a possibility now. As those who follow my social media may have seen the University had to cancel research testing on me due to the Coronavirus, although this wasn’t a game-changer it did prompt us to take a good look at the risk to my health to complete this challenge under current circumstances. Since then we have done hours of research and spoken to a health professional, all of which come to the same result. If I was to carry on with the challenge my immune system would be significantly suppressed during the event and for around a week after, putting me at an increased risk of catching Covid-19. Being fit and healthy I would stand a very good chance of recovering from the virus but obviously Pippa is in the significant risk category due to her condition. This challenge was to raise funds and awareness for the Hypermobility Syndromes Association, the last thing I want to do is place Pippa in real danger by pushing myself to the limit.
Frustratingly when we drew up the challenge a suppressed immune system wouldn’t have been such an issue. My training and current fitness levels are better than they have ever been, but a challenge such as this would really push me to the absolute limit. I have seen many stories of people who have attempted similar challenges and despite covering an amazing distance fell short of completing. This was going to be my ultimate challenge. The current issues facing us all are stretching the NHS resources and I don’t want to add to their problems unnecessarily, let alone endanger my family.
The reason I’m canceling the challenge and not just postpone it is due the time required to train; on us as a family. Pippas required levels of assistance are increasing over time and I’m currently training up to 18-20 hours a week and holding down a full time job. This was always going to be my final large challenge so I can be on hand to give her more support. So to keep training at this level would seriously affect our family unit.
We as a family won’t stop raising funds and awareness for the charity. Isabella is very keen to keep flying the flag for the HMSA with her events. We will regroup and as a family unit and come up with a plan of how we best support such an amazing charity moving forward, but this is it for my big challenges. We would encourage you to donate to the HMSA despite the challenge not going ahead, so something good comes from this situation.
We would finally like to thank everyone who has supported us for not only this event but for many years of madness, I really wouldn’t have completed half my achievements without you all.
Keith, Pippa and Isabella