2021 has flown surprisingly fast for me. All those months of going in and out of lockdowns and figuring out the new norm feels like a second. Despite the existing craziness that was around, I decided to add a little more to it by undertaking a 48-hour challenge to raise money for charity.
What was the challenge?
In early February, I came across a post on Instagram that said 4x4x48 challenge. Driven by curiosity, I pressed on it as it was click-bait worthy. The description that popped up from the link was simple to understand; in a 48-hour window, you run 4 miles every 4 hours. People who can’t run can swap the 4-mile run with any 40 to 50 min physical activity. And even though there was no further explanation, my mind raced ahead, wanting to know more. And more concerning, I wanted to try it out. How hard could it be, right?
I was convinced to take up the challenge as I occasionally like to push myself physically to test my mental strength. And the post coming up in my feed was perfectly timed. The last time I did something equivalent was 2 years ago when I decided to take an 8 hour walk in the peak of summer in India, or when I decided to work 48 hours straight. I felt that 2 years was a long time, and I had to push and test myself mentally again. After digging around, and reading why David Goggins initiated this challenge, I was convinced to try doing the challenge. I knew a route around where I lived that was hilly enough to be worth the challenge. So without any more thinking, I decided to cycle 8 miles instead of the 4-mile run.
FEAR KICKED IN once I slowed my thinking and came back to my senses. A lot of voices sprang up in my head. To be successful at this challenge, I’d have to cycle at these times: 4am, 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, 12am, 4am, 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, and 12am. The first and the biggest fear was cycling on the cold dark roads. The next concern was the challenge of the route itself. I am a novice, and the maximum I had done on a bicycle was a 16-mile ride (and I was sore for the rest of the day). I didn’t know if I would stay motivated enough whilst being slightly sleep deprived in the 48-hour window.
And last but not least, I realised that the challenge was not just about the periodical cycle rounds. To sustain throughout the 48-hour window, I would have to make sure my body is prepared to take up the next round. This meant that I would have to spend a good 20 to 30 min doing the pre-and post-workout stretching.
Little Drops Charity
I needed a strong driver to keep me going to silence all the doubt I had. True to the David Goggin’s Challenge, I decided to take this challenge up to raise money for Little Drops Charity. My aunt, sister, and family friends built Little Drops Charity Trust, and from day 1, they have been helping children in developing countries like Uganda and India. Through voluntary donations, they have executed multiple projects to improve sanitation in tribal colonies, support education for children, spread awareness on health, and empower Dalit women. Despite the pandemic, they continued to support the students living in poverty with phones following online classes. And after reading the stories of some of the lives they helped change, I had the drive that I needed.
I made all the necessary prep and slept in early for the first 4am ride. It was as cold as I had expected it to be. The voices in my head were ringing louder, and I wanted to give up 5 min into my first ride. The roads were empty, and to be honest, I was a little scared. It was freezing cold, and the breeze did not help. My toes and fingers became instantly cold. However, I had heat pads that I could stick under my gloves and shoes to warm my fingers and feet. After completing the first round of cycling, I felt alive. I did my quick stretching routine and slept for 1 more hour. The second round of cycling at 8am felt more manageable, and slowly I got comfortable into the rhythm.
And the learnings?
When the encouragement started coming in, my drive to do more went up. The first few donations came in even before I started the first round, and by the time I completed the second round, I already beat my initial target of £250 to raise. I constantly shared updates through my social media platforms, and the encouragement kept flowing. It propelled me to keep going, and I managed to raise £2800 in the end. In terms of value, this money would ensure complete school education for 3 girls from a tribal community in India.
The most astonishing thing that happened was the realisation that I could achieve something like this. That my body with no proper training, could do it. Like any challenges like this, after a point it becomes more a mind game than the actually physical element. No doubt, this was a crazy thing to do alone.
David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me portrays a very nice outline of his life story. In many ways it has given me great insights on what sort of mindset approach I should have when I want to improve myself in life.
Click on the picture to read my review and notes of the book.