It was probably the most awful Sunday morning that we have experienced for ages. Storm Alex didn’t disappoint, the rain came down in sheets and the wind howled as a group from A&S Fitness in Laytown assembled themselves on the beach, complying with social distancing guidelines, at 7am on Sunday 4th October to complete the ‘Burpee Mile’ challenge in aid of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. A burpee consists of moving from a standing position to balancing on hands and toes, completing a push up before jumping back up to the starting standing position. Imagine doing approximately 800 of them in that weather.
It was a morning that represented friendship, solidarity, community and most of all grit and determination as twenty hardy folks made their way through the marked out 100m intervals until they reached the end at the 1600m mark. Not only was there the unfavourable weather conditions to deal with, there were puddles of sea water, sea streams to get through and sand collecting in places that just couldn’t be mentioned. Every body encouraged the next and we were delighted to be joined by some of the A&S members and family members who braved the inclement weather to cheer us on and hand out refreshments at different stages. Every precaution was taken to ensure social distancing was adhered to, the team helping out were in full PPE gear with masks and gloves and nothing got left behind except foot and body imprints in the sand. It took 1 hour 39 minutes to complete the challenge which was a phenomenal time going on previous records. The team pushed hard to get to the end and there was lots of laughter along the way however the real joy was raising €3,635 for the charity.
This wasn’t the first fundraising effort undertaken by the A&S team this year. Despite the heavy restrictions the country was under earlier this year, the guys came up with a virtual 24 hour challenge to raise much needed funds for Pieta House. A 2020 Burpee challenge. Every hour on the hour for 24 hours, from their homes, folks completed 85 burpees until their target was reached and the sun started to rise. In total the team raised €8,500. They say that not all Superheroes wear capes. I think we definitely have a few of these walking and living amongst us here in our community.
Andrew and Scott Hageman have been running A&S Fitness from the Parochial Hall in Laytown for almost ten years. Their classes make fitness fun, offer people a safe training environment and have seen many friendships extend far beyond the doors of the hall. Their contribution to our community is massive in terms of physical and mental health and well-being and social connection.