So, I’ve just completed a set of 312 burpees representing the 312th day of 2016. I’d like to think I can have a rest tomorrow but I can’t; I’ve got to do 313 for the 313th day.
In fact, I’ll be bumbling on doing burpees until the year end amassing over 67,000 in the process. But why am I doing this, and what is a burpee?
Firstly, a burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. It consists of a squat thrust made from and ending in a standing position.
I started this challenge on the 1st January with one burpee, then two burpees on January 2, 100 burpees on the 100th day of the year, and so on. By adding one burpee per day that amounts to 67,161 burpees – plus then the additional day of 366. It is a Leap Year after all.
In addition to this year-long challenge, on Saturday, December 3 I will attempt to break two Guinness World Records for the most number of burpees, in 12 and 24 hours; the records currently stand at 6,800 and 10,110 respectively. The attempt is set to take place at Ultimate U Fitness, Woodside Road, Worthing, West Sussex.
The motivation behind this whole challenge is to help raise money for St George’s Hospital Charity’s New Kit Appeal, which includes raising £25k for fetal endoscopic equipment at St George’s Hospital in London. For anyone doubting the challenge so far, I am documenting each day with videos on my Facebook page and on Twitter, @ForTheBoysTTTS.
I’m desperate to conquer both the year-long challenge and the world record attempts in honour of the consultants at St. George’s Hospital and the other families going through this heart-breaking disease
But why St. George’s Hospital? Let me explain. In February 2014, at week 20 of our pregnancy with identical twin boys, we were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), something which occurs in just 10 per cent of multiple pregnancies.
TTTS affects only identical or monozygotic twins who develop from the splitting of a single egg during the first 14 days after fertilisation, and who also share a placenta – monochorionic twins.
The placenta has a web of blood vessel connecting the twins with the mother and usually they allow an even flow of blood and nutrients to each of the embryos.
However, in a TTTS pregnancy, the flow of blood in these vessels between the twins is out of balance resulting in one twin getting too much blood; this can put a strain on the heart and lead to heart failure.
Whilst the other receives too little which can affect their growth and survival.
As a result, we had to undergo emergency laser surgery at St. George’s – if we did nothing there was a 90% chance we would lose our boys. This technique developed by foetal specialists at St George’s involves a laser burning and closing the blood vessels on the placenta.
With that said, even going through the laser treatment there was still a one in three chance that both twins would survive; a one in three chance that only one would make it; and a one in three chance we could lose both.
Our boys survived, and we are forever indebted to St. George’s Hospital. However, we appreciate we are one of the lucky ones. There are families out there experiencing the roller-coaster ride of TTTS, sometimes with very tragic consequences.
I’m desperate to conquer both the year-long challenge and the world record attempts in honour of the consultants at St. George’s Hospital and the other families going through this heart-breaking disease.
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