When I signed up for the challenge in February earlier this year I was super keen and started training, that lasted for a couple of weeks and then life got in the way. Training began in earnest a couple of weeks ago when I got an email from the challenge organisers saying “If you haven’t started training by now, please do take this email seriously and start!!!” So start I did.
I asked advice from a couple of people who have done a husky challenge about what I needed to do and it seems upper body strength, endurance, general fitness and balance are key. I also had another person say, “I am not going to lie, it’s hard! Very hard” so it’s time to get super fit and make my teeny weeny muscles strong!
For me exercise has to be fun, different or done with others in order to be enjoyable so I started my training in true farmer’s daughter style when I was home for the weekend. I decided to focus on my arms and do some training like some sort of iron woman. Off I went to get a tyre from over the yard.
I went straight for the tractor tyre, I tried really hard to move it but it was just too big and full of water for me to lift. Those of you who know me know I haven’t got the strongest arms in the world so I found a regular tyre and brought it back to my parents garden.
Out came my sister Philippa and went, “No Danielle, that’s ridiculous and far too easy, go and get a bigger one!”. So off I went and somehow with the whole of my might I managed to get the tractor tyre upright and rolled it back to the garden, it was full of water and no mean feat to balance, let alone push…
Ok… so it was the smaller front tyre of a tractor but they are still pretty huge and really heavy!
Now this photo was taken just around the time when I realised that my hand had just slipped on some mud on the tyre, but in fact upon smelling my muddied hand it was apparent this was not mud but dog poo… fantastic! But somehow it also seemed rather apt whilst training for a challenge with dogs. With that cleared up and now with some rather fetching pink gardening gloves, I set off to roll, and occasionally flip, this tyre around the farm. I think this probably looks much easier than it was but I can assure you it was a good challenge.
Halfway round field two this happened:
Yep, the huge tyre that took all my body-weight to lift had fallen on top of me sideways, the photo actually shows the point when I was almost free, but I can assure you it knocked me sideways and pretty much trapped me, to the point where I almost phoned my little sis to rescue me.
The tyre certainly didn’t beat me, and I rolled it across another couple of fields and then proceeded to some serious hard work rolling it up and flipping it down a hill numerous times. The little sis had joined me by then and was a hard, and very good, task master, not letting me stop until I could do it no longer, thanks Pipster!
That was a good start to my training, but as I live and work in London the next lot of farm fitness will be at Christmas. Now the next challenge is how to fit in training when work is particularly hectic and I have a Stats exam next week, and how to be creative with exercise in an urban environment for free… challenge accepted!
All photos and content © Danielle Ramsey and Arctic 4 Abby, 2015, except where stated.