Club news

A thank you from Anton Brown, to the Fresh community

October 22, 2015 @ 10:36 am

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped realise my recent excursion to the peak of Snowdon.

When I say everyone, that’s a lot of people: gym staff, members, friends, family and the wider local community. I hope you won’t mind my ‘group’ approach to making sure my heartfelt message reaches you all.

When I joined Fresh a couple of years ago, I had a pipe dream to climb a mountain. Despite being a fairly determined optimist, I also thought it was probably unrealistic and would remain just that, a dream. But thanks to some fantastic colleagues Josh and Gary, I was actually talked into pursuing my plans, and the great campaign to raise £5,000, buy a trike and climb Snowdon began. So my first thank you goes to those who took my idea seriously and searched for a solution in the face of adversity.

The fundraising was awesome. So many unique and incredibly successful ideas, from the golf day, to the naked calendar, from coffee & cake sales to sponsored sporting events and bingo… and much more. Thank you for donating your time, energy, and of course pushing the funds total up and up and up. I wish I had been able to get to see all your efforts that took place – I was definitely there in spirit! Thanks Josh for kick-starting and coordinating the plans, getting the message out there and maintaining the momentum. We certainly have some proactive and generous members at Fresh and I thank you all so much.

Once the funds were secured, the next challenge was the preparation. Again, there are so many people I am grateful to, from Bill and Richard the in-house mountaineers (handy) who sussed out the Snowdon route in advance and ensured the health and safety was taken care of, to those who helped with the ferrying of volunteer climbers to Wales, organising the hotel and meals, baking cakes to keep our energy levels up, and the ‘dry runs’ with my trike at St Ann’s Hill in Chertsey (I think Snowdon was actually slightly more hilly). Huge thanks to Gary, associating the Fresh brand with my adventure.

On the big weekend, I couldn’t have done it without the fabulous 15. I appreciate the weight of the trike (plus me) was some hefty 13 stone. Wow. You all helped push, pull and lift throughout the seven hours it took to get to the top. The team spirit was amazing – the motivation and encouragement kept us all going, especially my mum who wasn’t too comfortable with an altitude of 1,085 metres! The photographs and video footage are wonderful keepsakes so thank you also for capturing the poignant moments.

 

Just so you know, it was all worth it. Sitting at the misty mountain top felt, well, like I was on top of the world. We had come so far and we had done it! After initial excitement and jubilation, there was the small matter of descent – no mean feat incorporating steep, narrow, rocky terrain and dusk looming. But, we pulled through.  Snowdon was a tough physical and mental challenge, and I really appreciate the fact you put aside any weekend plans you may have had, helping me on this intrepid journey. It was a relief and a pleasure to celebrate back at the hotel with you all that evening!

When I look back, I wonder how many 22 year olds have climbed a mountain, let alone the highest mountain in Wales? The trike has given me independence, mobility and confidence to take on new challenges, and I offer my sincerest thanks to absolutely everyone who has been involved, not forgetting my mum Jane who is always there for me. I am still slightly overwhelmed, which you may have noticed at my trike presentation, although I managed to hold it together that night (just!).

I hope you all enjoyed taking part, however small you may think your contribution was, it’s made all the difference to me. In fact, you may have heard me talking about a 2016 adventure… watch this space!

Thank you again to Fresh and everyone involved – I am truly grateful.

Anton

Telephone: 01932 225 953 . Email: info@trainfresh.com