I mentioned in my recent post about my difficult postnatal recovery that I was planning an exciting fitness challenge to raise awareness and hopefully funds for MAMA Academy, the charity I volunteer for as General Manager and trustee. MAMA Academy aims to help more babies arrive safely by supporting mums through pregnancy and providing up to date resources for midwives to facilitate best practice in maternity care. It is an absolute privilege to work for such a brilliant little (but growing!) charity, and I wanted to take on a bit of a personal challenge to help a cause I am so passionate about, but that would also help me get back into shape after my own pregnancy.
And this is what I came up with – the #Miles4MAMA challenge! In a nutshell:
Starting on 13th September, I’ve given myself 10 months to cover 1000 miles by Jake’s first birthday on 13th July next year. That’s around 100 miles a month! I’ll be counting miles walked, on our exercise bike, and from running, as I’ll hopefully be training for the Great Manchester 10k next May. My 1000 miles is in support of MAMA’s Made to Measure campaign to save 1000 babies’ lives through the nationwide uptake of customised growth charts, which can better detect growth restricted babies, a key early warning for stillbirth. Make no mistake – this will be a big challenge for me as I work to get my fitness back, but will hopefully be a lot of fun and will do a lot of good.
So where do you come in?
Basically I don’t want to do this alone! I’m calling on all bloggers who care about the cause of reducing baby loss and supporting positive pregnancies to take on their own #Miles4MAMA challenge. That’s not to say you have to do 1000 miles! I’d love for those who are interested in helping our charity while pushing yourselves to improve your own fitness, regardless of your current ability, to set yourself a target to achieve by next summer and we’ll achieve it together.
Here’s how it will work:
- If you’re interested in taking part in #Miles4MAMA, drop me an email at email@example.com and Tweet me @GreatNorthMum to say hello.
- I’ll send you a #Miles4MAMA badge for your blog, and ask you to write a post to tell everyone what your personal challenge will be, and why you’re doing it. You can set any number of miles and you can walk, run, cycle, swim or any combination of these.
- Share your post on social media and make sure you mention @MAMAAcademy and use the hashtag so that I can big you up and welcome you to the team!
- Start your challenge on 13th September (or whenever is convenient for you!). You’ll need to keep track of your miles covered – I’ll be using an app called Map My Fitness to measure distance for walks and runs, but there are lots available.
- I’d love for you to join in with Hannah’s #BloggingToJogging linky at Budding Smiles each week to share your progress and offer mutual support to others. Then on the 13th of every month I’ll be hosting the #Miles4MAMA linky on my blog for your monthly update of miles covered and how you’ve been getting on. There will be a monthly update on the MAMA Academy website to say thank you to all of you.
- There will be a special #Miles4MAMA fundraising page set up on Virgin Money Giving which will be our communal fundraising hub – rather than everyone having separate pages, I would love for everyone taking part to share the link to the page with friends and family and encourage them to sponsor our challenges as a team effort. We can then see at a glance the impact our hard work is having!
- Throughout the duration of the challenge, social media will be key to spreading awareness of the work of MAMA Academy and of #Miles4MAMA itself. Please use the hashtag as freely as you would like to share your blog posts, brag about a brilliant run, or keep us all updated on your mile count. I’ll be setting up a supportive Facebook group for everyone taking part for those who need some words of encouragement or to share your health and fitness tips. Perhaps like me you’ll be using the challenge as means to lose some baby weight or get back to fitness after some time off so hopefully you’ll find this of benefit.
- It will never be too late to join in, so if you miss the September start date, don’t worry! You can set your own challenge at any time.
You’ve probably got questions…..
You can contact me at any time on Twitter @GreatNorthMum or by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to ask anything – I’m still in the process of thinking through some of the details myself so we’ll be ready to go on 13th September. Once you’ve contacted me to register your interest I’ll be able to keep you up to date when things are set up. I’ve got no idea at this point how much interest there might be so we’ll see how big our #Miles4MAMA team will be!
Please visit the MAMA Academy website to find out all about our charity and what your challenge will be supporting. You can also follow us on Twitter @MAMAAcademy and find us on Facebook /MAMAAcademy.
Thank you 🙂