Sarah Elsby, who works in the child fostering team at Wigan Council, is about to push herself through some of the worst exercises known to man to raise money for the ME Association.
In something we clearly don’t recommend for people with ME/CFS (or indeed anybody!), Sarah will be taking on a 1,000-Burpees Challenge at midday tomorrow – 12th May, ME Awareness Day – at the Grand Arcade Shopping Centre in the centre of Wigan.
Sarah, who doesn’t have M.E., has taken on the challenge because her mum, Lynn, and an aunt do. And she likens her challenge to the daily lived experience of people with the illness.
“I want to complete 1,000 burpees on ME Awareness Day to highlight the constant challenges those living with M.E. have in getting up time after time. The burpee consists of a movement down to the floor and then jumping back to a standing position.
“To do a 1,000 of them will be around three hours of real pain and suffering – just as it is a day in and day out for someone with the condition to keep going.”
During training, which includes lots of breaks between reps, she has completed a fair few burpees, several hundred at a time. But tomorrow will be the toughest test of all, and she vows never to repeat it! She'll be supervised by family members and someone from the MEA, who if necessary won't be afraid to call a halt to the event.
Sarah has also been raffling off donated family tickets to matches at Wigan Warriors and Leigh Sports Club to add to her MEA charity funds. She’s been a staunch ally of the ME Association for several years, and recently completed six long walks round the UK for us. And she trekked up Mount Snowden not once but twice in a single day!
If you would like to donate to Sarah's fundraiser, please click the button below
The Burpee exercise was invented in 1939 by US physiologist Royal Burpee. During the Second World War, the US Army used it as a way to test the physical fitness of potential recruits.
For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.