Darren Kinnane is a Bidvest Noonan Security Manager in London. This year Darren is cycling 2807 miles in aid of GAIN charity. Why 2807 miles? That is the sum total of 14 conqueror fitness challenges. We asked Darren to share what inspired him to take this challenge on.
To support GAIN charity and encourage Darren’s challenge, click here to donate.
Why did you choose to support the GAIN Charity? Tell us about its cause.
My Key Account Director Alan O’Connor deserves recognition for choosing this charity. Every year we choose a different charity to support. In October 2020 one of our colleagues’ daughter was struck down by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a rare autoimmune condition affecting the peripheral nervous system, usually leading to temporary or long-term paralysis. As a team, we decided that we would help GAIN as they are the charity that raises awareness about this syndrome and they were also supporting our colleague.
How did you come up with the idea of these virtual challenges?
The whole portfolio of our teams has been amazing doing all kinds of events to raise funds such as 100 sit-ups a day challenge. While I prefer walking, cycling, and hiking, I wanted to do my bit to help. I came across these virtual challenges and thought I can bang these out in a couple of months. I ditched my public transport card in February and bought a bicycle. It took me a month to get used to being on a bike again.
On March 8th, I started the first of 14 virtual challenges, which you simulate and travel virtually to different routes around the world. When complete, it will total 2807 miles and I am currently 50% complete on my 5th challenge.
What motivates you to keep focused?
The fact that raising money for such a worthwhile cause in solidarity with a colleague is enough to get on the bike and keep on track, but I also get a nice sense of achievement after completing every event.
What’s been the most positive thing to come out of your challenge?
The most positive outcome from doing this challenge is that it is helping me a lot in trying to quit smoking. The trial period on the bike was very hard for me but now I see how I have progressed a lot.
What is the impact of being active on your mental health during the lockdown?
Throughout the pandemic I have been coming in to the building every day. Keeping this routine was important to me. I have a great team of ladies and gents who have been onsite during this time. I feel that as their manager it is my responsibility to be there for them especially for the days they are anxious and fed up and need a bit of levity.