Facing up to the challenge for St Albans hospice

Monique training for the Mayor's City Sprint Triathlon

Monique training for the Mayor's City Sprint Triathlon - Credit: Archant

My affiliation with anything sporty has always been a questionable matter.

Monique training for the Mayor's City Sprint Triathlon

Monique training for the Mayor's City Sprint Triathlon - Credit: Archant

There’s been a couple of prominent exercise-related moments I would much rather forget and gloss over. Like that time I ran in the relay race at primary school and I got so out of breath they started making arrangements to get an inhaler for me.

I didn’t have asthma and will never forget the look on my teacher’s face when she realised I was just horrendously unfit. Or those countless supervised runs with old boyfriends that started off so hopeful and resulted in us wobbling on the brink of separation.

Any exposure to swift movements seemed to turn me into the monster from hell.

After 10 minutes of running (if by running you mean sobbing and lunging in slow motion) I would declare said boy was running too fast, the ground wasn’t right, that it was too hot, or just very audibly slate the act of moving quickly before stomping home in a huff.

In short, I am no Jessica Ennis. So really, honestly and genuinely I am more surprised than anyone that about four weeks ago I said yes to taking part in a new St Albans event, the Mayor’s City Sprint Triathlon.

Sure, it’s not Ironman or Tough Mudder, but to me it’s quite the event considering me and fitness have had quite a long hiatus recently, give or take the odd pilates or ballet lesson.

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The family friendly event involves a 200m swim, a 5km cycle and a 3km off road run – doable, but still demanding. I guess the main thing spurring me on to do it is that knowing the money I raise will go towards a fantastic local cause, Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Plus I’ve managed to rope my two friends Reagan and Lucy into doing it as well, who I’m relying on to prop me up and drag me to the finish line, should things get really bad.

But I’ve been putting in the work and training slowly and steadily, with just over two weeks to go, so I’m confident I could end up with an alright time. In between swims and runs the marvellous Louis at Westminster Lodge has been working at getting me shipshape and managed to put up with me as I hurl every form of abuse at the exercise he’s making me do – yelling “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS!” to a packed gym causing everyone to stop what they’re doing and stare has been my favourite so far.

Putting the triathlon aside for a moment, there’s one more charity challenge I’m doing this year for Rennie Grove – a tandem skydive. It’s hard to say which one I am more nervous about. I think it’s the skydive but as a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, I feel weirdly more confident about jumping out of a plane than running for longer than 10 minutes.

As I posted on my donation page, essentially, this spring is going to be a bit like ’90s game show Fort Boyard for me, as I will have to navigate swimming pools, cycle challenges, and run around the park, before leaping out of a plane.

If any kind readers would like to donate some money to my fundraising page it would be much appreciated – even if you just give it a read I would be very grateful.

The support I’ve received so far makes me more likely to give my tandem skydiver a thumbs up when I’m about to fall out of the plane – as opposed to losing it a la Kristen Wiig on her flight to Las Vegas in Bridesmaids.

To find out more about my charity challenges visit https://www.justgiving.com/MoniqueHall