Were the Station’s Spinning Instructors up for the Sport Relief 2012 Challenge?  Looking back now, several days after the event.

I can confirm that the use of the word ‘Challenge’ was wholly appropriate.  Who are the manufacturers trying to kid?  Those ‘Gel’ seats, with a ‘comfort’ cutout, do not provide much comfort; as the hours tick by, and hour number 10 kicks in, I soon realise that I am no longer as young as I used to be (many aching bits)!  But, yes, of course, we were up for the challenge and we faced it head on (or should I say bottoms on (seats))!

I was determined to arrange something to support Sport Relief 2012.  They do so much wonderful work both here in the UK and, of course, overseas in third world countries, that whilst donating is

commendable, it didn’t seem enough.  This year I wanted to do something to help make a difference.  I approached the PEdO with the idea and she subsequently sought approval from the Stn Cdr.

As an avid Spinning instructor I looked to the Station instructor team and asked them for their support, as well as their Line Managers/Flt Cdrs, to run the event.  (The team is somewhat depleted now, but those who could offer their support, did).  The team consisted of myself (FS Kev Frisby), Sgt Rich Marfleet, Cpl Craig Melvin and SAC Krystle Gosal (the recently appointed OIC Spinning).  Our initial idea was to split the 12 hours between the 4 of us and we would therefore lead 3 classes each.  However, Rich had a better idea (thanks genius) that we should do the full 12 hours.  “Great idea”, I said, “now that is a Challenge”!

I had been lucky to get a good number of sponsors (through the ‘encouragement’ of HF Course, and similar TDF course, attendees) as well as friends and colleagues around the Unit.  We had also asked for donations from anyone who wanted to take part in a class.

Thursday 22 Mar soon came around.  Wg Cdr Brayshaw joined us at 0800 to offer some words of encouragement and press go on the MP3 Player.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay, as the CG beckoned, so left us to run the first of the 12 classes.

We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people for each class, a big thank you for being there.  Rich and I took part in each session, although Rich, I must say, put far more effort into all the classes than I did.  I had led the first session, participated fully in the next session, participated at 75% effort for the next and then led the midday session.  I wasn’t prepared for the cramp that struck my right thigh and quads mid stand at 1230.  Cramp was to dog my every effort for the next couple of hours making each class a painful experience.  It wasn’t until Craig arrived at 1400, with some Electrolyte tablets, that the cramp passed and I could continue spinning fully.

Some special thanks should also go to some sterling efforts from people who supported us for more than one class.  Firstly though, the Padre’s ‘surprise’ visit, and support, at around 1300 boosted morale.  Krystle encouraged him to jump on a bike and join in.  I’m not sure the male spinners behind him appreciated the view when he stood up and waved his posterior in an over-exaggerated motion with words similar to “cop a look at my tush”!   Cpl Shirley McCullagh, from P1, took part in 3 classes (I use Shirley as a gauge of class intensity.  If you know Shirley you know she is pretty fit, therefore, the more I can make her perspire the harder the class).  Mr Les Boxill, Stn Admin; Les is ex-RAF and a frequent gym visitor and he puts a lot of people 30 years his junior to shame.  Les took part in 4 classes, one after the other; well done Les, you’re an inspiration.  And a young man from AWES, SAC(T) James Malvern, who took part in 6 hours of classes.  Good effort and thank you for your support; your pained expressions, and true grit, kept me going.  And finally to the lads at the back of several later classes who sang their way through many a track.  I’m sure Simon Cowell will be in touch soon!

A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us, took part in the classes and donated, or generally supported us throughout the day.  Thank you to the Stn Cdr and the PEdO too.

It was hard work, but what a sense of achievement.  (I couldn’t walk Friday, but I am ok now).  So, finally, a big thank you to Rich, Craig and Krystle for supporting such a worthy cause.

Remember, Stn Spinning happens every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Come and have a go.