What a year!

As 2019 draws to a close, we think it’s a really good time to reflect on what we have all achieved this year, because between us we have achieved some phenomenal results!

Aside from some incredible weight loss, we have had some massive successes physically and mentally.

We have completed over 270 HIIT sessions, lost colossal amounts of weight, seen members climb mountains, take part in Woodland Warrior, complete training programs, walk miles, get stronger and fitter, but we have also made amazing friendships across the Be Strong community. We have members across the UK and internationally, who are seeing some amazing success, and we are so proud of each and every one of you!

2019 has seen our first Be Strong proposal, when Paul, one of our Accrington group members proposed to Michelle, his partner of 20 plus years and fellow Be Stronger, on the finish line of the Manchester Marathon.  A marathon they ran together after Paul was inspired watching Michelle run her first marathon, in 2018. Will 2020 see the first Be Strong wedding? I hope so!

Walking miles….

Our first major event of the year was ‘Walking Miles for Milly’s Smiles’ on Sunday 12th May. Over 300 people took part in the event from babies in prams to people in their 70’s, and it was a fantastic day. The sun shone, people attended in droves, and there was such a feeling of camaraderie amongst everyone who took part. Over 1800 mile laps were completed that day, which is just a phenomenal distance.  A really simple event that raised lots of awareness for Milly’s Smiles charity and got us all moving. Whether you did 1 lap or 40, we are proud of every single person for showing up and taking part. Taking part triggered some lightbulb moments for some our members, who achieved things that day, that they never thought would be possible. Dreams became goals whilst we were pounding those paths in Witton Park and I know of a few people who, as a result of that event, decided to set themselves some goals that would really stretch their comfort zones for the remainder of the year.

The little things become the big things

For me, finally getting to meet Rick’s mum, Christine, when she moved over to live near Rick, has been just wonderful.  I have watched her getting fitter and stronger, more mobile, and lose the weight she has wanted to get rid of for as long as she can remember.  Five stones down, and she is doing better than ever, and both Rick and I are so very proud of her.

Our members have also had some incredible success in improving their health, with so many reporting improvements to blood pressure, diabetes status and blood cholesterol levels. Damian Wild, one of our Darwen and Man up group members, has recently told us that in the 9 months since he has started Be Strong, as well as losing an incredible 5 stones, he has reversed his pre-diabetic status and his cholesterol. He has now been taken off all his medication, as his stats are ‘better than normal’.  Between us all, we have probably bought back hundreds of years of life, which is worth far more than any Christmas present.

Our group walks are proving ever popular, and I just love our monthly Sunday morning strolls, where members from different groups get to meet and get to know each other and form some really strong bonds and friendships. I love that you bring your family with you, further cementing our belief that we should set an example for our friends and families, particularly the young people in our lives, encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves too.

In my opinion, the most poignant moments are those little private messages we get when we least expect it, that usually start, ‘I just wanted to let you know….’. We receive so many of these, it makes our job the best in the world. These are the messages where someone tells you that they have got into an outfit that they have been trying to fit back in for the last 10 years, and they feel fabulous. When they tell you how happy they feel, and how comfortable they are in their skin, how they strutted out on to the dance floor on a recent night out and felt like a million dollars. It’s something that may seem insignificant to most people, but to that person it means the world. This makes me believe that I will never ever do anything else other than this.

Or, when someone tells you the story of how they have come to join Be Strong, the difficulties and struggles that they have had and sometimes continue to have in their lives, but after a few weeks you see their confidence growing, friendships developing, and that they are really starting to believe in themselves.  The transformations that we see are incredible. When we see that someone now has the confidence to push themselves further and further to achieve their goals, it is absolutely priceless.  The personal growth in these people benefits every aspect of their lives, not just the results they see on the scales. And that is what Be Strong is all about.

Monthly Challenges

This year we have achieved so much through our monthly challenges, we have worked our legs, arms, abs, walked 2 miles a day, hydrated, had quick early morning workouts, and tracked our calories, all in the hope that some of these activities stick and become a good habit that takes us to our final goals.  We love seeing you all participate in the monthly challenges, and can’t wait to see what you all achieve next year.

Woodland Warrior

Woodland Warrior in October, was the last major event of the year, where 120 Be Strongers and their friends and family took part in a serious challenge on a chilly Lancashire Autumn day. The 4 hour, relay event on a 2.9 mile route across moorland, woodland and trails saw everyone supporting and encouraging each other to keep going and not give up. The team work and camaraderie that was shown was incredibly heart-warming. People who had never met each other before were cheering each other on, and some dark horses showed themselves to be real physical machines.  We saw so many personal goals smashed during this event, making us all believe that we really are capable of anything that we put our mind to. It was so inspiring!

In total, Team Be Strong completed 439 laps, in 4 hours, which totals over 1270 miles, and whilst the team 1 of Karen and Chris Almond, Hayley and Sue Duckworth, were crowned the winners at the end of that 4 hour event, in our view everyone was a winner, because everyone tried their absolute best, and smashed it.

Rick and I had real event envy that day, and were itching to take part. We would have loved to have been out on that course with you guys experiencing everything that you did. You were just outstanding.

And finally…

We have seen so many achievements this year, so many of you hitting your goals and even surpassing them, we would be here all week if we had to write a list. Tell us what you are proud of this year, we know there will be things that we aren’t even aware of, but we love to hear your stories, so make sure you share in the comments below.

Our message to you as we close the year is ‘Thank you‘.  Thank you for putting your faith in us, and coming along on this ride, because we know it isn’t easy. But if we get it right, the rewards are well worth it and they are forever.

Just keep being you Be Strongers. Keep challenging yourself.  Keep trying hard. Keep proving people wrong. Keep Being Strong!

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year with your loved ones and we will see you in 2020 for even more success!

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