A loss in the family in addition to the stress and pressures of life in lockdown was a recipe for some negative life habits for Gavin. After losing his mother to dementia, Gavin spiralled into ‘a very, very dark place’. When he started swimming, it was only up from there, quite literally when you see he latest challenge…
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Keep reading for Gavin’s story in his own words
In 2019, Gavin’s mum sadly passed away, after suffering from dementia, this led him to entering a very negative state of mind as he says, ‘watching my mum deteriorate right before my eyes was one of the hardest things I have ever been through and sadly this is the reality for thousands of other families.’ Gavin only had to look close to home to find the motivation he needed to change his life as it was the inspiration of his daughter, who has lost a considerable amount of weight, who got him up and moving after his sad loss.
He joined Pavilions in the Park and started swimming, with his target most days being an impressive 64 lengths! Gavin continued his fitness journey, losing a total of 3 stone, with swimming providing the relief he needed to get him through his grieving process.
As for so many across the world, covid caused his swimming efforts to be put on hold for a while, but Gavin was determined to press on! Living so close to the South Downs, he wanted to make the most of his surroundings and when able to, decided ‘let’s go walking’, allowing his fitness journey to continue and within seven months, he managed to lose an incredible 7.5 stone.
As his walking continued, Gavin realised that he could use this to help others and decided to undertake his first charity walk, completing a trek from ‘Shoreham to Eastbourne approximately 32miles all in aid of Dementia and Alzheimer’s’. By this time Pavilions in the Park had reopened so Gavin was able to resume his swimming in addition to walking every day which allowed him to progress onto his next big adventures…the Yorkshire 3 Peaks which he completed in under 12 hours, followed by the 3 Peaks challenge in 24 hours, raising money for Dementia and Alzheimer’s UK. In his own words, Gavin says
‘Last year with the help and support of friends and family I trekked up the Yorkshire 3 peaks, which turned out to be just the start as I then challenged myself and went on to trek the national 3 peaks in just 24 hours in aid of Dementia and Alzheimer’s research. In this trip alone I raised around £1500’
A far cry from being in a very dark place mentally, upon competition of these challenges he ‘was on cloud nine’ and is now preparing to take on the ultimate challenge…Everest! Gavin will be attending the Everest base camp in February 2024, once again to raise money in support of Dementia UK.
Gavin says, ‘after starting my fitness journey, I want to push myself even further and prove that when you put your mind to something, anything is possible’, we have no doubt that Gavin will achieve this amazing goal in support of a wonderful charity, in memory of his lovely mum!
Whilst a 7.5 stone weight loss is amazing, Gavin’s progression and determination to challenge himself through supporting a charity so close to his heart is beyond inspiring…and we’ll leave you on a quote from Gavin himself which perfectly sums up his fitness journey ‘all I want to do is make a difference and I believe, from bottom of my heart, that I can do just that.
If you have been inspired by Gavin’s story and are looking to start your fitness journey, whether it be for a personal or charity backed challenge, sign up today and you could receive £10 off your joining fee.
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