Hastings woman Bev Mitchell scaled the 1037 stairs of London’s ‘Gherkin’ landmark to raise funds for the NSPCC.
Bev, of Bluebell Gardens, St Leonards, took on the challenge of scaling the 180 metre tall building after months of rigorous training and completed it in 12 minutes, 13 seconds.
She explained: “One evening in Summer 2016, I climbed the stairs at home, and arrived at the top puffing and panting.
“I looked in the mirror. Looking back at me was an overweight, unfit middle-aged woman.
“I realised I was risking all manner of health problems, and I decided there and then that I needed to lose weight and improve my fitness.
“Over the next few months I started eating healthily, I virtually gave up drinking, and I began walking. Lots of walking.
“The weight started to come off, I started to feel better, the stairs at home became easier.
“Towards the end of the year, and with my 50th birthday rapidly approaching; I decided to set myself a challenge, in order to help motivate me, and keep me focussed on improving my health.
“I have never done anything like this before. I have walked hundreds of miles in training for this event, and I have climbed thousands of steps and stairs around Hastings. (The security guys in Priory Meadow car park must have been wondering what on earth I’ve been up to!)
“I have lost more than four stone in weight, and I feel and look better than I have done in years.
I was a tad nervous, not just about the challenge of dealing with the stairs, but also about the challenge of dealing with my fear of heights when I get to the top as I suffer from acrophobia.”
The “Gherkin Challenge” may be for the benefit of the NSPCC, but it has also benefitted me.
So far I have raised more than £500 in sponsorship, but the NSPCC is such a worthy cause, I would dearly love to raise more.
If people would like to sponsor me, they can visit my fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/bevmitchell. Alternatively, they can text a donation to 70070 - “BEVS67 £5” or “BEVS67 £10”.