The journey of 56,000 Kettlebell Swings & $4000 raised for the Telethon Kids.
What I learnt from doing 3060 swings in 24 hours.
Our Swingathon objectives:
1. Keep the Kettlebell swinging for 24 hours non-stop.
2. Complete 50,000 Kettlebell Swings.
Friday night before
When ever I'm prepping for a big event there's always that thought in my head "what if I missed something", "what if what I've been doing wasn't enough".
The night before I always have doubts about the prep. Thinking about what I could have done better, could have done more... but then I find a calm in myself in the fact that it doesn't matter now. What ever happens will happen. Good or bad, I will learn.
No one had arrived yet, I was still putting posters and banners on the walls, setting up the projector.
Still no-one... I second guess myself and double checked I had the dates right.
Started to stress that "life" might have happened to my first Swingers Justin and Craig and I'd receive a text any minute saying I'm not going to make it for the start. Worried I'd have to be swinging the first round by myself. Ultimately failing as soon as I begun.
Luckily at 10:45am they both showed up and at 11am.. we began the journey to 50,000 swings.
At Earn The Right our BIG 3 values are RESPECT - RESPONSIBILITY - RESILIENCE.
I knew this weekend was going to test all 3 of them in a big way, not just for me but for everyone involved.
I knew there was going to be sweat, blood, discomfort, struggle and pain...
The nature of man is that we're drawn closer by overcoming obstacles, together, because that's how a tribe survives, and during that 24 hours, that's exactly what we became for each other as we battled to endure. I have nothing but massive admiration and RESPECT for everyone who showed up prepared to step into the unknown with me.
There's no real way you can prepare yourself for the unknown, I wasn't sure what was going to happen going into the weekend. I kept wondering what it was going to feel like at the 5th, 10th, 15th and the final few hours. It has been 10 years since I did the Busselton Ironman and challenged my body with physically demanding endurance exercise like this. I was nervous about whether or not I'd be able to get through the weekend without something blowing out.
My RESILIENCE was certainly going to be tested... and it was.
Check out the last 3 minutes of the Swingathon below.
9pm (10 hours in)
320 reps per set went quickly by and before I knew it I'd done 6 sets (1920 swings). We hit the half way target (25000 swings), which was great but knowing that we had a few hours gap over night made me nervous. I questioned whether we had done enough.
10-11pm (12 hours in)
The last swing stopped at 10:15pm, we'd run out of manpower, the mind and body were feeling it. Hands were tender like they'd been sandpapered, forearms were weak, back was achy, the neck and shoulders were tight and I sat on a stool looking at the computer screen trying to comprehend what needed to happen next. Not a lot was happening between the ears at that stage so I knew it was time for sleep. And even that was a task, trying to wind down after so much adrenaline all day. The eyes didn't shut until 12:30am.
After 3.5 hours sleep, we arose at 4am to kick it off again... in the dark with glow sticks. (picture below).
6 hours to go (5-6am)
It wasn't until people started showing up at 5am, I started to feel like we might actually do this. My body felt fresher than I had expected.
The structure we used was in groups of 3 each person completed 20 swings (1 at a time) continuously for 15-18 rounds. The first goal was to keep a Kettlebell swinging for the entire 24 hours, unfortunately we failed at his due to running out of man power over night. But we made up for it on Sunday morning when Saturday swingers came back to join the Sunday morning swingers.
This last hour was truly amazing. Seeing people giving it everything they had for the last hour where everyone was "ALL IN". We had 3 groups of 6, 7 and 8 people swinging at one time (check out the final 3 min video above). It demonstrated massive RESPONSIBILITY from each individual to not let the team down. For this I am eternally grateful. Everyone came together for a cause greater than any individual, for the lives and future of the Telethon Kids.
Every swing took us one step closer to hitting the 2nd goal of 50,000 swings which we were all determined to succeed at after failing the first goal. And so, with about 20 minutes to go, the DJ was pumping the tunes, I think I had goosebumps for the whole last hour and then we hit the 50,000 swing mark. SUCCESS! But we didn't stop there. Everyone was so amped up, we continued on to hit 56,000 swings. MASSIVE!
My body felt an excited numbness (I think it was the adrenaline) that you get after overcoming adversity.
24-48 hours after
In the days following the Swingathon my body had never felt so balanced and connected, fatigued but energised. It was amazing. It really showed me the power of the simple Kettlebell Swing to create a strong, resilience and powerful human being.
If you want to experience the power of Kettlebell swings, come down to our Saturday morning session where Swings are guaranteed.
Thanks to every swinger who helped us raise the $4k.
RESPECT - RESPONSIBILITY - RESILIENCE.
See you again next year for a bigger and better Swingathon!
Thanks for reading.