I had the pleasure of spending a morning with local Newbury mummy, Rebecca who has two boisterous 2 boys (aged1 and 3) and is going to be undertaking an incredible challenge later this year to raise funds for Coppafeel! I was so inspired by her story I asked her if I could share it with you, as I think you’ll enjoy hearing about her journey as much as I was.
Every year Coppafeel! undertake an epic challenge. Back in April Rebecca decided to apply to participate in the 4-day 75km charity trek to Oman having never been there and knowing she would have to leave her boys and husband behind. It’ll be a colossal challenge and Rebecca was not expecting to be one of the lucky few selected, but she was and she is now training for this adventure and raising money for the charity. The trek will take Rebecca and her team along the ancient footpaths of the Oman Mountains for a truly off the beaten track challenge where she’ll be spending all day hiking rough terrain in the desert heat and then having to set up camp each evening. They’ll also by joined by team leaders, Greg Rutherford, Olympic Long Jump Gold Medalist and Giovanna Fletcher, Author, Actress and Vlogger.
“I’m looking forward to pushing myself outside of my ‘Mummy’ box and working towards something especially amazing as well as raising as much money as physically possible for this wonderful cause. Please help me achieve this by supporting me in any way you can, huge thanks,” Becs x
You are fundraising for a charity called Coppafeel! can you tell us a little more about the charity do and why you wanted to get involved?
My wonderful Mummy has been hit with breast cancer on three separate occasions, she was only 37 when she received her first diagnosis. I didn’t really know much about it at the time or fully understand the consequences of this horrible disease. So when she was diagnosed again 15 years later for a third time I wanted to do more and Coppafeel! was a charity that stood out to me. Its mission is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to help with early detection, particularly among the younger generation. It was set up by another amazing lady, Kris Hallenga who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at 23 years old, it’s incurable but she is still going strong at 31. Her life mission is to encourage women to check their boobs and hopefully prevent others from receiving a late diagnosis. https://coppafeel.org/kris-story/
Can you tell us a little bit more about the challenge?
I shall be walking a 4-day 75km charity trek in Oman, through wadis and mountains in blistering heat , and shall be sleeping every night in a make-shift tent. I will have to carry a backpack and erect my own tent every night. I am expecting it to be rather exhausting.
What has the training been like?
Difficult, especially with two young children! I’ve been trying to balance family life and training which has been tough so I have had to be really organised and disciplined to get out walking or running first thing in the morning or late at night when they are in bed – thankfully it’s summer! With less than three months to go I plan on doing as much as possible in this time. My husband is writing my training plan but currently I do one long walk of 5 miles plus, a gym session, a gym class, swimming and as many buggy walks as I can during the week. Last weekend I managed to walked up/down Beacon Hill three times – no mean feat (my aim is to do it six times!).
What do you think will be the hardest part of the challenge?
Definitely leaving my boys at home. This will be the longest time I have ever been away from them so I’ll find that tough. In terms of the trek it will be the physicality – I’m active but not overly fit and so I’m hoping teamwork will get me through the challenge when it gets hard.
How many of you are participating? Did you know them before and do you all get on well?
There will be 58 trekkers in total. I was amazed to discover that over 400 people had applied to participate. Each of us had to fill in a detailed application form that included specific questions relating to the charity and the personal significance of doing the trek and how we plan to fund raise.
I haven’t met everyone but there are 11 of us that connected straight away and have set up our own Whatsapp group. Even though I haven’t met them all they feel like best mates already. I am very fortunate that two members of the team are very local to me so we are meeting up for weekly walks and attending each other events. It’s brilliant that we have that personal connection. I do feel sorry for the men taking part – they are very much in the minority!
Who is looking after the children whilst you are away? How do you feel about leaving them?
My wonderful mother will be looking after them. I joked that this would be a great opportunity for some me time! I’m expecting it to be a huge challenge both physically and mentally and realistically I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of time to really think too much about missing them, but of course I will. To date, two nights is the longest I’ve been away from my family and even then I’ve been able to call them. Where I’m going there will be no phone signal for the whole trek and I will be in the middle of nowhere with no contact with local people until the final night.
You are on a team with Giovanna Fletcher. What was it like to meet her?
I haven’t met her yet, but I cant wait! It’ll be very exciting as I feel we have a lot in common – we both got married same year and have kids the same age.
What preparations have you made to cope with the heat and are you scared of scorpions?
It was handy when we had the heat wave (remember that?) so I went out and trained a lot but it has been difficult to really prepare for the heat this summer. All I can really do is have the right kit which will include breathable, light coloured clothes. Weirdly my only fear is frogs and thankfully there’s no water where we are headed so I think I’m safe!
Will you have to carry all your own gear and supplies on the trek?
Luckily I only have to carry my day supplies in a 20litre backpack including 3 litres of water, a first aid kit and a few other bits. I wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.
How much money are you hoping to raise? How can people support you?
I’ve hit my original target of £2,775 but I want to raise at least £3000 for the charity. I have run a few successful events but still have my pub quiz coming up so I’m hopeful I’ll get there. As a group we are focused on hitting our target of £150,000.
**UPDATE FROM REBECCA FOLLOWING OUR INTERVIEW**
With 10 weeks still to go before we head off to trek the mountains of Oman, #teamboobs have already raised an incredible £123,000 for @coppafeelpeople, absolutely incredible, so immensely proud to be part of this inspirational team of people and can’t wait to share this adventure with them ❤️
If you want to help us smash this target, please donate whatever you can