"We don't stop until we're done"
These were Spencer's words when, a week away from the big event, we had less than 10% of our fundraising target achieved.
The Love Mud challenge is a 7 km muddy obstacle race in Essex that our team joins every year for charity. It has obstacles with names like "Death Slide", "Terror Traverse" and "Vertigo". It's a ton of fun with a mix of friendly competition and moments where we help each other face our fears.
When we first signed up in the early spring, our goal of raising £250 per person seemed completely achievable. We'd done it before. And this meant we'd be able to donate £2500 to Agents Giving, which goes a long way to help a lot of important charities at once.
When Covid reached London the Love Mud was cancelled. We shifted our focus to where we could help our community the most in lockdown, collecting and donating food items to local residents who couldn’t leave their homes.
When it was announced that the Love Mud was back on in October, we were excited, but we also had a problem. We had very little time to try to raise donations. We also had a small fraction of our original team participating because of necessary safety measures.
With just over £200 raised and days to go before the race, I thought, "There's absolutely no way we'll make it to £2500. We'll just have to do what we can and be thankful that we have the chance to race for our cause at all."
I should have known, that's not how we do things at Paramount.
In Spencer's words, "We have a goal. We're going to reach it, whatever it takes."
Well, he wasn't wrong! Over the next few days I witnessed the most amazing rally of support from our network. Spencer, Adam, Leighton, and members of our team who weren't even racing sent our fundraising link out to everyone they could, and the donations came pouring in.
Over a couple of days our meager £200 climbed all the way up to our original target of £2500, and it kept going! By race day we had raised a whopping £4180 with gift aid. I couldn't believe it. And not only that, we received a ton of supportive messages from our families, friends, Owners, and industry colleagues.
All that was left to do was race.
On a cold and rainy October morning, Spencer and his son met Adam, Leighton and I at the event grounds. Because of the weather and strict Covid safety measures, there wasn't any of the excitement and celebration in the air that we'd seen in previous years. For everyone that stuck it out and showed up, the day was about getting the job done.
After a brisk, socially distanced warm up in the rain, it was time to go. It wasn't long before we were all shivering, drenched in mud from head to toe, and taking every obstacle they could throw at us like a personal challenge. If any of us had a fear of heights, we didn't have time to object as the organisers kept us all moving as quickly as they could, "motivating" us off of walls and ledges like school headmasters.
All in all it took our team about two hours to complete the course. Personally I can say that I've never willingly charged into ice-cold water so many times, or cared so little about repeatedly losing a shoe in ankle-deep mud.
Adam had this to say: "I loved it once we got going, when we were warm and running around! The best obstacle has to have been the deathslide. It was so much fun. The hardest was the monkey bars, when your hands were covered in mud and you had no upper body strength left, it was tough going."
Adam impressed us all with his posing skills when we got the photos back.
None of us will forget that moment when we hit the water. It was so cold it could take your breath away!
The obstacles were challenging, and I'm so proud of our team for making it through with an amazing attitude all around. It was all about what we were doing for our charity.
Agents Giving donates funds to all of these charities here, in addition to helping agents across the UK run their own fundraising events for what matters in their local communities. The important thing is that with their help, we can focus our efforts on what actually matters to you.
Is that supporting local foodbanks? Donating to a cancer support centre like Maggie's? Getting involved with organisations that help to reduce homelessness?
Tell us what matters to you. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think will benefit our community most. We're up for the challenge!