Richmond and Digme At Home regular Dany recently completed the 100 class in 100 days challenge. We caught up with Dany off of the back of the challenge to talk all things false starts, what motivated him and challenge highlights!
What made you decided to take part in the challenge?
Following the first lockdown, the founder (Caoimhe) did 100 rides in 100 days and I attended many of the classes and it made me rethink what is possible and to re-evaluate how high I set the bar for myself. I saw others complete the challenge and some raise money for a good cause. It was truly inspirational. I also wanted to test myself and set an example for the kids to follow. My plan was to go public around day 80.
We understand you have had some false starts/ obstacles along the way within the challenge - could you talk us through those?
I started my first attempt in September 2020, played tennis and did weights at the same time. I wanted to improve my max watt output and started heavier weights for squats etc. This proved too much for my body and I developed plantar fasciitis and achilles pain forcing me to stop the challenge. I took a break and restarted the challenge (without weights / tennis) but it resurfaced and I fell far behind on the rides. I thought that I would need to restart it again after easter and an upcoming holiday.
Talk us through the physical/mental challenges within the challenge and how have you got through those?
The challenge is obviously physically taxing but also mentally. I thought to myself, mentally I cannot do this from the start again for a third time. I created a spreadsheet to understand how far behind I was. On day 64, I was on ride 47 and 17 rides behind. I was not sure I could do the catch up so kept quiet and only told a couple of Digme staff. In the last ~20 rides I felt the injury again and have a partial ACL tear in my knee (from prior) of which I needed to be careful. I had to lower my maximum gear and increase the cadence to compensate (near the end my average cadence was above 90 in classes). In the final week I it hurt when I stood up on the bike so had to remain seated. I completed 53 rides in the last 35 days and my body felt completely drained but just got there thanks to the supportive community.
When did you start coming to Digme and do you remember your first classes?
I had tennis elbow developed from tennis and heavy lifting in my parents move from Liverpool to London. I did some spin classes at other places while taking a break from tennis, but got frustrated when the people asked for the volume to be put down or the lights put up and the lack of data
Digme did a special class for the kids’ primary school in January 2019. I remember at the end of class Dan asked me if I liked the class and I said “that was amazing, when are your classes?” After showering he came and gave me a piece of paper with the times of classes and I was amazed how much the staff cared about the customer experience. For decades pace bowling and squash were a big part of my life (when you can let it out) and I also really loved dance / trance music ……Digme was the perfect fit. After that I started going all the time and discovered other types of classes and recently had my 650th class!
You are raising money for Mind charity - talk us through the decision to support such a wonderful mental health charity
The ramifications of covid took its toll mentally on so so many (of all ages). During lockdown, friends supported me when I was down and I supported other friends. Also, prior to covid, two friends’ brothers took their own lives. Mind is a UK mental health charity that provides support whether stressed, depressed or in crisis as well as to 11 to 18 year olds. It is such a critically important charity to many in their moment of need.
Are there any standout moments you can think of within the challenge?
There are five moments that stand out for me. Dan’s stag ride before his wedding when he was made to wear a Chelsea shirt (he loves Liverpool), when Caoimhe completed her 100th ride, the ride into lockdown (a feel good 9pm class the night before the second lockdown) and of course Fabric.
On one ride my legs were completely gone and I was really struggling / hurting. A member on the bike next to me patted me on the back and gave me some words of encouragement in the middle of class. So many members were supportive and I have never received so much good will (to complete the challenge safely) . The energy / vibe in the final class with all my music was incredible.... I loved seeing people really enjoy the class. Going for it at the very end and not having to worry about how I would do a class the following day if the injury got worse also felt amazing!!
All had an incredibly positive feel good vibe and a real community inclusive feeling with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. When others completed their 100th rides was obviously really nice as well.
Congratulations Dany and thank you for all of the effort, energy and good vibes you always bring to both the studio and our digital platform!