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Beating the Three Peaks – together

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In February six members of our senior management team set themselves the task of completing the Three Peaks Challenge – walking the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.

This gave us five months training to get in shape for what started to look a bigger and bigger challenge as it drew nearer.

The team – made up of Jeremy Edwards, Paul Moore, Rob Scutchings, Mark Vaux, Mike Andrews and I – set about the task. Unlike one of the hyper-fit Sabio ‘elite’ teams that took part last year, this year was different. We are a group of varying fitness levels, ages and hill-walking experience – for us the measure of success would be how we could push our boundaries, support each other in the process, and collectively achieve our ambitious Three Peaks target.

Knowing that climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours would be hard work. We took a formal approach to training, incorporating updates into our weekly management updates which were overseen by Paul Moore, our resident fitness coach and mentor Team meetings always started with some degree of training; an early morning run, circuit training and some trained by climbing Snowdon to give them an idea of what lay ahead.

So how did we get on? Well it didn’t go entirely to plan! An injury on Ben Nevis, a medical emergency at home and a delayed flight from Lyon hampered the progress. Whilst all three peaks were achieved in a little under 13 hours (23 hours including 10 hours driving time for the three Peaks Challenge), it was how we supported each other on the challenge that was memorable.

Each individual either needed encouragement or gave encouragement as we collectively conquered the three highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales. When the tiredness, pain and energy levels all kick in, it was the support from the other team members that ensured that we were successful.

Team photo of Sabio's Senior Management taking on the Three Peaks challengeI feel that our group can look back on our own Three Peaks Challenge with real pride and accomplishment. It’s true what they say – that climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon is 75% psychological and only 25% physical, although sometimes it felt the other way round. As a group exercise, it was enormously successful. When your colleagues have helped you up or down a mountain, it makes some of our more day-to-day issues seem less challenging.

In true Sabio style, we haven’t allowed our blisters to heal before we started looking for the next project – a harder challenge! We think the benefits of the team building were brilliant and now want to roll the initiative out across other Sabio departments. Suggestions so far include rowing the length of the Thames, Swimming the Channel or a Strictly-style ballroom dancing competition. No doubt Sabio has some expertise in these skill sets, but it’s the way these experts can transfer their skills to other team members and motivate them that will develop real team strengths. Watch this space for our next challenge, or let me know if you have any great ideas!

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