Graphic designer Mike Land may be known for his nifty artwork – however he’s also been putting his fitness fans through their paces during lockdown.
This week he’s been doing his free virtual classes – filmed in his back garden – for Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service as part of the national drive to raise vital charitable funds which would have come from the Virgin Money London Marathon.
The cancelled event, which should have taken place last weekend, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, last year raising £66.4 million for thousands of charities. Many of these charities have had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society need them most; thousands of staff have been placed on furlough. Some may simply not survive. In terms of domestic violence, it’s been estimated that calls across the UK to various relevant support organisations have increased by 700 per cent.
As a result of the cancellation of the Marathon, many people have, instead, taken on the 2.6 challenge. It involves taking part in any activity from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout with 26 friends and donating to charity at the same time.
He said, “I know in the business community I’m known as a brand strategist in other words a creative behind a desk. But, by night I’m a lycra-clad fitness junkie focussed on making the fat cry for those who attend my classes.
“With no London Marathon last weekend, we decided to do our own challenge and raise a few pounds for a local charity which really needs support right now. It’s well known that domestic violence increases dramatically during holiday periods – so who knows what lockdown is like for those who are suffering?”
Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SWA) is a free and confidential serving Swindon and the surrounding area. It supports victims of domestic violence. The team also work young people aged 16-25 years who may be experiencing domestic violence or abuse.
Mike is using his love of fitness to look on the bright side of life. Although he has more than 25 years’ experience in brand and graphic design, working with large brands like Texaco, he took the brave move to go self-employed at the beginning of 2020. Only to find himself pushed into lockdown a few weeks later.
During isolation, Mike has been live-streaming his workouts for free. They’ve proved popular.
“It’s been fun, I have to admit that standing in front of the camera for the first time, without getting feedback and banter from the group was weird. But, this is week six and I am beginning to get into a flow.
My friends know me, my style of fitness and yes, some say I am a taskmaster, but they have been returning week after week.”
As part of his 2.6 Challenge. Mike wrote a ‘ bring a bottle’ workout and asked his members to donate £2.62 for SWA. The target was set at £262 and to date he’s raised more than £450.
“I am so proud of my group of fitties and my friends. They enjoy the workouts, post, tag and share them every week. They voted for a refuge charity for the challenge and I am so glad that we have reached the target goal in such a short time”.
Mike is qualified as an L2 Gym Instructor, kettlebell, suspension training (TRX) and spinning instructor and now he takes pleasure in helping others improve their strength, power, fitness and endurance. To donate to his cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bringabottle
Pictured above: Mike Land, Nickel Design