Finleigh Giselle is set to take on her biggest charity challenge yet next week as she takes on the Three Peak Challenge, starting early in the morning on Tuesday and finishing at the same time on the Wednesday morning in the mammoth 24 hour challenge.
Dan Andrade sat down with Finleigh to discuss her previous challenges, why she does them for certain charities close to her heart and much more.
Have you always been sporty?
Not really! I was more into my dancing when I was younger and the only actual sport I did was swimming. There is no real sports background for me, but I am very competitive which is why I like the challenges that I do!
What are the challenges that you have done previously?
I started doing challenges back in 2016 and I have done a good mix over the years. I did Race For Life every year from 2016-2017 and as someone who isn’t sporty running 5km was a challenge! In 2018 we put on a show in the Opera House in memory of my mum. It was a massive production and I sang in front of a full Opera House so that was a different type of challenge but one which was emotional and also quite nerve-wracking in front of all of those people. In 2019 my step dad and I jumped out of a plane, doing a sky dive here in Jersey! I really loved that and was excited for so that was more of a challenge for my step dad if anything! In 2020 I was living in London and was training towards a White Collar Boxing event over there but with everything that happened that obviously got cancelled due to Covid. Then last year I did 16,000 steps every day in April for Bowl Cancer UK. I try and do something every year to raise money and to also put myself in a position where I am challenging myself.
What is the Three Peaks Challenge?
They do the National Three Peaks Challenge every year. That is Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales! They are the three tallest mountains in their three respective countries and you climb all of them in 24 hours! I start at 7:30am on the Tuesday and finish 7:30am on the Wednesday. They average between 4-6 hours each to climb and takes a similar amount of time to get transported from one to the other. Although I am flying over by myself, I will be doing it with a group of people who have also signed up to the challenge and I am looking forward to that side of things, meeting new people and learning why they are doing the challenge.
How do you train for this challenge when in Jersey?
Lots and lots of walking! I walk to and from work every day, and then on weekends I have been getting out and doing long walks. In the gym I have been doing a lot of cardio, a lot of incline walking and jogging and the stair master has become my new best friend! It has been about building my stamina, and also strength so I have done weight training too. Yoga is another one, as they suggest to do it so your body is more flexible and doesn’t seize up as much. You can do the cliff paths but they don’t compare to the mountains! My concern is more about the getting back down, as here you can practice going slightly down, but there it is literally up and then very much down for a long period of time. I am having to prepare mentally too, telling myself over and over that I can and will complete this challenge!
What charities are you doing it for?
Jersey Hospice Care has been my main focus for the last couple of years. My mum passed away in 2015. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer in 2014 and after 14 months she passed away in the November. Jersey Hospice Care was a huge part of her journey as they were there weekly, and then they had respite care and that is where she passed. For mum, it was a place for her to go and exist with her illness. Mum was a very strong, very stubborn lady which was very inspiring, but at the same time she didn’t let you in to the worry that she had, which we all knew she had. Hospice allowed her to take that mask off, and it is such a wonderful place because it was a safe place for her to do that. I always say that they pick the kindness people in Jersey and put them all at Hospice because they are all so lovely. They have been such a big support for me, I have had bereavement counselling there on and off for the past seven years. The more support they can get the more they can do for islanders, and I know they do a brilliant job in supporting you when you don’t know how to support yourself.
Dementia Jersey is the second amazing charity. My Papa died in August and he had a long battle of Dementia and as a family we were really affected by it. He was married to my nan for 58 years, and been together over 60 years. He was such a huge part of our family and to see him go from being the life and soul, always singing and always laughing to slowly forgetting everything about himself and forgetting all of us. The work that Dementia Jersey does is huge. They support and teach families about Dementia, as I don’t think enough people have the knowledge about it. Any support that they can get to both help those affected and to spread the word, and teach the wider community about Dementia the better.
These challenges are so important as a way for me to raise money for charities as they are so selfless in what they do and they really do help people through really tough periods of their lives. On the day my Mum and Papa will be the forefront of my mind a lot, but also knowing that I am doing it for these charities and they are going to be benefiting from the money donated is making me want to complete it even more.
How has the support been so far and how can people donate?
I got very lucky as I posted a while ago that I was doing it and someone from SportsGiving messaged me, and she set up a fundraising page for me on SportsGiving! My friends are brilliant as well, every year they share and donate what they can whatever challenge I am doing. Every like, every share, every comment and every donation is so lovely because nobody has to do anything, there is no obligation. I feel very lucky for the support I receive every year. People can donate through the link if they want to do it that way, if they want to donate to the charities direct they can do so through their websites.
How ready are you for the challenge!
I am very nervous, but I am confident that I can do it because I feel I have the push and determination to finish it. I am keen to do it too as I have wanted to do it for a while now so to know I am going next week is exciting, even if I am a bit nervous too! I am very excited to climb Ben Nevis, as it will be that thing where you can say you have climbed the highest mountain in the UK. It has come around so quickly, and now it is here I just want to get on and do it!
What challenges could be next for you?
The White Collar Boxing has been on my mind since December 2020 and I do think that will be really good fun. In the future I would love to do another mountain, Mount Blanc or Mount Kilimanjaro. I quite fancy a rowing challenge too as it is different but would be cool and would challenge myself in a different way. Another sky dive would be class too, maybe a little bit higher, or even a bungee jump. I didn’t know about the Three Peaks Challenge this time last year and now I am a week away from completing it, so there are so many options that might crop up that I may fancy in the future, we will just have to wait and see! I love challenging myself and love raising money for charity so I will keep on doing just that!
It was great to speak with Finleigh and we wish her all he best of luck for Tuesday! If you would like to donate just click this link: https://sportsgiving.co.uk/sponsorship/entry/593206?fbclid=IwAR3g2Nl9PBjp5T6ENc6Q41nUHdLgUvLYQgx3SvsXhVwmsd8qYRkUkKyILKU