James Piccoli started exercising daily a few years ago and now finds he can't do without his regular workout.
"Initially it was all about the endorphins afterwards," James laughed, "but now if I take a day off exercise I feel tired and drained. I'm a big advocate for fitness… it makes you feel better and it's a lot of fun."
James is part of the Telstra Titans team that has signed up for the 2012 Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge being held at Mortimer Oval on Sunday, March 4, as a fundraiser for Our Kids.
Seventeen groups have so far signed up for the event, where four-person teams complete eight gruelling challenges including strength activities such as a sandbag carry and tyre flip, running, swimming and an outdoor obstacle course. The fittest team will take home the Samson Title.
Telstra is entering three teams and James said his team members have been training for about three months in preparation for the day. He said there's a real camaraderie that develops through training together and friends who don't want to compete often help out in a support capacity.
"Last year a mate ran beside me the whole way carrying water bottles and things - all in thongs and jeans," James laughed. "At the end of the day when everyone from the different teams came together again at the oval, that was my favourite bit. We talk about the results and it feels like an accomplishment - plus I really like the way the teams look out for each other and lend a hand to help if anyone's struggling."
Donna Bashforth from Telstra said as a major sponsor of Our Kids they like to physically get involved in any fundraising events, plus it's beneficial for inter-work relationships.
"It's fantastic for team building - we're a large organisation and it's easy for us to get stuck in our own little worlds," Donna said. "It's great for bringing the different departments together."
All teams have to do is raise $300 to enter - which can be raised pretty quickly through raffles or BBQs, James said.
"We knocked one team's entry over in one day."
Our Kids would love more teams to join the Samson Fitness Challenge, but if you're worried that you're physically not quite prepared, you can always sign up to be a volunteer marshal on the day.
"There are many people in Lismore who enjoy keeping fit and this event is a way for them to put their body to the test while at the same time helping to support local children at Lismore Base Hospital," said Rebekka Battista from Our Kids. She isn't taking part but has been training with some of the teams in a show of solidarity.
For more information, to register for the event or volunteer, phone Our Kids on 6620 2705 or visit www.lismoresamson.com.
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