Former NPA chairman Richard Longthorp has completed his extraordinary January press-ups challenge in support of fellow Parkinson’s sufferers, raising more than £18,000 so far.
The Yorkshire pig farmer has done at least 1,000 press-up per day throughout January in what he described as a ‘tough and relentless challenge’. This included 2,000 on the last day, taking his total for the month to 33,217.
“I was so pumped up this morning I started banging them out fast and found, to my surprise, that whilst generally harder work, it was less painful on the pecs. Then the endorphins kicked in and all of a sudden 2,000 seemed on the cards. So I did 1400 early morning followed by 400 midday leaving 200 for this evening,” he said in his latest post today.
He had initially factored in some rest days in his plan, but ended going through January without missing a day of at least 1,000 press ups.
Richard, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017. He has responded by taking up boxing, joining local Parkinson’s Boxing Groups, which he said has been hugely beneficial in helping to live with this ‘bloody disease’.
He has embarked on his extraordinary challenge of doing 1,000 press-ups a day in January to raise money for two local boxing clubs that run these groups, St Paul’s Boxing Club, in Hull, and Goole Amateur Boxing Club, and Parkinson’s UK.
On Monday morning, the total donated stood at £15,554, which when Gift Aid is added, comes to more than £18,000.
- You can still donate on Richard’s Just Giving page, where you will find a day-by-day account of the challenge.
In his latest post, Richard said it had been ‘as much if not more an emotional journey as a physical one!’
“The human body and brain are incredibly resilient,” he said. “Einstein’s statement that energy can neither be created nor destroyed is WRONG! To be replaced by Longthorp’s Law which states that the force generated by common and combined purpose albeit delivered through a single entity is far greater than the power of that single entity – and that is what is awesome.
“The challenge itself was far tougher than I ever expected so, yes, I was wrong and everybody else was right. BUT I have to ask – would, say 500 press-ups a day, have had the same impact on publicity/awareness and the amount of funds raised? I don’t think so. Consequently I feel the choice of 1000 was vindicated.
“Parkinson’s, for me anyway, certainly messes with the brain’s emotional capacity. So, whilst the physical challenge was tough, on occasion the emotional challenge became near overwhelming with such a constant flow of exceedingly generous and flattering comments humbling me in extremis. All those comments however were greatly appreciated and of far more benefit in motivating me to get the job done than anything physical.
“Feelings as I come to the end of this little January jaunt? Tired, aching and humbled but extremely fortunate that I have had so much support and privileged to be in a position where I am able to take the opportunity to do a little bit of good for a community (Parkinson’s) where public provision is somewhat inconsistent, disjointed and perhaps too narrowly focussed on medication.
“But in the final analysis I have to say, 1000 press-ups a day must be far more preferable to “Dry January”! I mean what IS that all about?
“At the end of the day, I set out with 2 objectives – to raise awareness and raise funds for provision. I would like to think that with your help both those objectives have been achieved and even surpassed.”
Richard received support from across the farming community and among fellow Parkinson’s sufferers, while former international rugby players James Haskell and Mike Tindall gave their support, even it the former took some convincing that it was even possible.
Regional BBC news also picked up on the challenge and the story behind it.
To support Richard and donate, there is a GoFundMe page administered by the Rotary Club of Howden – a registered charity and also registered for Gift Aid.
See also, the St Pauls Parkinson’s Punchers Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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