Day 1 of Team Allstars
How to motivate 10 people who have learning disabilities who have not really been out since the lockdown started was my first task. They we all aware of us taking part in the Miles for Mind challenge and that this was going to be part of our daily exercise and they were all up for it when I explained it to them by D-day had arrived and I was met with "I can't be bothered', "Its going to rain " or "I will do it tomorrow". This did not put me off but made me more determined to get them up and out of their houses to take part.
After thinking about how to do this I put my plan in place and started with two gentlemen who have down syndrome and in their late 50s and whose mobility is not great, I suggested that we went for a short walk round the block whilst the sun was shining and was met with a yes from them both, coats on and one put his hat and gloves on as he won't leave home without putting them on. Fifteen minutes later (it was a slow walk but met with smiles on the way) we had walked round the block.
Next up was their housemate who said they could run faster than me (I run and my PB on a 5k is 33 minutes) so I was up for the challenge and we did a warm up and were ready for our run, I gave them a head start and they got to the end of the and was worn out so we went for a long walk and covered about a mile. Three down and 7 to go, what had I done suggesting we would do this but I was not going to be defeated. Two of them like going out on their bikes so I managed to convince them to go for a bike ride as they really were not up for a walk.
Next up was a lady in her 60s who has downs syndrome and the words that I was met with are not printable or were the hand signs she was making at me (note she was laughing as she was doing this) She was not for doing anything but as she likes bottled water I used this as a bargaining tool as a reward at the end. We only managed to go out of the front door and walk round to the back of the house and through the back gate but we had done it.
Four left and I was running our of ideas and these were the tough cookies that I had to crack. Then I remembered two of them are allowed to walk to the shops so here was my plan I would walk to the shops with each of them and be crafty and not tell them that they had just done their but for the Miles for Mind challenge, so two trips to the shops and we had done it.
Last but not least we the toughest cookies yet who hate any form of exercise and I was running out of ideas but came up with the plan of that it was tbeir housework day so we would count their steps doing the hoovering, dusting and other jobs and I would make them work a little harder.
I came home from work pleased that I managed to a certain extent to achieving what I wanted to do but I also know that this is going to be a big struggle for some of them as they have had to stop doing their normal activities such as doing voluntary work, food shopping, going to day centres or bowling but I'm a woman on a mission and we can do this.