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INSPIRE: Day 0 - The Pre-Amble



BMEc have entered the building. The Shard building, to be exact.

The Commit to Get Fit challenge officially starts tomorrow but thanks to Faith cycling in to work:

Bannier on a Bike

And Austin's morning work-out, the team have already made it to floor 1 (Reception):



And we found ourselves ambling (or pre-ambling) across the treacherous terrain of the Boundary Walk, where we battled slightly-muddy-ground and inclines. 

Here is a photo of us before the walk started, glowing with naive optimism and youthful vigour:

Left to Right: Slenderman, Faith Hill, Dermot, Mayday, Texas, Hil.M.i

No 'after' photo was taken, out of respect for the survivors.

Elsewhere, Brinyan, Layla and Becky tried their hands (wrists?) at volleyball and survived with little or no permanent scarring.

All-in-all, things are set to be excellent and with a little (s)hard work, we're bound to make it to the top!


BMEc - BMotivated; Eliminate competition

INSPIRE - Climbing the Shard in 30 Days



Working in an office can be hazardous to one's health - there's always plates of cakes around, there's no fresh air because the windows have been glued shut and you have to spend 8.5 hours a day (not that I'm counting) sitting next to someone who insists on sneezing on you.

So here at BMEc, we have decided to take part in this year's Commit to Get Fit challenge. Aside from all our individual goals, we will also be working on a team goal, INSPIRE...


The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union. As a team, BMEc is committing to climbing the Shard in 30 days, floor by floor.

The building is about 80 floors high and made up of different levels – offices, restaurants and hotels. If we say that 2 hours of activity equals 1 floor, it will take us about 160 hours to climb. That’s 16 hours per person, 4 hours per week per person.

Levels in the Shard

Ground Floor: Entrance
1 – 2: Reception
3 – 28: Offices
31 – 33: Restaurants
34 – 52: Shangri-La Hotel
53 – 65: Residences
68 – 72: The View from the Shard
73 – 87: Spire

When we get to the 80th floor, we will all be in the spire. We will all be… INSPIRE.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate competition

INSPIRE: Day 7 - The Ladies and the Trampoline



It's day 7 of the challenge and we're bouncing higher and higher towards the spire:

Ola Squash

Mostly thanks to Juliet's vigorous walking over the weekend. Don't ask my why she goes walking through the woods at 5am in the morning for hours on end - she just does.

Faith and Mailea took a leap of faith (and Mailea) and went trampolining for the first time last Friday:

Leap of Faith and Mailea

And some of the Admin team went for Badminton (which would make it Adminton, of course):


Ola and I went for Table Tennis (Ping Pong) but alas we forgot to take a photo because we were too busy having fun. As compensation, here are a few phrases that also end in -ing -ong:

1) King Kong

2) Ding dong

3) Sing-song


Also of note is Sam going for Thai Boxing, which has inspired me to go for Thai Curry tonight.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate competition

INSPIRE: Day 13 - Highway to Hell-thy Eating



It's day 13 and we are 31 floors up the vertical highway that is the Shard. We've reached what is probably the best part - the restaurants. 

To celebrate we decided to have a pot luck lunch, but there was a catch! Everyone had to bring in something healthy. That's right, no quiches, no sausage rolls, nothing with loads of fat or flavour.

Day 13


The result was actually incredible (or should I say, incr-edible?). We had a lovely range of food from Quinoa salad with kale and pomegranate to a bean-type coriander deal with courgette pretending to be lemon:


To a fritata (Hakuna Fritata):


To chicken liver pate (high in iron and protein):


To fresh fruit:


I brought in a peanut butter tart, which wasn't repulsive despite not having any cream or butter in the mousse:


All in all, it was an excellent meal - very healthy and yet very satisfying (especially if you have 4 slices of fritata and half the tart to yourself and then start eating the pate with a spoon). I feel slimmer already.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition


INSPIRE: Day 26 - To Infinity and Fris-beyond



It's day 26 of the challenge and in reality the BMEc team is pretty near to the Spire already, somehow slipping out of control and whirling to the the top like a frisbee gone mad - an over-eager, very keen frisbee.

But I didn't want to rush to the top without stopping off at the Shangri-La Hotel for a little rest and contemplation:

 day 26

When things get busy at work, it's easy to forget that you don't live in the office and that weekends aren't just for recovering from office trauma (in fact, I spent my bank holiday recovering from trauma suffered during prolonged badminton on Friday).

I count myself very lucky to be working for a university. For a very brief, dark period in my life I worked in a pastry kitchen. And when I say dark, I mean dark because I started work at 3am everyday. But it was also a bleak lifestyle - no weekends, no Bank holidays, no extended Easter holiday (thank you, Sussex), no Christmas off (well, Christmas day, but that was about it). The whole work/life balance concept is extraordinarily alien to those working in the private sector.

And so what are we doing working late, taking work home, checking emails and lying in bed at night worrying about how many invoices you have to raise in Agresso? (Incidentally, the answer is 450 invoices). 

I am very proud of how the BMEc team have done. Instead of saying 'I'm far to busy to do trampolining today', everyone has been able to shut work down for an hour and try something new. In fact, in just a couple of weeks, the team have tried their hand at frisbee:


Two trapeze in a pod:



More archery:


And a couple of people are practicing for the Boundary Run:


Run, (through the) Forrest, Run!


Let's hope once the Commit to Get Fit challenge is over, that people remember to not let work take over and relax once in a while! 


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition

INSPIRED: May the Sports be with You



 Well, Commit to Get Fit 2014 has come to an end and so has our team goal challenge. So how did we do?

Let's just say that we are all... INSPIRED.


It's been a very long May but thanks to our combined efforts, I can say that June is definitely not bustin' out all over. 

Why, just take a look at these stunning before/after photos:




What were the highlights? Well, Ola went from barely being able to run 2k in 17 minutes before collapsing in a heap of sweat and BO to being able to run 7.4k in 50 minutes. That's her entire journey home from the office. She can, literally, run home.

Ola also organised a Walk to Lewes (a project I took the liberty of renaming 'WHAT'CHU WALKIN' 'BOUT, LEWES?).

Faith cycled enough total distance to get from Brighton to Sheffield, Mailea learned how to kick-box, Ian finally came to badminton class and Brinyan, believe it or not, is now a full-fledged Gold member of SussexSport.

And myself? Aside from popping a balloon at archery after almost giving up, I have to say I've enjoyed most of all seeing the team pull together and really make an effort to reach our goal. Our three receptionists in particular have been fantastic (note for Christopher Nolan fans - 'Reception: Team within a Team').

And how high up did we all eventually get? Well, taking 2 hours of activity as translating to 1 floor of the Shard, we got to floor...


Well done, everyone!

... except that the Shard only has 87 floors. Which leaves us in a bit of a pickle.

Which is why, I am pleased to announce that we not only climbed the Shard but we also climbed up a little bit of the Gherkin too:



BMEC: Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition