Paula and George find their 401!

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

When I saw that The 401 Foundation were launching a new challenge called #findyour401 in January 2021 I thought to myself what a completely awesome idea! I loved the concept that I could sign up and decide what MY challenge would be for January. I’ve been enjoying taking part in the 401 Challenge virtual USA mission for nearly a year, running and walking my way across America virtually but I’d developed an annoying foot niggle (Plantar Fasciitis) last Summer that just wouldn’t go away. In lockdown last year I’d started running and walking much more frequently to cope with my growing feelings of anxiety caused by what was going on in the world. I was also doing P.E with Joe every day with my 10 year old son and I fear I probably overdid the pikachu’s, spider man lunges and duck walks! Fast forward to January this year and I decided that my challenge would be 401 minutes of yoga stretching for January in order to try and get rid of my foot injury or at the very least help me to relax.

Once I’d mentioned it to my son, he was determined to join in too! George had started to play the saxophone in October 2019 at his primary school as we have an excellent music service here in South East Wales.

There were many negatives to the lockdown last year of course, but one of the most positive things for George was learning to play the saxophone. He was able to have a lesson every week via zoom and he discovered that he was really good at it and it made him feel good. He also started to tinker about on a keyboard we have and the tinkering about progressed to finding stuff on YouTube to help him learn how to play properly. George resolved to teach himself to play the piano because he felt it would be an amazing achievement. When I asked him what his #findyour401 challenge would be the obvious answer to him was to practice playing the piano for 401 minutes in January!

The ethos behind the #findyour401 challenge is inclusivity, kindness and encouragement. The Facebook group is comprised of wonderful people who cheered both myself and George on when we posted videos and photos of what we were doing. I felt the warmth and friendship from so many people, it was a joy to see what everyone was doing and to applaud what other people were accomplishing too. When I was feeling low (due to my foot injury seemingly worsening rather than healing) I would read other members’ posts and feel inspired and a bit more positive in myself.

There was so much positivity and good will in the group that the challenge has continued through February and will finish at the end of March. We just didn’t want such an amazing thing to end! I knew it was a c

ompletely brilliant idea but I hadn’t expected it to become this awesome force for good!

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