My name is Mike Pierrepoint I’m a Nottingham born guy and I now live in Colwick. I run a promo business called Bloom Promo Ltd and I own a music business and record label called DooBeDoo Music Ltd. I’m also a qualified masseur.
In 2013 I lost my best mate Adam (who lived in Australia) to suicide and when this happened it made me investigate mental health a lot more than I previously understood. People have a blasé attitude towards suicide especially and that in itself can be the problem as to why 3/4 of all suicides in the UK are men…Men do not tend to talk. 12 men a day, 84 a week just in the UK it’s a statistic that I want to try and help change.
I came up with the idea of 50 challenges before I’m 50, this focussed on not only raising funds for CALM (thecalmzone.net) who are an amazing charity who try and prevent male suicide but more importantly to raise awareness about a subject people tend to sweep under the carpet, unless they are faced with it directly as I was.
So, on my 49th birthday September 6th, 2018, I announced that I would be doing 50 challenges before I turned 50, I invited people to challenge me and gave myself a target of raising £5k for CALM. I never knew where this may take me or what I would be doing but it turned out to be quite a life changing and amazing experience.
It began with a Tattoo of The MOD logo, a target (as Adam was a MOD) and with a heartbeat through it to signify keeping his memory alive. The challenges varied from the daft like landing a tortilla on my face to more challenging ones like a 50k bike ride, The Tough Mudder (10mile assault course), eating 10 brussels (I HATE them), massaging people for 12 hours and performing a stand-up comedy routine. There were also more enjoyable ones like lawnmower racing, being an official photographer at Splendour fest, riding the fastest zipwire in the world, shooting a fantastic array of guns, knife and axe throwing and hurtling around Donnington racetrack as a passenger in a racing Porsche & Ford GT. Then were the painful ones like 100 press-ups in one go (that about finished me off), learning to ride a unicycle and being totally waxed from the neck down. Also more poignant ones like writing and releasing a song about Adam and then getting over 7k views on youtube – see //www.youtube.com/watch?v=HocwBsyVyYw.
So, I’d set myself the challenge and it culminated on my 50th when I had a birthday/charity bash where I would have the challenge of auctioning off a piece of art created and donated to me but also to perform the stand-up comedy routine. The comedy was going to be the 50th challenge but I made it the 51st because of one very important reason.
Back in Sept 2018 when I announced the challenges on my 49th birthday, one of my mates John Pollard who lives in Oz challenged me to have a beer on the beach in Perth Australia where Adam’s ashes were scattered. After mentioning it to my wife Joey, we realised we just couldn’t afford it. BUT…what I didn’t know was that for 2 years Joey has been putting money away for a surprise holiday for us to go to Kuala Lumpur, Bali, and Borneo, when she realised that Bali was a 5 hour flight from Perth she amazingly arranged for me to be there on that beach to toast my mate and I guess hypothetically say a final farewell to him. So that would be my 50th challenge and it meant the absolute world to me to do that. To see where he lived, drank, worked and died actually helped fill in a mental jigsaw of missing pieces that I didn’t realise were actually missing.
With 2 weeks to go I had raised about £3200.00 and I really thought I wouldn’t hit my target…how wrong I was. The donations came flooding in near the end of the challenges, but I had also agreed to do a 52nd challenge of massaging the competitors at the finish of a 10k running event in Somerset on my return for a very generous £500 donation, I could not turn this down. Amazingly I have now raised around £7700.00 of which I’m really quite proud of.
What have I learned? …There are many very kind, beautiful people out there that I’m very lucky to call my friends who have been not only so supportive, but thoughtful and kind in their comments but their donations and presents to me have been very humbling.
The overall lesson throughout all of this is how damn valuable, precious and beautiful life is. Make the effort to love and be very appreciative of the people around you, look after them, talk to them, help them and let them know what they mean to you because one day out of blue they may not be there any longer and that’s a heart-breaking lesson you don’t want to have to learn.
I cannot thank my Wife, all of my mates and Facebook friends enough… for all of their support throughout, I could not have done it without all of you and to all the people who challenged me because you literally made it one of the best years of my life. As my wife said to me when she presented me with the holiday of a lifetime and the trip to Adams beach… “Life is for living” and that’s exactly what we are going to do.
- Mike Pierrepoint
See www.pips5050challenge.co.uk to see all the challenges and scroll to the bottom of the page if you would like to donate.