Pushing boundaries

We’re going to be well truly out of our comfort zone at Leuchie House in September. In the best possible way!

First up, on Friday 8 September, eleven local people who’ve never danced in front of an audience before will take to the floor of Haddington Corn Exchange in the Strictly Leuchie dance competition. Performing with a professional dance partner in front of around 450 people, they’ll each put themselves firmly in the spotlight with a fast-paced dance routine they’ve had only a few weeks to get to grips with.

Then the following weekend, 33 brave souls will tackle one of the UK’s toughest endurance races as they take on Total Warrior for Leuchie. With the aim of completing 30 punishing obstacles ranging from ‘peaks of pain’ to ‘death valley’, combined with a 10K run, they’ll go through several hours of demanding physical exertion to raise money for our charity.

So what makes someone choose to put themselves in a position where they’re testing themselves to the limit like this?

While everyone will clearly have their own personal drivers and motivations, from what our supporters tell us, pushing boundaries is the common and recurring theme.

At societal level, it’s about shouting out and standing up for a cause you feel passionately about, helping make a difference and change the future, even in a small way.

At personal level, it’s about proving something to yourself, taking yourself out of your comfort zone, doing it just because it’s there to be done, and seeing what you are physically and mentally capable of. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

The rewards on both levels can be enormous.

This resonates so much with the way we see our guests push their own personal boundaries when they come to Leuchie. Whether it’s going back to horse and carriage driving after you’ve had a stroke, or going from a wheelchair to a microlight, or even pushing forward with a physiotherapy routine, we see the transformational impact of this every day.

So as we look towards the glitter and sparkle of Strictly Leuchie next week, there’s only one way to sign off this week’s column - with the words of dearly departed Mr Forsyth: “Keep dancing!”

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in the East Lothian Courier, 31 August 2017.