Lynn attempts to keep Young at heart with her 50/50 challenge

Lynn Young who is trying to encourage people to take up the 50/50 challenge.
Lynn Young who is trying to encourage people to take up the 50/50 challenge.

FEELING fab at 50 is high on the priority list of Kelso fitness fanatic Lynn Young – and although she still has more than five years to go the motto ‘no time like the present’ is also being brought into play.

And, having been diagnosed with a heart condition almost three years ago, it’s perhaps fitting that the latest task to be undertaken by the mother-of-two will also raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

In recognition of the charity’s milestone, and to help in her own battle to beat the winter blues, Lynn has invented the 50/50 challenge and is inviting Borderers of all shapes, sizes and abilities to join in.

She told TheSouthern: “I’ve been a bit lazy, you see, and I have been so busy that I have not been able to fit in much running or exercise for myself. I have, therefore, put on a little bit of weight and I am also not as fit as I used to be.

“Sound familiar? Yes, we have all been there. So this is my challenge to everyone to match my challenge.”

Lynn will undertake 50 different physical challenges over the course of 50 days (see panel to left of page), starting on the first day of the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Month in February. Some of the challenges are fairly easy as they have to fit in with Lynn’s busy work/life schedule and some are very challenging – she also intends to give up chocolate and alcohol for the duration.

She added: “I needed a challenge to kick-start myself back into getting fit again so this is what I came up with. Only 50 days out of my year. One day I will do 50 lengths of the pool, another I will cycle 50 miles. I don’t think I could run 50 miles in one day (or could I?) so I might do that over five days. Fifty sit-ups are too easy for me so I have decided that 250 is more of a challenge, so for one of the days I will do 250 sit ups, 150 press-ups, 50 minutes on the rowing machine, etc.”

Lynn currently teaches PE three days a week at Duns Primary School as well as coaching badminton at Kelso High School.

Having always been involved in active sport, Lynn, who never smoked or drank to excess, was devastated in June 2008 when she began to notice symptoms such as breathlessness and tiredness after undertaking the simplest of tasks.

After visiting the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh where she had an angiogram, she discovered that she had three partially-blocked arteries to her heart. She now has to take seven tablets a day for the rest of her life.

“My heart condition is kept stable with medication, but it’s still not as I would like it to be,” she told us. “I still get breathless when I am dancing at parties, if I go out walking after a meal and at the start of my running, but after about five minutes and wee puff of my spray I am fine.

“I’d love to be better, but I know that my fitness levels are letting me down just now – so I need to get my fitness back again. You can, too.”

As well as doing her day job, coaching badminton and fitting in her 50/50 challenges Lynn also, of course, has her family to look after.

Husband Brian and children Fraser, 14, and Linsey, 11, however, are by now getting used to Lynn’s wacky ways.

“I’m lucky that they are all quite sporty as well and they support me in most of the things I decide to do. They are fully aware of what is happening and treat me like any other mum. Most mothers are embarrassing to their children, anyway, so why should I be any different?”

While Lynn’s schedule may be a bit too much for most, she is inviting the Borders public to support her by making up their own 50 challenges. The only stipulation being that they must be of a physical nature and they must challenge the individual undertaking them.

She added: “I hope that my story has inspired others to do something challenging either for the British Heart Foundation or for their own favourite charities.

“But people don’t need a reason or a charity to get themselves fit – just do it for yourself.

“Good luck and let’s hope it is a happy new year for us all.”

As if she won’t have enough to do throughout February, Lynn will be keeping Southern readers posted on her progress – while members of TheSouthern editorial staff will also be adding their efforts to the challenge.

More on this in the next two weeks.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to sponsor Lynn can email her at or to find out more about heart disease go to

Here’s what Lynn plans to do over 50 days. Can you keep up?

Day 1) Skipping x 150

2) Hit 50 shuttles

3) Spinning class for 50 minutes

4) swim 50 lengths

5) 50 back bends

6) 50 minutes’ walk

7) 50 minutes’ cycle

8) 50 basketball shots

9) 50 shot putt throws

10) 50 bike press ups

11) 50 table tennis hits in a row

12) 50 basketball chest passes

13) 50 press-ups

14) 50 ski runs

15) 50 ski pole plants in one go

16) 50 squat thrusts

17) Spin class for 50mins with leg weights

18) 50 golf putts

19) 50 boxing bag punches

20) 50 bounces on trampoline

21) 50 minutes on stepper

22) 50 hockey hits

23) 50 bench jumps

24) Spinning class (50mins) & 50 bike squats

25) Swim 50 lengths (legs only)

26) Climb 50 steps Kelso North Parish Church

27) 50 upright press-ups

28) 50-minute run

29) 1m High jumps x 50

30) Step-ups x 50

31) Spinning class (50mins) arm weights on

32) Swim (50 lengths) arms only

33) Run 5 miles

34) Run 5 miles with leg weights on

35) Row x 50mins

36) Tennis keepie-uppy x 50

37) Volley balls x 50

38) Treadmill x 50 mins

39) 50 dives in the pool

40) Star jumps x 150

41) Spotty dogs x 150

42) Run 10 miles with 5lb rucksack on back

43) Shuttle runs x 50

44) Kick 50 goals

45) Eliptical x 50mins

46) Cycle 50 miles

47) 50 sit-ups with medicine ball

48) 50 lunges

49) Run 10 miles

50) Run round badminton court 50 times