Former client Mark on the brecon beacons
6th October 2020

Mark completes gruelling SAS Fan Dance trail

It’s no secret that the illness of addiction devastates lives. It puts the individual and their loved ones through chaos, affects mental and physical wellbeing and has the potential to ruin all aspects of life including relationships, home life and work.

The misery of alcohol addiction did just that to former client Mark. He eventually found himself losing his children, wife, house and career before entering Broadway Lodge where he began his recovery journey. Now, just 7 months into sobriety, Mark is demonstrating that with the right support, you can get your life back, focus on passions that give you fulfilment and discover a new zest for life.

Keen on physical challenges since a young age, Mark (pictured above, left), has spent the last few months focusing on building his physical and mental health and recently completed the gruelling Fan Dance trail, a 24k route on mountainous terrain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales. This route is known for being one of the SAS selection tests that UK Special Forces hopefuls are required to complete in less than 4 hours to demonstrate the level of mental and physical determination the special forces look for.

As if the trail wasn’t difficult enough, Mark added to the challenge by hauling a heavy 20kg backpack for the duration. Despite this, he hiked and ran the trail in a very respectable 4 hours 55 minutes, completing the 2,907ft ascent up Pen Y Fan followed by the descent and a notoriously “evil” ascent back to the peak known as Jacob’s Ladder. The Telegraph once questioned the Fan Dance as the toughest endurance test to date. Completing this has spurred Mark on to focus on an even more mentally and physically challenging test of stamina by training to swim to France across the English Channel!

Mark, when commenting on the challenge, said: “I wanted to do something that would push me to my limits, which is when I feel most alive. I have been given a second chance at life, thanks to Broadway, and I’m not going to waste it.

He added: “Recovering from addiction is very similar to this challenge, no matter how painful it may feel, just put one foot in front of the other, and you will reach your destination.”

We look forward to hearing from Mark about his swimming training and wish him luck with the psychology degree which he starts studying for at university this week.

Photos from Mark’s Fan Dance adventure are shown below.