Today we introduce Kiko Matthews to the BMF blog. Having never rower or sailed further than the Isle of Wight, Kiko will be attempting to achieve the World Record for Fastest Woman to Row Solo Across the Atlantic – all with the support of British Military Fitness as her training partner.
Kiko is a keen paddleboarder and has circumnavigated Ibiza unsupported, camping on beaches, caves and smaller islands but this will be the toughest physical challenge she will have ever endured. She chose BMF for the social and outdoors aspect, as well as the variety on offer in the classes. We will be here to support her every step of the way – here’s what she had to say after her first few BMF Classes:
I was brought up as an independent child with the outdoors as my TV – this developed a natural instinct for adventure and the outdoors early on in life. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, causing a rare disease called Cushing’s, putting my body into a life threatening state. At the peak of my illness, my muscles and bones had wasted away significantly meaning I could barely get myself out of a bath.
My near death experience tested me mentally and physically and combining that memory with an ongoing need to be challenged, an attempt to be the fastest female to row 3000 miles from East to West of the North Atlantic Ocean, on my own and unsupported, was the perfect challenge.
Having never stepped foot in a rowing boat in my life, but with WR holder Charlie Pitcher endorsing and training me, I aim to cross the Atlantic in around 45 days, whilst raising money for Help for Heroes, Women in Sport and The Big Stand.
British Military Fitness says:
Kiko is evidence that anything is possible given the right attitude, passion and collaboration. She promotes challenge and integrity, hoping to inspire girls and women to push themselves both in their personal and work life as well as encouraging them to be more active. She believes that experience through challenge helps to develop confidence, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled and rounded life. She wants to empower women by showing them you don’t have to be experienced, or a professional, to consider challenging themsleves. Kiko also has a passion for the environment, recognizing the benefits of the outdoors, understanding and respecting what is around her and what an incredible place we live in.
Charlie Pitcher, Male Solo WR Holder says:
“It took me a year to convince Kiko to take on the Atlantic Ocean, solo. Since then, she has gone on to embrace this challenge with more focus than anyone I have met in recent years. I have no doubt that she will be successful in breaking the WR. She is mentally and physically made of steel!”