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Vicar’s wife gets dirty

12 September 2014

 NO "TYPICAL" vicar's wife - if there are such beings these days - Estelle Reed, who is married to the Revd Adam Reed, the Vicar of Em­­manuel Church, Saltburn, in York diocese, runs DanceFit, a dance-and-fitness business in Saltburn.

Last year, she says, "I challenged some of my customers, male and female, to do some cabaret dancing in high heels to raise money for cancer care. The guys who did it said it was the most terrifying thing they had even done, and challenged me to do something equally terrifying to raise money for a good cause. So I decided to have a go at Tough Mudder."

This is an endurance event designed and created by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength. The 10-to-12-mile-long obstacle course involves fire, water, electricity, and heights, as well as plenty of Yorkshire mud.

In church, Mrs Reed says, her husband was using the Parable of the Talents to encourage people to raise money for the community, and was giving out £10 notes to use as seed money. "Our family," she says, "decided to use our £10 notes towards the entry fees for Tough Mudder. It [was] a real family effort."

Mr Reed and the children helped with the publicity, but it was Mrs Reed who had to complete the course, together with several of her DanceFit customers, because Mr Reed was leading a pilgrimage of young people to Taizé at the time. "I love the Tough Mudder ethos - that it's not all about winning, but working together to overcome obstacles," Mrs Reed says.

Muddy it certainly was. But there were many other obstacles, and, at one point, Mrs Reed was up to her shoulders in muddy water (pictured). But "I loved it," she says, and is signing up to do it again next year, when she thinks that there should definitely be a clergy and spouses' team.

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