Man's planking challenge to support friend months after breaking back

David Cole next to his dog

David Cole is raising money for Macmillan cancer support by planking every day this month - Credit: David Cole

An Ipswich man who broke his back while bowling is bouncing back from injury with a planking charity challenge.

David Cole, 46 from Ipswich, is taking on the Macmillan March plank challenge which involves planking every day up until April 1. 

Mr Cole previously raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2020, taking on a Brave the Pain challenge, which involved having all his hair removed from head to foot using “a great deal of wax and screaming.” 

Mr Cole said: “Someone I had been working with for several years now is fighting breast cancer again and I just felt I needed to do something to support her.  

“I thought I needed to do something a bit more extreme and that was the message I took away from the brave the pain experience and having recently broken my back, it just felt that would be a hell of a challenge.” 

David Cole planking

David Cole from Ipswich broke his back following a bowling incident last year, but has so far raised over £700 - Credit: Family of David Cole

The father-of-two broke his back after a bowling incident in October, breaking three vertebrae and slipping a disc. 

To help him get back to fitness, he got into karate which helped with his sciatica. 

He said: “I took my little boy to a karate class and sat down on the side, hoping to watch him for an hour, but they said no one comes here to watch. 

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“I got up and participated and two or three sessions of karate, with all the stretching that they do as part of the warm up, completely cured my sciatica. We do a lot of core strengthening work with the karate and that’s what made the challenge possible.” 

Mr Cole set himself the target of planking three minutes by the end of the month and on March 14, managed to break that target, after only managing five seconds on his first attempt. 

“I went into it very gung hoe and aiming for personal best every time. After about a week you'd do a new personal best and then you’d struggle to get half way the following day. 

“I managed to achieve the three-minute planking goal on March 14; I am hurting like crazy at the moment but I have managed to achieve the goal ahead of schedule. 

David has raised £700 so far of his £1,000 target and now he has finished his target he is welcoming more extreme plank ideas to increase donations. You can follow his journey here.