Chris Henry is gearing up for the ride of his life to help orphaned children overseas.
He will ride 500 kilometres in five days in Thailand next month to support a charity called Hands Across The Water.
He has thrown himself into a training regime to prepare for the challenge and is confident he will make the distance.
He has also been fundraising for the cause and the community has stepped up to support him, throwing $9000 into the kitty. Now he is only $1000 short of his $10,000 goal.
A high tea at Mansfield House on February 29 will hopefully help him to reach his target.
"I've been on the bike training for three sessions a week, doing two swimming sessions a week and running around 15 to 20 kilometres a week," the managing director and licensee of River Realty said.
I changed my whole diet and stopped alcohol and processed foods and jumped straight into a very disciplined diet and training regime.
Managing injuries has become one of his biggest challenges, but that hasn't stopped him from ploughing towards his goal.
"When you jump into such a tough regime at 41 it's managing the injuries that is more difficult than anything. Ross Osland, a sports physiotherapist, has been amazing in helping me to put my body back together each week," he said.
Mr Henry heard about the cause at a leadership conference in the Hunter Valley last year.
"Steve Carroll, who runs a company called Digital Live and is heavily involved in the charity Hands Across the Water came to see me because he needs business leaders who have the ability to fundraise to get behind it," he said.
I have made a commitment to support the Digital Live team in their quest to improve the lives of orphan children in Thailand following the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. Once he shared the story I knew I could help because I'm into sport and physical activity. You have to be able to fundraise and also to complete the physical task.
Hands Across the Water support and care for more than 350 orphaned children and have raised over $25 million since 2005.
Fundraising alongside efforts to raise money to help people affected by the bushfires left him feeling overwhelmed until he decided to do both. River Realty will match his bike ride donations and give the money to the Rural Fire Service.
Mr Henry thanked the community for supporting a cause they didn't know much about.
"When you are trying to fundraise for an international cause over the top of a local issue it became very challenging. I felt quite overwhelmed, but it was all about the mindset of 'we've just got to do both'," he said.
"Once that mindset was changed then the funds were there. It was just taking that approach in your mind - that abundance mindset, rather than being locked into the mindset of 'I can't do that because that needs to be done'."
The new training regime has had a lot of unexpected benefits and after this challenge Mr Henry will start looking for another.
"The benefits of that sort of discipline has been huge. My energy levels have been very high, my productivity levels have increased, my focus and awareness has increased and my mindset is strong," he said.
When you are so focused on a great result in one area of your life - fitness, diet and fundraising for a charity - those three things offer so many positive spin-offs from that because you are engaging with the community at a different level.
"People are recognising that you are doing things for others, not just for yourself. It really creates a good business energy and it attracts more business because of your giving and the discipline that you are into."
Mr Henry encouraged the business community to find their own cause to support.
"It's had such a positive impact on my own personal life, productivity and mindset and you start thinking more internationally more than locally when you fundraise for an international event," he said.
"You connect with people you wouldn't normally connect with. I'm a part of chat groups with people all over the country and internationally who are involved with this.
"You wouldn't normally have the chance to speak with those kind of people. They wouldn't normally cross your path. The relationships and the connections that you open up can only be positive."
- The high tea fundraiser at Mansfield House will be held on Sunday, February 29 between 2.15pm and 5pm.
- Tickets are $75 each and include a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, three varieties of fine tea and a traditional high tea. Click here to book.