What An Incredible Few Months!
As I sit here, while taking some time off in Morocco, I can't help but reflect on how incredible July was and how exciting August and September look!
I started July very apprehensively as I knew that I had booked in many, many events and had given myself minimal personal and recovery time. Nevertheless, I threw myself in at the deep end and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. My first weekend was with the Army Cadet Force, where I met some fantastic individuals and started my journey towards helping more young people achieve their dreams.
The following weekend, I finished work early and flew to Ireland for Tough Mudder to complete my first course on my new prosthetic. The course and my new leg was fantastic and for the first time, I managed to double-up (completing two courses in one weekend - around 20-24 miles over the weekend). We stayed in a great house, which had a Jacuzzi and for the first time, I really felt part of a mudder family with members of the MUDCRO group.
The weekend after Ireland, I travelled to Germany and became part of a different mudder family - the Solo Mudders. I was very kindly picked up and looked after by them and managed to actually meet up with a long-lost friend that has been living in Germany for a few years. I managed to practice my German and had such an amazing time at my second international TM. I earned my 10 headband and started a project that will be coming out in the next few weeks - I'm afraid that is all I am able to tell you at the moment. Stay tuned for more!
Shortly after returning from Germany, I contacted the incredible company dryrobe to ask whether they would consider sponsoring me for one of their products. Very kindly, they subsequently made me one of their ambassadors and I very proudly wore my dryrobe to Yorkshire - and I must say that made such a difference to my comfort around camp and post-event.
After Germany, I had a strangely clean weekend. I volunteered with a charity that I have been working with for the past few years. I went to a residential weekend and helped children, young people and their families through adversity. I was there to give talks, be an advocate and a mentor to those at the camp - an experience that I treasure and will continue for the foreseeable future.
The following week was extremely exciting for me - I received my incredible running blade from Blatchfords in Basingstoke. From the moment of putting it on, I could immediately feel the difference that it would make to my sport and sporting activities. I went for my first non-painful run in 14 years (albeit a short one around the car park) and it was very strange how much self-confidence I gained when wearing my Blade XT. The bounce and return from the ground it gives you is one that just cannot be described. Not only the feel of it on, but I also think that it looks awesome. I love showing it off and have even tried to co-ordinate my wardrobe to match the green pattern on the blade.
I received my running blade on the Thursday and on the Friday evening I went up to Yorkshire for my next Tough Mudder (see previous post for more information). I ran on the Saturday on my own and managed to complete the course in about 3 hours - just over half the time of my previous courses. On the Sunday, I had an amazing experience as I organised to push Jeshu round the course in my all-terrain wheelchair. Members of the Mudbro & Mudhoes group came to the rescue and the teamwork, camaraderie and kindness that was present at that weekend was unbelievable. My blade worked fantastically and I was ready for more!
July, by-far, was the best month of my life and the next few months are looking even more incredible.
My August has started off with a blast as I left to go to Morocco, to spend my holiday work allowance. As I logged into the Wifi, I received a message with yet more incredible news - that my gym, Anytime Fitness in Basingstoke, sponsoring me for the year! Having been a member of this gym for the past year, I know how friendly the staff are and how the other members really make the gym what it is. Despite having been a member of many gyms in the past, I have never seen a gym that offers a community like Anytime Fitness in Basingstoke. I'll be posting more information as time goes on, but i'll keep you on your toes for now. Click HERE to take a further look at the gym.
I return from Morocco on the 11th of August and I then am driving up to Coventry to prepare for the Mudnificent 7 challenge, which is 8km of obstacles. On the Sunday, I am going to London to complete the Urban Ninja obstacle course and then start work again on the 14th.
I've never really been one for long blog posts however I feel that there is so much information to tell you! You can check out the 'upcoming' on my page to see my events however here is a summary of the next few months:
- The weekend of the 19th and 20th of August, I am travelling to the Bristol area to complete another 2 Tough Mudders.
- On the 26th of August, I have my National Judo Championships Competition and for the first time, I will be competing against Judokas with a range of disabilities.
- September the 2nd, I will be heading up to the Coventry area to complete my first Wolf Run. Tough Mudder is fantastic but it's always nice to see other obstacle races and experience a new family (or pack). I'm really excited for the experience and I hope that it will offer me yet another fantastic series of events!
- September the 3rd, I will be running my first timed 10k run, while representing Blatchfords prosthetic clinic at the London Parallel race, which is an all-inclusive event for both disabled and able-bodied individuals. To check out the event, please take a look at http://www.parallellondon.com/
- The 9th and 10th of September is reserved for the North West Tough Mudder course and I will be having a surprise costume, just to make things a bit interesting!
- On the 16th of September, I will be running my final Tough Mudder of the season in the South of London as I will then be having my stump revision surgery on the 18th of September. I will be in hospital for a few weeks but the potential for the future of my sporting career is worth all of the pain and going through yet again, another amputation.
Wow, that's a lot to take in! Thanks for getting to the end of this post. I suppose in summary, you can hopefully tell that July was an incredible month and August and September are looking pretty awesome! It's difficult to juggle working full-time, training, volunteering for 3 different organisations and then all of my runs and sporting activities but it is really worth it.
What is life all about? Who knows? But what I do know is that i'm healthy, happy and looking forward to my future.