Following on from my Duke of Edinburgh speech at St James' Palace, I had received very positive feedback and was invited back to be a guest presenter at Buckingham Palace for not only one but two presentations!Read More
With only one foot that wears a shoe, what happens to the right shoe? Although I do have the opportunity to wear a pair of shoes if I am not using my Blade XT, most of the time I only require a left shoe. Do I have a cupboard just full of right shoes? Do I only keep pairs of the shoes that I think i'll wear regularly? Do they fall into a black hole to be lost forever? Do I have a shoe buddy or do I just donate them?Read More
Often after an obstacle race, there will be a trail of shoes leading to the car park where participants have clearly worn inappropriate shoes for mud, obstacles or general trail routes. Last season, I searched high and far to find a shoe that was versatile, strong and comfortable. I felt as though my search was impossible but then I came across the Gecko XT trail running shoes.
Over the past 4 weeks of having my Gecko XTs, I have run over 65 miles and conquered over 100 obstacles but the shoes are still standing strong. With no sign of wear or tear, I strongly believe that these will be the longest-standing trail shoes that I have ever had.Read More
Values help us decide what is important in life and where our priorities lie. They help us to differentiate between two alternate options but with so many to choose from, which ones fall into my top 5?
I met yesterday with one of my mentors from the True Athlete Programme, where we worked together to find values, and the meaning of those values. We discussed how values naturally change over time and they can be used as a tool to measure how well you're sticking to your life plan.
Fortunately, the values I discovered can form the acronym B-HELD, with an aim for me to be held up through these values. Here's what they stand for:Read More
Having recently received my 20th Tough Mudder last weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to venture out into different OCRs. Spartan races and Tough Mudder have always been rivals so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and give one a go - the South West Sprint. I signed up to volunteer initially for the free swag and race pass so spent the Saturday volunteering and the Sunday running. Here's what I thought of volunteering and running:Read More
If you would have told me in April 2017 that I would be running the 2018 London Marathon, I would have never believed you. This time last year (mid-May 2017), I had just received my first walkable prosthetic leg, following my amputation in late 2016 and started to walk with two crutches. It is with great pride that I am able to say that I have completed a marathon: and here's how I did it:Read More
My preparations for the World Judo Games were somewhat limited due to my difficulties in accessing training. My Judo training sessions had temporarily been put on hold due to my other commitments and training requirements. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and flew off to Amsterdam. With competitors from all over the world, including Brazil, Sweden, Finland and USA, I was incredibly excited.Read More
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS, is a very misunderstood and under-diagnosed condition which causes debilitating pain. Doctors often search for answers through multiple medications and procedures while patients search for relief. Having suffered with CRPS for about 13 years before my amputation, I can promise you that it is not a condition that is to be taken likely. It affects your energy, mood and often leaves people in such a confusion and distressful situation.Read More
Beautiful beaches, fantastic scenery and sunshine galore but how accessible is the Riu Touareg Hotel in Cape Verde?
Cape Verde is a beautiful set of islands to the West of Africa. As an independent, Portuguese speaking country, Boa Vista is the largest of the islands and is home to the Riu Touareg Hotel. The hotel itself has 1151 rooms, an adult only section (which admittedly I did not enter) and a large selection of staff, able to assist or entertain you.Read More
Cabin pressure, security procedures, luggage and simply knowing where you’re going – all standard issues when flying but these are even more difficult when travelling as an amputee. The good news however is that you are able to bypass a lot of queues and get through security quicker, as well as free priority boarding for you and a few of your travel companions.
In the past 2 weeks, I have boarded 3 plane flights, varying from 6 to 10.5 hours. With my international European competitions, I have also encountered very short journeys and have encountered the same issues. I have flown as a full-time wheelchair user and also as a fully ambulant amputee and they each have their own unique access needs.Read More
Another week has passed and I find myself still exploring new sports and enjoying my career as a full-time adaptive athlete.
Finding and discovering a new sport as an amputee can be very daunting but also extremely rewarding. It's difficult to find clubs that are able to cater for your adaptations and confidence is needed to join an able-bodied club but it does host a whole load of benefits.Read More
As many of you know, I am very passionate about inspiring others to achieve their dreams. Last year, I organised for a chap to be pushed around the Tough Mudder course with my Mountain Trike wheelchair and I am pleased to announce that I am looking for more adaptive individuals to inspire. It's my aim to show an adaptive individual round every UK course this year so let's spread the world and inspire others together.Read More
I'm standing in a queue at an event, while waiting to collect my race number, when I notice someone suddenly look down and notice my Blade XT - a very common situation for me. Whereas most British people would talk about the weather or politics, I am asked what it is like to run on a blade. My honest answer to them is generally that I don't know any different and perhaps they would like to explain to me what is like to run on two feet. Having said that, I assume they mean compared to a standard prosthetic leg so I try to explain to them the differences, as below.Read More
As some of you may know, Friday is the start of my career as a full-time professional athlete. In order for me to progress further with my training, I have taken the step to concentrate my efforts on my sports, which will also enable me to motivate and inspire others more- it certainly wasn't a decision that I took lightly.Read More
Failure is okay and all just part of life progression....so why do we beat ourselves up about it? There is a lot of pressure on those with influence to never show failure or any sign of weakness yet ultimately we are all human – we all have those moments of joy and similarly those moments that we would rather not share with others through fear of judgement.
Through my own journey, I try and allow enough time to share my failures, as well as my successes. Through failure, we have evolved from cavemen to those with robotic limbs. After all, a failure is just an opportunity to improve, no?Read More
There's nothing worse than walking across the road, for your foot to suddenly fall off. It has happened to me, as well as hundreds/thousands of amputees and it can be really quite embarrassing. It's really important for a leg to stay attached, as well as being as comfortable as possible while feeling secure with every step.Read More
With the release of the 2018 Tough Mudder obstacles, I can't wait to get out on course and I find myself struggling to sleep with excitement. With 19 Tough Mudders under my belt, I am quite used to whichever obstacle is thrown at me. Having said that, I noticed a remarkable difference in how easier the obstacles were, once I had received my prosthetic leg. Who would have thought that having two legs would make obstacles easier? Hm.....
Here's what I think about the 2018 Tough Mudder obstacles:Read More
Do you ever walk into the gym and feel intimidated by large muscles, foam rollers and fitness buffs? That was me when I first started going to the gym. I was worried about people judging my smaller weights or my ever-improving form. I was too scared to go into the weights area to just experiment with some free weights so I spent my time on the machines, not seeing much progress.
I struggled to stay motivated and I was stuck without 'gains.' I never really wanted to be really muscly but just wanted to lose weight and get stronger. Fortunately for me, I have always been very talented at falsifying confidence so I was able to step into a gym without a problem - it was just the free weight area.Read More
As we have now officially entered 2018, the phrase 'New Year, New Me' comes out. Rarely do we ever hear 'New Year, New Leg' but the reality is that statistics show that approximately 185,000 people (in the US) have a lower limb amputation each year (1).
Although many of those individuals may not be able to use a prosthetic leg, there are thousands of prosthetic legs being manufactured, customised and fitted in 2018. With that in mind, with the help of an amputee forum, I will try and explain how it feels to walk on a prosthetic leg.Read More