When the 2.6 for 26 challenge started, I did have a little concern in the back of my mind I wouldn’t complete it. Would my shoulders hold out? What happens if I take a fall from my chariot and am unable to carry on this quest? Will my wheelchair hold out?
All these niggling worries were eventually put to rest. Of course, my wheelchair survived – I wouldn’t expect anything less from it. It’s designed to do this job. My shoulders and arms haven’t given me any discomfort; my finely tuned pushing technique and regular stretches helped maintain the health of these upper body limbs and joints. And I didn’t take a fall, thankfully!
If you don’t know, you don’t know
People don’t realise how my spinal cord injury affects my body and how it functions — all the unknown, not visible complications that need to be lived with. If I impact the ground hard, maybe graze a top layer of skin off, especially where I have no sensation of movement; due to poor circulation, the skin will never heal back to 100% healthy. It may even cause long term problems. If the skin breaks down, becomes an open wound, there is a risk it may never heal. It could get infected, resulting in the worst-case scenario. But gladly, that didn’t happen.
The last routes
I covered a total of 67.6 miles. That’s just over two marathons extra to my usual daily distance in less than a month. Over the weeks of pushing the distance, I got wet, hot, needed a jumper, wanted a T-shirt, but kept pushing on. I told my lad I would get the money for new balls for the club, so I couldn’t give up!
Catch up opportunities
It was nice catching up with family, friends, mates and close acquaintances while running or wheeling, in my case. Big sister and I lives run at 110%, and we don’t get to catch up that often. To maintain my health and fitness, I’m going to try and continue going out and about for regular pushes – albeit until the weather changes – try and team up with her if I’m not slowing her down too much?.
25th saw me joined again by an old work colleague and wheelchair rugby player Michael Hipwell and my best mate. Looking at the GPS track looks like Michael forced the distance.
On the final day, big sister came along for the early evening trip. Wheelchair skills training took place in the afternoon for a client, and then it was a quick run out before the dark foreboding clouds took hold.
The last big thank you
Just one last shout out to everyone who contributed to supporting me. Whether your a person who came along for the ride, Nev, Matt, PJ, Connor, Best Mate, Aunty Christine, Big Sis, Michael, or were a diver who allowed a chance to cross the road or someone who sponsored me, thank you!
Sorry if you were any of the drivers I help up while out on the run!
The funds have been raised to buy new equipment for the Bourne End Junior Sports Club. The next job is to find some suitable resources for the items. Go cheap and nasty, keep some funds in the pot, or pay a bit more for better quality equipment?
If you would like to donate,