Ok so here we are, I thought I would take the time to record my progress through a blog and use it to let others see and read where I am with becoming an elite para triathlete.
In 1999 I lost my leg in a horrific bike accident where a 38 tonne lorry ran me over at the age of 16 causing me to have multiple operations and spend 3 months in hospital. Then in 2005 after many operations and infections and after seeing the troops returning from Iraq receiving artificial legs I decided to have mine amputated.
After my accident
I tried for months after everything settled down to find a sport that would keep me fit and healthy, however could never really find anything to keep me focused so started to watch rugby, wishing I could play but new this would not be an option.
In 2007 my daughter Jazmin was born and it opened my eyes to the world once again, it took me out of the depressed state and made me think a little more clearly about life and the point of it. In 2008 i decided to marry the girl my teenage girlfriend that had stuck with me through the thick and thin and I slowly started to rebuild my life.
I always had a passion to run again and wanted to run with my daughter, I decided that I would start a project late in 2012 to raise the 5k needed for the high tech mechanical knee and carbon running blade after watching the London 2012 games. I contacted lots of local businesses to raise the funds, after 6 months I had raised the much needed money to get one of these bespoke blades and contacted the manufacture Ottobock to purchase one. My local limb centre had to build the socket and ensure it was comfortable.
Once I received my running blade and after months of trying to use it on my own, i took up sprinting at Bristol sports academy and Bristol & West athletics club. I was coached by the sprinting coaches and they taught me technique and made me believe in myself that I could run.
I then contacted a charity called Limbpower. This charity is excellent and encourages disabled people to take part in all different sort of sports including children. While at this event I was asked to come back as a mentor to help encourage others to run.
In 2013 I returned to Stoke Mandeville to be a mentor and while there not really sure that sprinting was for me (considering I was always into endurance and distance running) I was approached by ArcticONE who mentioned to try triathlon. (Who and what is ArcticONE you ask??) Well they are a charity set up by Matt Kirby and Bex Stubbings along with other supporters to encourage disabled people into sport. They are amazing!!!! I decided that I was going to give triathlon a go.
5 months ago I could not swim, run or bike very well and had to learn this quickly to be able to compete in 2014, with the support of ArcticONE and other coaches locally to me I am now very confident in my own abilities and looking forward to a season of triathlon.
It has not been easy for me over the last few years, first loosing my leg, suffering from depression then losing my grandmother, who was a fighter and a great inspiration to me who never gave up, along with multiple issues with my legs on a weekly basis.
I have now come out the other side of it though stronger, fitter and more focused on becoming a champion and will work very hard in all triathlon disciplines to improve and to achieve this goal.
I have registered for many events this year and the latest being the British Elite Paraduathlon Championships where I finished top of my group. I am now training 6 days a week ready for the next event on 27th April the first triathlon in the Forest of Dean and then the big one for me in the next coming months in Liverpool “Triathlon Championships”
I will update my blog in the coming months with my training and progress.