Gus Mckechnie 50k bike challenge – Starting with the POWERbreathe

Gus McKechnie 50000 mile bike challengeOk at the moment I’m 21,000 miles into my 50,000 mile challenge and most of this is being done on the Red Funnel ferries.  I have also been using POWERbreathe products for the past six years.  This helps me with a couple of aspects.  First of all I have a form of cerebral palsy and the POWERbreathe helps keep the muscles activated and in general helps me breathe easier.

The other side is that it plays a role now in helping me warm up for my challenges.  I first used a green one in 2005.  When I was getting ready to row around the Isle of Wight (UK).  At that time I was doing it in memory of my brother and father.  My Brother had a genetic condition called Haemachromatosis and also hadn’t looked after his body.  I wanted to row in aid of a number of charities but also to raise awareness of the condition.

We set off from Warsash and rowed round in a way that hadn’t been done before by going around Bembridge first rather than the needles.  I continued by doing a number of other things including marathon rows on Concept 2 machines.  After completing one million metres in Cowes week 2007 I was ready to put the charity work behind me.

Then things started to take a turn for the worse.  Mum had been struggling with her digestion for most of the year.  It reached a period after Cowes week that year when she was so bloated she couldn’t eat anymore and had to go into hospital.  It become apparent this was more than a stomach bug.  Testing revealed by my birthday in September it was a form of cancer.  I made the hard decision to not take up a lucrative graduate position so I had the flexibility to take care of her.  A couple of weeks later it was confirmed as ovarian cancer and on the 12th October the cancer cause a heart attack whilst I was at home with her.

I then had an extended period when I was not exercising on a regular basis.  My cerebral palsy/hemiparesis got perceivably worse as a result as did my physical disability   This started to have a sometimes painful effect on my breathing.  To the point I once passed out in the loft of my mothers house and left myself with a painful bump on my head.

I got back to cycling on the ferry and eventually after originally deciding to ride just 25,000 miles on a bike I decided to ride 50,000 the same distance as twice around the equator.  It was going to be something that I would go into instantly and reel off miles and miles.  In order to help counter act the hemiparesis I need to get another powerbreathe.  The black version was available and I have started to get work with that.  With 30 breathes in the morning and 30 in the evening.

In the past five years I have also completed 9 running marathons (New York x5, London x2, Chicago xl and Brighton x1) and want to aim at my tenth one.  I have also entered the indoor rowing 2012 Crash Bs with a fried from Solent University and im hoping it will help play a role in that as well.  I look forward to blogging for POWERbreathe and keep you updated on my progress.

Charity website: Redfunnel

Crash B team list: Team Entrants

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