Ok 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