Spring Break

Happy New Year!

Well it’s almost a quarter through this year and I haven’t blogged, wow that’s got to be a record for me. Not even a stupid poem, nothing. I think I’m going to put it down to just being really busy, which is very boring and tedious so I’ll stop going on about it. I can’t even remember what my last blog was, so if you give me a second I’ll go and read it and come back…

God, my blogs are hard work, I like to go on about myself. I empathise  with you all, but I have to get this stuff out of my very ginger head somehow. I’ve been meeting with a writing tutor to discus my writing and ideas for my next book and we both agreed it would probably be beneficial for me to write something, anything.

Was just a few weeks post op last time out, needless to say lots has happened since then – if you follow me on twitter you’ll probably know what that is.  Most significant development I’d say is that Speedflex have agreed to sponsor me up until the Rio Paralympics and also give me full use of their facilities at their centre  in Jesmond. To say I’m pleased with this agreement is an understatement, to have this support up to what could well be my last Paralympic games is an enormous boost and means I can well and truly concentrate on making the best of myself for these next 3-4 years.

It’s difficult to explain effectively what Speedflex is, basically it’s a training system where you can do resistance training at high or low intensity without any major impact on your joints and muscles. When they first told me I could work out as hard as I could and wouldn’t be sore in the morning, I just laughed as I didn’t believe it – But it’s true! Was very hard for me to get my head round because I’m an old-school athlete – well, just old – who think pain is a sign of hard work in the gym, so I was waking up in the morning thinking I hadn’t worked hard enough. The easiest way to explain what Speedflex is, is to show people, so here are a couple of videos of me training on the machines – notice my quality tunes in the background.

The training has been superb though, and it’s just what I needed to get over my operation and build up strength without the risk of injury that comes with lifting weights in the gym. It has been a major factor in my super-quick recovery from an operation that had a projected rehabilitation period of 6-12 months. At the beginning of this month my consultant gave me the all clear to resume full training and start throwing, just 5 months post op. It’ s unbelievable and testament to the fantastic  support I’ve had. Anything that happens this year is a bonus as we didn’t know if I would be able to throw this year, now I’m competing in a few weeks time and trying to qualify for the World Championships in July. Getting into the team for the world championships will be a tough ask but I know I’m taking no risks so it’s worth going for.

The man behind Speedflex is Graham Wylie and he made one of my dreams come true last week as he gave me tickets to his box at Cheltenham for Gold Cup day. I’m bang into horse racing and have always loved the Cheltenham Festival, it is the World Cup and Olympics of  horse racing with the Gold Cup being the showcase race contested by the best chasing horses in the world. Graham’s box was in perfect position right on the finish and next to the judges room incase a stewards inquiry was need. No such worries for me though as for the first time ever I back four winners in one meeting, OK they were all favourites but you still have to back them.

kautoThey paraded one of my sporting heroes Kauto Star before the race and he got the reception he deserved following retirement – I do think it’s a bit cruel to make probably the greatest jumps horse do dressage mind, just  let  him get lazy fat and old like most retired sports people – I actually think he fancied a  run round as he was on his toes, probably could’ve placed too. He wouldn’t have beat Bob’s Worth though, I’ve fancied him for the Gold Cup since he won in January beating Tidal Bay and he ran like a dream even avoiding a horse that fell infront of him, I could see him winning the next 2 or 3 renewals. Was a great day and experience, the racecourse is huge and the number of people there was overwhelming at times but I’d love to go back again. Trouble is, now I’ve been in a box I’ll want that treatment again.