Monthly Archives: November 2015

Run The Great Wall Of China, the training begins …..

The last few months have seen many hours of work dedicated to making sure that running the Great Wall of China Marathon is going to happen. Phone calls, emails, sponsorships and many hours of travelling to the lovely Dorset countryside to meet Matt Hughes the Man behind building my limb. If you think of the number of hours that goes into building a prosthetic alone this is dedication to the cause.

The past two weeks has seen the blade change, not in that a different blade is now being used as that still remains the same, an Endolite XT but the socket has, it’s shorter than the prototype and now includes a titanium pole for strength. It’s also white which is a distinct difference to the normal black carbon socket seen on most limbs.

The result of this work carried out by Dorset Orthopedic at has seen the finished blade and socket not only as a perfect socket in fit but also the unity between me and the blade which I can only describe as being close as I could get to running with a normal limb and much lighter too.

The time spent in setting this blade up was reflected in the analysis carried out by Asics Sports (covered in my last blog) when trainers were being tested for my good foot. It showed the skill of Matt Hughes the Centre Manager at Dorset Orthopedic which you must remember doesn’t depend or rely on any machine to align the prosthetic. In short it was spot on!

So now having the limb back i have taken it for a spin and now the training hours can be put in and to begin the hard work of meeting the fitness required to compete as the first amputee to run the Great Wall of China begins.

Remember as an amputee some of us have already been through hard times in our early days of being an amputee. Pain, discomfort, failures, and achievements. The thought of pushing myself all over again I accept because I have a reason to do it all. I have determination to push it for others to benefit but mostly because I have something to prove to myself which is that I can do this no matter what it takes.

Thanks to the kind sponsorship from David Llyod Leisure at Gidea Park, which is my nearest gym both Hayley Ginn of my coach and trainer and myself made our first visit to Gieda Park.

I can say that the staff at David Llyod are amazingly friendly and very supportive and actively encourage disabled people to use their facilities. If you are looking to improve your health and fitness I would highly recommend a visit to your local David Llyod and see how you can access their facilities. Give them a call and arrange a meeting to talk through your needs.

After being shown around by Julia and meeting most of the staff Hayley and myself set about the first training session. To get things warmed up we set up a training circuit which included treadmill, Floor Mobility Drills Core activation, contracting the core, Hip Pop Ups, Leg Press Machine – double leg then prosthetic side alone this is to ensure my weaker side can catchup with my other limb, followed by TRX Rows.

Day one in the gym was followed up with a hot chocolate and a discussion about what would then become know to me as the 23 weeks of hell. Remember I have only just started (winks) I have to say after the first session with Hayley I was feeling good about what now lays ahead of me and what it is going to take from hear on in. In future blogs I will include some more pictures or videos of the routines.

So now daily I have a set routine in the gym and by Saturday of that week I now have a running routine too, 60 secs run 60 secs walk repeat for 30 mins each day.

Here’s is a short clip of the first jog on the Saturday. Whilst doing this an elderly gent had observed me running towards him and as I passed he commented “i take my hat off to you son” and raised his cap. To some that might not mean anything but to me it did and lifted my spirits a little. It’s a nice thought that someone would make a comment. I passed a few more joggers that morning a few who did a double take as they passed me which I thought was funny but then again I guess it’s not every day you see an amputee going for a jog in the street either.

The last bit for this weeks blog is about your support. Yes you, you have kindly read and followed my blogs which I really do appreciate but can I ask you to do one thing more? this one more than the others if you would be kind enough to share it with friends on whatever social media you may use.

Here is the link to my justgiving page. You can make donations from any country in the world and every pound raised will help amputees into sport here in the UK.

Please donate and support a first for amputee and disabled sport worldwide. 

Thank you for reading and supporting please don’t underestimate how much work goes into achieving something be it able bodied or altunatively abled bodied we all have limits which need to be pushed to achieve our goals and to be the best we can.

Remember we all get by with a little help from our friends!