Back in April, I announced my plan to complete the London Marathon in 2015. A bold statement and as some people expected, I soon realised that taking part would be an impossible dream. I’ve been going to the gym for about 6 hours every week and definitely feel stronger than I did a few months ago. However, I haven’t improved self-propelling my standard manual wheelchair so it came to my attention that maybe a hand cycle (I use that machine the most) would suit me better. Imagine a wheelchair. It’s awkward to push the wheels from a seated position because you have to get your hands right back then thrust forward where as with a hand cycle, my arms are in front of me and it’s a simple turning motion.
The problem with the London Marathon wasn’t the 26.2 miles because I could manage that… eventually but instead the issue was the strictness of the race. Gone are the days when a man dressed in a deep-sea diving costume could take about a week to complete the course. Now, one of the many regulations that athletes called for in order to make the event ‘professional’ was that runners had to finish under 6 hours. That’s never going to happen. Especially if you consider that only certain models of wheelchairs are allowed and hand-cycles are not permitted. It would probably take me a day or two to push myself through London in a standard chair.
There is a wide range of hand-powered trikes available, the majority of which cost in excess of £2000. That’s why I can’t rush out and buy one. I have to make sure it’s right and raise enough funds before making such an investment. I visited a friend who also has Friedreich’s Ataxia on Thursday to try a couple of his hand-cycles. I preferred this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmgGlko2Maw because it is a more comfortable position to be in for a long period of time. Plus, I found it easier so could quickly build up speed. Just waiting on a few details and then I can visit (one of the) companies who makes them to try it out again.
Like I said, before I finally decide that the trike is the one for me, I need to work out how I am going to fund it. I’m thinking about organizing a quiz night to raise the money but would like to use this blog to see if any rich, generous readers are out there. It would be much appreciated.
When I do get the hand-cycle, I am going to do a 10KM charity bike race in May so although the London Marathon is a no go, I still want to put my body to the test and do something to make myself feel proud (as Heather Small would say). I haven’t done anything remotely impressive since my SkyDive three years ago.
Bye for now!