Friday, 3 July 2015

Arctic ONE Eton, Dorney 2015

It's almost a week since my dad and friends Ade and John and I went down to Eton, Berks to meet up with our friends from Arctic ONE.
 
Dorney Lake


I have been on holiday this week, however just don't feel as if I have had a minute to catch up and write what's been going on, so thought I'd take this opportunity just to type a bit of an account.



In the beer garden
 I will get round to popping more photo's on here when I get them off my m8 AdeLast Saturday we set off bright and early, heading for Eton. I have to admit I hate travelling I'm a bit of a nervous passenger and the journey I knew would take somewhere in the region of five to five and a half hours. That being said I knew it would be well worth it and I have to say I was not disappointed.
 
At Dorney with John and Ade
The journey down was quite smooth no hold ups and the weather was lovely. My dad, Ern drove all the way down until we got to about 60 miles away from our destination. He then handed over the driving duties to me and i proceeded to get us to where we would be staying, a rather nice hotel named The Buckinghamshire. Wow those last 60 miles travelling I have never seen so many roundabouts. Not sure why the Sat Nav lady thought that was the best way, but hey we got there safe and sound and that's what counts.


   
Heyyyy!


With Pa Pa Bear
A little time to acquaint ourselves with the hotel and surroundings, then I rang Bex (One of the trustees of the Arctic ONE Foundation)  and we arranged to meet both her and Matt over at Dorney Lake. Dorney lake and the surrounding area is beautiful. I was there the year previous to take part in my first ever triathlon. This year was supposed to be my second, however due to illness and the progression of my lymphoma well I had to put it on hold. I had agreed with Matt and Bex however that I was still able to ride my bike and intended on doing as many laps of the 5km loop around Dorney as I could to raise awareness for Arctic ONE and just do what I could in my own way to say thnk you to everyone who has gone on to support both myself and the Foundation.
  
  


  
It was great to see Matt and Bex again, they are both really special people and friends to me and we share an awesome relationship since coming together. I always feel very lucky indeed as I have accumulated some of the most amazing and kind people over the years. I have always had good friends, however when I was stuck in the house with my poorly leg I just didn't have the same get up and go and couldn't socialise the way I can now. Amputation has had a lot of draw backs, but I have also had a hell of a lot of positive experiences. As you know I always try to speak honestly and I would say one of the big positives for me and being an amputee is the positive attention. Don't get me wrong I'm not egotistical, vain and don't really like blowing my own trumpet as in a "Look at me" sense. No what I mean is I love it when I can do something and receive positive feedback. Everyone must agree it feels good when people confirm what your doing makes an impact, even if it is a small one. When I get kind words, such as "good job", or "you are an inspiration"  I really take these comments on board.  They make me want to achieve more, do more and be more. I guess what I'm saying is I owe so much to every single person who has offered those words, as they are my driving force. Sunday was no different, as I rode around completing my loops it was awesome to have people I didn't really know offer me the most amazing support and words of encouragement. So I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone.

  
  



Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day with Arctic ONE, my biggest buzz was leading out the juniors as they competed in their duathlon events. I was asked would I mind riding around the course to lead the way by Matt and Bex. To see all the young kids come together regardless of ability or disability was amazing. I took great satisfaction in encouraging the kids where I could and was very proud of every single one of them as they gave 100%.  I love their spirit, determination and ability to just get out there and give it their best shot. I'm terrible with names, however can remember Charlotte, James and little Rio. This was Rio's first duathlon and Omg! he was just amazing. I felt particularly proud when his mom Juliette thanked me for encouraging Rio around the course and I got to shake his little hand.
  
Splish Splash

After helping out with the juniors it was my turn to do a few loops of the Lake. All in all I managed around 27 miles. I had set my Bartlett Tendon up to be as free as possible, taking out the pins on the cams and not having any air in the shock. It was still tough work. Pretty proud of my effort as I hadn't rode in 3 weeks and although wasn't feeling too bad, had just been in for treatment on the Thursday and Friday before we came to Dorney. Funnily enough the 3rd lap was the hardest for me. It's as if you are doing something and feeling fine, then all of a sudden your energy just evaporates and you are left wrecked. As I completed my 3rd lap I met a fellow competitor, who I was to discover is called Sian and we then went on to complete a few laps together. Sian was doing awesome in her chair, having just completed the swim section of her event and now attempting 4 laps of the lake. As we approached the second lap something broke on her chair which left her devastated. I know she would have finished the course had this  not happened. Sian is another person I had the great pleasure of meeting on the day with a fantastic personality and a real passion to succeed, very inspirational.

I know as many of you will be reading this and you will be thinking wow he's plugging a lot of people or companies. The thing is I believe that's my role. I didn't loose my leg through an accident so no insurance claim. I'm not a top end elite athlete so can't rely on that, but what I do and I think I do really well is represent the ordinary bloke in the street who just wants to get out there and make the most of what he has got. I use my blog to show if you have the right mind set and aren't afraid to be a little cheeky, some people will help you achieve your goals. And through that you can go on to assist others striving for their hopes or dreams.

A clinic that has been paramount to where I am today is Pace Rehabilitation. The support, advice and friendships I have formed with the whole team has been one of the most important factors going forward for me. 

Inspiration comes from the very people you surround yourself with.
 

Oh and how could I forget... I was over the moon to see my good friend Andy Gorman from Bike Swanky come along to the event. Bike Swanky have been awesome in their support of me. I am an ambassador for their company, being sponsored on my mountain bike. Had a very enjoyable chat with Andy about all things bike and it was smashing to have a catch up. A massive thank you for rocking up and making yourself available to tweak peoples bikes on the day.

All in all yet another memorable day in which I was very proud to take part. In ending just want to say a big shout out to  Helen Chapman, it was lovely seeing you. You are one hell of a lady and never fail to amaze. Congratulations on your result, it was awesome to see you so happy.


Pull Helen Pull
Power Pinky Leg Go Go
Well done Helen
Also to Andy Lewis, thanks for taking the time to give me some sound advice on my running socket. It makes a huge difference to know that you have encountered similar problems, as I was beginning to think "It's just me" and maybe that I wasn't trying hard enough or that I would never get the hang of this running lark. Your advice and kind words will renew my focus and when I'm in a better place health wise will get right on it.

Andy in transition
Another very successful day bringing people from all walks of life, regardless of physical or sporting ability together. A huge thank you to Matt and Bex and Arctic ONE, to all the volunteer marshals who gave up their time and also to the first aiders and of course to everyone who turned up whether to compete or just offer support.

PS if you would still like to donate to Arctic ONE through my Virgin Just Giving page you can find it here

Glenn's  Virgin Just Giving Page


  
The rain didn't spoil the day



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