America and the need for awareness!!

Hi all,

It has been awhile since I last wrote my blog and I’d like to apologise for its absence.  I guess being distracted by my baby boy has taken up a lot of my time as well as training for the Trans-USA.  Excuses aside, I’d like to talk about awareness and how you can help. But first I need to bring you up to date (well almost as there was so much going on since last time I blogged that some of it will have to wait until next time).

The year started with a part working ankle.  With the incredible help of ActiveVIII I’ve managed to ameliorate the majority of the damage to the ankle and, in fact, get to a point where I can run on it comfortably.  The acid test was the Standard Chartered Dubai 10k.  The guys from deVere generously flew me out to test the ankle and maybe secure some favourable press (which, thanks to Alan and the team, I did).  I arrived late at night, shattered, and needing bed and sleep.  In the morning I made it to the Media Centre at the Dubai Pavilion and was made to feel at home.  They gave me a media pass (which made me feel like one of the gang) and fed me too!  It was good to see some familiar faces and nice that I was recognised from my marathon exploits previously in 2011.   The run, in my Saucony Triumph’s, was better than I had expected and the ankle held up. I completed the course in 53 min but that included walking for a bit due to dystonia and stretching quite a lot.  This result rocks!  A truly a great milestone for me as I couldn’t walk on the leg last November.  The result, also, makes me more confident of my abilities with my ankle and helps me look forward to the Trans-USA; an event that I truly believe will, not only, raise donations for both the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and also the Michael J Fox Foundation via TeamFox (please see my TeamFox page) but also raise awareness.

Raising awareness is at the forefront of what 10MillionMetres is about and media coverage in respect of what I am trying to achieve has been pretty good since the beginning of the year.  BBC Oxford has bent over backwards for me and I am truly grateful for the coverage that they have given.  In addition, BBC Radio Berkshire, Glide FM, Jack FM, Al Jazeera Sport TV, Physique TV, Physique magazine, the Scotsman, the Daily Express, BBC (filming), SGB magazine… The only way that we are going to make change happen for Parkinson’s patients, worldwide, is by raising awareness which in turn will hopefully raise donations so that we can find a cure for this horrific and debilitating disease.

So please tell your friends, work colleagues, business acquaintances, in fact, tell everybody you meet because I can’t do this alone. I need your help.   We all need to work together and if we work together we can realise something truly great.  Maybe realise a cure!

With raising awareness being fundamental, Joe and his intrepid team from the BBC arrived on a Sunday morning in January to film me for a potential program on superhuman people. Apparently, I’m one!!! That’s quite a compliment for a guy who’s a bit shaky, LOL.  They had me running all over the place; across town, up and down a hill for what seemed like ages, rowing and then pushing my legs to the limit on the Cybex machine at ActivVIII (who went out of their way to open their premises and get things ready for the shoot – thanks guys!).  We then went to Nexus gym and I was again put through my paces.  All in all, I had a serious workout and then there was the interview.  I have to say Joe is a really good interviewer and I think I came across okay.  So will the programme see light of day? I don’t know but I have my fingers crossed.

Lastly, the Trans-USA has received several boosts. The first was from Volkswagen. This fantastic and forward thinking company has stepped up to the mark and donated two Touareg 4×4’s and have also offered (which I have accepted) to cover the fuel for the vehicles, which will allow me to get the support crew from A to B on the challenge.  I can’t thank them enough and highly recommend that you check out my sponsor page and follow the link when you click on the Volkswagen logo.  Secondly, the lovely people at Invesco Perpetual have just donated £2000 to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust!  I cannot believe how fabulous they are and generous too!  Thank you Invesco Perpetual!!  The third boost was receiving news that Mr Larry Watson (lifeguard, former coastguard, wilderness medic, expedition leader and ultra-endurance enthusiast) will be joining me as part of my crew for the Trans-USA challenge.  This alone has given me such a massive injection of confidence in having him on board.   I’m really excited to be working with this guy and he’s going to be kayaking across Lake Erie with me as well as swimming to the Statue of Liberty too!

30 mile run today and getting better every minute!! I think that, notwithstanding the stress of getting the Trans-USA sorted (and there’s still a lot to do) the words “positivity” and “optimistic” sum me up at the moment.  I hope that’s the same for you.  If it’s not, I am sure that things will eventually work out.  They have a habit of doing so…strange but true.

Keep moving!!!


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