Friday, 1 January 2016

If I Can, You Can Too.

Sometimes it feels good to be different, it might be painful and sometimes uncomfortable but I like to push myself. I’m Martin; I’m 42 years old, living and adjusting to a life with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. I’m a husband and also a father to three great girls, the youngest of whom I’ve never picked up, never been able to carry and cuddle, I’ve always been too weak. It’s these things that are difficult for me to handle but we carry on and adjust, regardless. And besides, I consider myself lucky enough to be a family man; my girls are the ones that push me on, to keep fighting.

Since I was diagnosed at 23 years old my focus and attitude has always been positive, there is no point in being anything else, if I do become anything else then I know I will suffer physically and I can’t afford to let that happen. As I’ve mentioned, I’m grateful to have what I have and with that said I’m prepared to do all I can to help others.
For the last three years I’ve been part of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s ‘Move A Mile For Muscles’ campaign, each year I have pushed myself more and challenged myself exactly the same as an athlete would, my preparation is similar too because every challenge is relevant to that person’s ability. I train, I diet and I set myself up to finish what I set out to do the best way I can.

This year will be different, very different indeed. 2016 is an Olympic year and as I’m losing the ability to walk at all, I want to lead by example and get as fit as I possibly can and I’m challenging you to do the same. I never expect anyone to do anything that I’m not prepared to do myself; also this challenge comes with a positive twist. Have you ever watched a sporting event or seen a sporting, iconic arena on telly and thought “I’d love to go there one day; I’d love to do that”? Well this year I’ll be fulfilling some dreams for myself and others along the way, very simple ones but good ones nonetheless.

My challenge is to move a mile for muscles once a month this year to iconic sporting events and arenas all over the country, raising much needed funds and awareness along the way.

These are my miles…
Walk one mile around Stoke Mandeville Stadium
Walk a mile round Iffley road track in Oxford (where Roger Bannister broke the record for a four minute mile)
Walk one Mile around the Oval cricket ground, London.
Walk one mile to tower bridge, London, to watch and support the Marathon runners.
Race a mile around Brands Hatch circuit pushing myself to the absolute limit in a BMW M3.
Walk up Wembley Way on FA cup final day
Walk one mile to watch the F1 at Silverstone
Walk One mile to watch tennis at Wimbledon
Walk one mile to Elland Road stadium
Walk one mile around the Olympic stadium, London.

Every mile will be completed with a blog with reasoning and heritage. You can come with me too, that’s my gauntlet being thrown down to you. Do you think you could get yourself fit enough to move a mile for muscles in this Olympic year? Inspire your family, get them off the couch and get them out. Ever wanted to go to a sports event but never got round to it? Get up and go!

I have been with my wife for about 20 years and every year she says that she’d love to go to Wimbledon, this year we will and we’ll do it for a great cause too!
You’re welcome to come along with me or take up your own challenge and move a mile for muscles by yourself. I challenge you to come up with an original idea to get people up and motivated; motivated enough to help others.

All of this will be exhausting, it will absolutely drain me but I’m hoping to have family and friends with me to make this a real team effort. I have an opportunity here and there is no way I’m going to let this go.
As I’ve got older I’ve started to read more and more and last year a friend recommended that I read about a runner called Steve Prefontaine and I did…
“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”

I can walk, so I will.

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My first mile was completed this morning (01/01/16) at 11:45. I'm absolutely shattered.

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