Sunday, 29 January 2012

Swindon Shock. Wheelchair Basketball Session 2.

I went back to train with Swindon Shock wheelchair basketball team today to complete my three hours of training. Today's session was a 2 hour session starting with about an hour of drills. The drills included playing 'tig' with a partner, sprints, throwing/ catching practice and pulling a partner with your wheelchair. Well, I haven't been able to exercise much recently so I really felt it but they were great fun (and doing this training regularly would banish my bingo wings!!) We then split into small groups and had little mini games where we practiced passing. In the last half an hour of the session we split into 3 teams and played some matches. It is usually the 'big guy' on the team who tips off, but as I was a newcomer they let me do them. I was pleased to win one of them especially as I am so short! I felt a lot more involved during this session and felt like a got stuck in a lot more than last time. I have really enjoyed my training with Swindon Shock- the wheelchair squad are an upcoming team who have only been training for less than a year. They have recently joined a development league- it looks like the club has a bright future.
This is my second completed sport for my Gold Challenge. I have my third archery session on Thursday so really looking forward to that! I am completing the Gold Challenge to raise money for Dementia UK- if you are able to sponsor me, please do here- it will be really appreciated.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Why why why?

Over the last week I have had some time on my hands due to being off sick with my knee. This has lead me to think about why I decided to take part in the Gold Challenge for Dementia UK. Lots of people do things for charity, in recent years my friends have ran half marathons, slept rough for the night, grown their hair for a year, etc etc etc. It has been on my mind for some time that I should do something for charity and I did not know what to do. I have a background in athletics and ran for many years until I was about 20 years old, it is something I have been trying and failing to get back into for many years so I had been considering doing a marathon or something and hoping it will give me the incentive to get fit- but never quite went through with it. At the end of August last year I was doing what I spend many hours doing- sitting, using Twitter when I saw Dementia UK tweet about The McIvor's challenge. It made me have a little look at the Gold Challenge and what challenges they offer. There are three challenges, the 2012km challenge, the sports challenge or the Gold Challenge in a gym. Well, I'm not a fan of gyms so that ruled that one out, and 2012kms seemed like a long way for me so I decided to give the Sports Challenge a go. The Sports Challenge consists of doing either 5 sports, 10 sports, 20 sports or 30 sports before the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I decided 20 was a good number- enough to be a challenge but still manageable. To complete a sport you have to do three hours of training or a competitive event. The Gold Challenge can be done for the charity of your choice. I chose Dementia UK as in August this year I took up post as an Admiral Nurse- supporting carers of people with Dementia. Dementia UK supports Admiral Nurses and works amazingly to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia. The challenge so far has been great fun. I have completed Clay Pigeon Shooting, and started Wheelchair Basketball and Archery. I was recently upset as my bad knee (torn meniscus) stopped me from starting a fencing course Steve and I were booked on, but I am pleased to say they have booked me on another course in May. I am having knee surgery on the 13th February (Happy Valentines) and will a 6 week recovery before I can do knee intensive sport I hope to be fighting fit by April. What do I want to gain from the Gold Challenge? Of course I want to raise lots of money for Dementia UK. I have been very lucky to get some very good sponsorship so far, of course from friends and family but also from Alan Davies of Jonathan Creek fame!! I am hoping to raise lots more- so if you can sponsor me- please do. There are also personal reasons why I wanted to do the challenge. I have never been the most talented sports person, but I have always enjoyed giving it a go. I am hoping that a couple of the sports may grab me and I will be able to join a local club. There are also other sports such as weight lifting and boxing- I doubt I will be any good or have the inclination to carry them on, but will love to have a go! The Gold Challenge experience has been great so far. It has been tough, with the injured knee but I have been able to adapt the challenge so I can carry on. I really hope I am able to be one of the first to run 100 metres in the Olympic Stadium and need to do well in the fundraising league to do this- yet another reason for you to sponsor me! Anyway, after much nattering on, I will keep you updated as and when I do more sports (starting with my second Archery session tonight!)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Robin Hood Robin Hood riding through the den.......

I am very happy to report that I am back on the Gold Challenge wagon! I started my archery course this evening. I am doing a six week archery course with Black and Gold Archers in Cheltenham. After a few worries before I got there that there would be some component of archery that would involve bending or twisting my knee I was very happy to find out that that was not the case and even the warm up and warm down involved standing still. I was very impressed that there were 14 of us beginners there, we were given bows and arrows according to our height (small ones for me) and after the safety briefing we started straight away. Because we're beginners we didn't have the targets with points, we were shooting towards what can only be described as big wicker doilies. We spend the next hour and a half learning the basics. I was pleased that I got a few near the centre- but it is going to get more difficult as we were close to the targets and we will be further away next week. I will keep you updated how the archery's going over the next few weeks. It ends on week 6 with a mini competition- I am already excited. My Gold Challenge is back in full swing. I am going to finish my wheelchair basketball on Sunday and then Boccia and my next archery session aare both next week. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me already for Dementia UK- and if you haven't sponsored me yet and want to, you can here.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Admitted defeat on fencing, but all go for archery!

When I started the Gold Challenge last year I expected it to be challenging, but after tearing my meniscus in my right knee, it has become really challenging. Before Christmas I booked myself and Steve onto a fencing course in Cheltenham. Steve was captain of his school fencing club and it's a sport I was really looking forward to doing. The course was supposed to start yesterday. The plan was that my knee would be healed sufficiently to complete the course, but the fact that I am struggling to walk, drive (yes, if you missed it I HAVE PASSED MY DRIVING TEST- if you ask nicely I will tell you how many attempts it took) and generally use my knee, and the physio told me that the worst thing I can do is squat or lunge I feel it would be a really stupid thing to go. I cannot tell you how gutted I am and I really hope I will be able to do some kind of fencing for the challenge before July. On a more positive note I am booked on an archery course starting tonight. No amount of sore knee is going to stop me from doing it. I have done archery once before at Centre Parcs and thought it was great fun so I am very excited. I am also going to go to the local Boccia club next week as it is on a Wednesday and due to fencing not being an option I will have my Wednesday's free! I am currently waiting for an appointment for keyhole surgery on my knee to repair the tear. I got a phone call this morning, the operation is going to be on the 13th February. Sooner then I thought it would be so i'm chuffed. I have a feeling I am going to be busy in May, June and July! I have been really lucky to get all the sponsorship I have so far, and I WILL complete 20 Olympic Sports by the opening ceremony (must remember to Google exactly when that is!) Please remember why I am doing this Olympic challenge. I am raising money for Dementia UK and all the amazing work they do. If you haven't sponsored me already and you're able to, please do! I am currently 9th in the fundraising league and would love to finish in the Top 10 so I can be the first to run (or quite possibly hop) 100 metres in the Olympic Stadium.