Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Now that's inspirational!

Before yesterday I was vaguely aware of Jamie Andrew and his story.  He was that guy who had been stuck on a French mountain for days and had to be dramatically rescued.  I knew he had lost his hands and feet to frostbite, he did 'things' for charity and did the rounds as an after dinner speaker.

Yesterday I attended a workshop and seminar where he was one of the speakers.  Wow, wow, wow!!! If you ever get the chance to hear this guy, go!

Yep, he was an experienced climber who had a tragic accident that resulted in him needing both hands and both feet amputated.  His sheer determination and will to not only live but live life to its fullest is moving and inspiring.  Each day he would set himself a small challenge to learn to do something for himself again.  Sometimes it would take him all day to achieve something as simple as brushing his teeth.  But each day he set and achieved a new goal.

I sat there hanging on every word, marvelling at how he learned to walk again with his new legs and how he persuaded his prosthetitist to create the world's first prosthetic climbing hands.  I wasn't surprised that he was climbing again (proper ice climbing!!) or skiing (cross country and downhill) or had sailed the North Atlantic in a boat crewed by amputees.  Or that he started running, working his way up to completing the London Marathon.  By the time he said he had completed an Ironman I was just so humbled.  He finished his talk by juggling with 3 balls.  Seriously!

If he can do all that with no hands and no feet, then I've got nothing to complain about.  A truly inspirational man

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Best present ever!

This weird looking device is called a Flexibak.  It is an osteopath-designed back support cradle that eases lower back pain problems and discomfort. It gives back pain relief by correct decompression of key joints, allowing natural movement to return.  Basically you lie on it and do the exercises.  Check out the website at for more details.

I can be in major discomfort after running/cycling/gym session or just from normal day to day stuff like driving/carrying shopping. I do the exercises every night before bed and during the day if I'm particularly stiff.  This wee gadget is a miracle worker!  I can get up the next day and do it all over again.

I've had physio treatment on my back many times over the years (I'm over flexible from years of gymnastic training) When my back is bad I have to stop training.  Until now.  Since I started using it regularly my pain has improved enormously.  It hasn't cured me but it's made a huge difference.  And that's what makes it the best present ever.

PS Check out my new blog at

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's NaNoWriMo time!

Like I don't have enough things to do!  50,000 words in 30 days.  5th time lucky I hope :-)