This was the first competition I have ever entered and had no idea what to expect.
I was entered as part of Staffordshire and Shropshire Triathlon team and was to participate in the swimming event. This entailed swimming four lengths (100 metres) as fast as possible.
Bearing in mind I don't have a coach and just go out and swim every week for about an hour here is the result of my efforts.
Steve took a photograph at the beginning of my timed session but I was so quick off the mark he got a photograph of the pool only.
I was tired after my effort but I did it in Wait For It 3.27 minutes. I usually do a length a minute in normal swimming conditions.
After this event I met up with other team members and eventually got my breath back.
Later on I was offered the chance to go weight lifting. There are no pictures of this and I will explain why. Due to the number of operations I have had everyone was worried about my left arm and the lack of movement in it. The team coaches who organised the event informed the weight lifting trainer to watch out for my left arm.
I took up my position lying flat on my back and followed instructions. No weights were put on the bar to start with. I was told to lift my arms forward and hold on to the bar. I did exactly as I was told. I had no qualms about giving this a go. As I got to the third lift of the bar only the trainer asked if it was getting any easier. It was. He explained that this was due to my muscles warming up. He told me we would do five more lifts with just the bar and then one with small weights only.
The "biscuits" (small weights) went onto the bar. I was asked if I was happy. The bar was brought down to my chest and then I had to push it up. I did it. I was so proud and felt a real sense of achievement.
I sat up and cried with emotion. Prior to my attempt at weights one young lady had attempted far more of a load than I had and got upset. I thought she had hurt herself but one of my team's trainers explained she was upset as she hadn't achieved what she wanted.
That night there was a dinner at the sports centre at 8pm. Steve and I headed off to our accommodation to wash and brush up. I had a hot bath to ensure I didn't stiffen up.
I have not been able to move my left arm for well over two years due to various operations on my left side.
That night as I was dressing for dinner I attempted to raise it above my head by moving the arms forward first then up. It didn't hurt and I did it.
During dinner I told a member of Rotary what had happened to see the smile on my face he couldn't have been more pleased. I thanked the Rotarian organiser for all his hard work in arranging the event and when I told him about my arm he was thrilled to bits. It just goes to show in the right hands things can be achieved in controlled conditions.
Remembrance Sunday morning we got up and ready for the day's events. I had been dreading the slalom see previous blog posts. Due to the fact my left arm was capable of being used this was going to be easier than I had thought. I wasn't worried about making a fool of myself it was just a matter of giving it a go in a borrowed wheelchair with no practice prior to the day and do my very best.
Here I am taking part in Boccea at least that is what I think it is called it is like bowls. Our team lost by one point but we all enjoyed it.
I managed to complete the slalom course without too much difficulty but didn't get past the first round.
Our little team is pictured below. We had a fantastic weekend and one I will never ever forget.
As you can see both arms are raised for the first time for a very long time. I am thrilled to have gone out and given it my all.