Raising the Bar 2013 - MS Awareness Week

Today I cycled my longest distance ever, all of 35.5 miles. It was enjoyable for most of the way apart from the hills which are pretty tough going at times (gradient pending).  Santa brought me a bike for Christmas this year as part of my goals for 2013 was to compete in a Triathlon.  Over the past few months I have been trying to get out on it once a week and its definitely a very enjoyable experience and breaks up my training from the running and gym work.

The first third of 2013 is over already and we are into month five - where has the time went?  I am doing my first event of 2013 in 2 weeks time, kicking things off with the half marathon in Newry.  I am looking forward to it and hopefully I can get round injury free. 
In 9 weeks time I take on one of my biggest physical challenges to date in the shape of GaelForce North in Donegal.  This is a 67km adventure race comprising 40km cycle, 25km run and 2km kayak.  Over the past few weeks I have been increasing my training program to be ready, so I am really looking forward to the challenge which is going to be tough!

Just before GaelForce I am squeezing in another half marathon, this time in Larne, which is a reschedule due to the bad weather in February.  I have ran Larne a couple of times now and its definitely one of the more challenging half marathons in the country, so I will need my A game to get round.

So I have plenty on in the next number of weeks and to cap things all off, in 4th August 2013 I will be competing in my first Triathlon.  This is going to be a hugely exciting experience for me and is taking place in Belfast.  I will be competing in the Sprint race which is a 750metre swim, 19.5km bike and a 5 km run.  I am not looking forward to the swim as I am a weak enough swimmer and haven't swam more than 650metres in a swimming pool to date.  I would need to up my game here as the swim is in the river Lagan and for me its a pretty daunting experience.  One of my biggest fears is swimming into a old washing machine or some other unknown object living in that part of the river:)

The other thing that you probably know at this stage is that I have a neurological condition called Multiple Sclerosis.  Yeah that's right MS !!! 

              "The greatest thing in life is doing the things that people say you cannot do"           

I sort of live my life around this motto, and I think if most people did, they would live a much more enjoyable life.  You see people with MS are not supposed to be running marathons, half marathons or doing Triathlons - because your just not right??? ................ whatever - I was very bad with MS for 3 years but over the last 4 years I have been working like a tiger to beat this bloody thing and make sure my body is getting stronger every single day.  That's what I do and if it means getting up at 5.30am every morning to go out and train to keep my body strong and fit then that's what I will do.

World MS Day is coming up next Saturday 11th May, and I have been asked to be keynote speaker for MS Ireland in Dublin and its going to be a huge honour for me to speak and share my journey with fellow MS Champions.  I am really looking forward to the day and my message will be one of hope and empowerment which I hope goes down well with the group.

Life is great at the minute and come the end of the Summer of 2013 I will have well and truly raised the bar in terms of what I achieve and I hope that even one other person takes a little bit of hope from my journey and believe that they too can start the fight back against the MS and take back their life.

#Attitude Is Everything



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