As many of you know Russ, you’ll know he lives to do more, be more, be better every time he does anything, ever. So his horrific fall off his bike in 2013 wasn’t going to be the game over that was predicted by all the best medical personal who saw, treated & put back together his mangled body.
Russ has never ever quit from anything in his life (and although I haven’t known him that long, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is true). Won’t quit. Not in his vocabulary, or in his genes.
So here are just a few of the things that he can do, is doing & will be doing.
He had his 1 year anniversary in June, & we spent some of it together. Every bit time I get to spend with him is special. I learn so much, & enjoy his company so much that I feel really privileged to work with him. Thanks Russ!
Things he can do now:
Drive anywhere he wants to go, now that he has hand controls installed.
Go to work. In Sept, going back full time, apart from Training for Racing!
Drive a go kart with hand controls.
Vertical Swim (forwards) 500 m 30 min backstroke 500 m 15 min.
Has a brand new recline arm bike, & on Aug 21st in 30+ degree heat did 17,18 mikes in 1:16;57 – 13.91 mph.
Compare that to his first long arm bike ride on July 27th – a lap around Richmond Park cycle track – 7.3 miles – just a bit over 12 k in 32 min.
Russ is soon going on an Arm bike cycling week end at Stoke Mandeville to get professional tips for paras.
This is going to make it so much easier for him.
He will be in training for 3rd week of September: 40 odd miles on an arm bike a day for 3 days to follow his mates on the Devizes to Westminster kayak race. Although they missed the DW International Canoe Race this year, ( it was in April) the group he was cycling with in France at the time of his accident, are all going to do it in September.
Russ has done this race for the last nearly 15 odd years, apart from last year. In 2011, he became a DW 1000 mile member by completing the race 8 times. In 2012, he & his rowing partner made it in 07:06:19 – they must have been seriously moving!
To be prepared this time, he is doing a para rowing safety course.
This is what he has to say about it:
“Very soon, I go on a 3 day intro to para rowing camp. As I can’t sit up straight in a wheelchair , it’s going to be a real challenge in a boat, but I’m sure the boat people will be used to paralysed people potentially falling out of boats so will have a plan to prevent that.
The first day is theory and capsize drill.”
He can’t wait for that part!
Russ was due to compete (again) this year in the Yukon 1000 & in 2009, when he & his teammates produced the fastest ever time record – which still stands.
Sadly he was unable to make it this year, but I’d bet he’s thinking of how he can compete & complete it in the future
If any of you are moved to read his story, or wish to donate, please click on the following link:
Also, our incredible friend Terry Rodham is competing in the Welsh Ironman on September 14th to raise money: