Category: RP3 (Traumatic Brain Injury
How many years have you been on GB Climbing Team?: 5
Where do you usually train?: The Climbing Hangar, Liverpool
Describe some of your long term ambitions within climbing:
Until 2017 my Traumatic Brain Injury dominated my life and prevented me from training anywhere near as much as I wanted to. This was due to a decade of extreme fatigue & chronic pain. After a full lifestyle change in 2017 I'm now in complete control of my symptoms, have dramatically reduced neurological pain and I can finally recuperate spent energy within minutes instead of hours.
So I finally have the ability to achieve some fairly standard goals that were, until recently, physically unattainable.
Now I'm finally able to train properly, my goals for the moment are to climb into the 8th grade in both Sport Climbing & Bouldering.
Who inspires you within climbing?:
Right now my inspiration in climbing is Josh Senior, a member of the GB Paraclimbing team who competes in the leg amputee category.
His dedication to training and his personal fitness achievements over this last year are nothing short of truly inspirational. His videos on Instagram constantly give me the motivation to better myself physically, in climbing and also in my personal goals.
When Josh first joined the team you could see that he was honoured to a part of it but didn't feel he was the best version of himself, he knew he could be more. It's this mindset & his insane amounts of hard work that mean I am now truly honoured to be on the same team as him.
Any other comments?:
"Kaizen" is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. It is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.
About a year after the motorbike crash that resulted in my TBI in 2007, I read about Kaizen in a magazine. It reminded me of my own work ethic before the injury and gave me the push I needed to get up and start my recovery. It continually motivated me to make improvements each passing year, no matter how small. After 10 years of small but incremental changes, I was still nowhere near full recovery. But thanks to my commitment to my own personal Kaizen, I never gave up. I finally made a massive leap in recovery in 2017 and continue to improve to this day.
Brain injury may be for life, but with hard work and a healthy lifestyle, I've taken back control.
If you are suffering from a disability or ailment, give your body the best tools possible to fight it. Exercise your body and your brain, feed it the best possible fuel, prioritise your health and believe in a better life