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180 Mile Charity Challenge

Hadrian's Cycleway by Wheelchair

The entire route

On Monday 26 July I will be starting my attempt to complete Hadrian’s Cycleway in 10 days (plus a rest day in the middle.)

This will be a wheelchair challenge and I’ll be travelling alone. Although you are invited to join me for as much or as little of the trip as you like.

I’ll be starting at the Roman Baths in Ravenglass and finishing on Thurday 5th August at South Sheild’s Lighthouse.

I am camping most of the trip though I will be having 2  nights at home in the middle, including taking one full day off.

At the moment the hardest part will be carrying my equipment.

This will be a Charity Challenge for Diabetes UK and Young Minds. If you recognise the difficulty of this challenge, and want to encourage me, please consider donating to one of the charities. This will be my last big challenge before I step up the training for The Great North Run.

 

Way you could help me complete this challenge


1) Come along and walk or cycle some of it

2) Meet me for lunch or dinner, a rest and chat

3) If you are local be a water stop for me

4) Transport the camping equipment between stops

5) Share my posts

6) Support the charities

I hope to keep you informed via social media so be sure to like my facebook page and youtube channel

Day 5 Bowness on Solway to Carlisle
Wheelie’s coming home! Today I would love to have some company as I start the wall section in Bowness. I plan to deviate today to Watchtree Nature Reserve before powering on home for 2 nights in my own bed!
join me
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Where and When?

Ravenglass to Braystones. 12 Miles

Braystones to Workington or Flimby, 21 Miles to Workington

Workington to Silloth. 18 miles from Silloth

Silloth to Bowness on Solway. 14 miles

Bowness on Solway to Carlisle. 21 miles

Carlisle to Banks. 15 miles

Banks to Once Brewed. 14 miles

Once Brewed to Wall 17 miles

Wall to Blaydon Burn. 24 miles

Blaydon Burn to South Shields.  22 miles

Join me?

I would love to see my supporters at any point.  Just drop me a message and we’ll find a suitable stretch for you to have a fun trip out with me. Whethers that’ a mile, a day a camp. It’s entirely up to you

Will I make it?

There we are.  One very long challenging trip with several days over 20 miles.  I’ll be carrying all my own equipment, traveling totally self sufficient.  There are a couple of days that I wont be carrying everything but please do not underestimate how challenging this trip is going to be. 

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Disability Uncategorized

The Trials of Life

This photo was a facebook memory from 3 years ago.  I am using it to talk about  the trials of life, recovery and being kind to yourself.

Background to the photo (tl/dr: I was ill and homeless)

At the May bank holiday, I was at a car boot sale and went to pick up a box and in doing so, injured my already unstable spine. The outcome of that was a spinal cord compression and going from a self transferring wheelchair user with some walking, to needing a hoist, needing help to turn in bed, the whole deal.  Whilst in hospital, I got a no-fault eviction notice. I found my current house with one week to go until homelessness It’s a long way from anyone I knew at that time and of course I needed lots of care which I had difficulty getting.  All in all a very traumatic time.

The emotional response

Seeing that photo gave me such a rush of emotion, I was shaking, tears came. I was right back in the trauma, yet at the time, I didn’t cry I just fought for what I needed. 

Time passed, and now I can feel the emotions that I didn’t have at the time.  These things happen to all of us, not all of us will break our backs or get evicted but we all go through traumatic events, often without really realising at the time how traumatic it is.

Only now I’m recovered (or as recovered as I’m going to be) and I have time to feel the emotions.  I am being kind to myself, giving myself time to process it all over again, to grieve my old life and then plough on with my new life.  Making every use of the abilities I do have.  Having adventures, being fit and just generally having the full life that 3 years ago, I thought was impossible.

Some Advice

When something from the past hits you in this way, be kind to yourself.  Take some time to work through those emotions, to recognise all your achievements both at the time of the trauma and since.  If when this happens, the negative emotions drag on and you are struggling with your day to day, you may need medical help, don’t allow the thing to damage your new life.

 

Sources of help

Your own GP can help you access therapy and if needed will have a crisis team should trauma hit you so hard you are unable to cope

Mind 

mental health charity with lots of information and support including in person via their network of local organisation (www.mind.org.uk)

Blurt Foundation 

Lots of online support and resources. Regular email checkins for desired (www.blurtitout.org)

CALM 

Campaign Against Living Miserably. Support and campaigning to prevent suicide (www.thecalmzone.net)

Samaritans 

Support at times of crisis with lots of ways of contacting them (www.samaritans.org)

Categories
Uncategorized Wheelchair News

New Wheelchair Update

After the amazing generosity from all of my supporters and the Conqueror community I visited Bromakin Wheelchairs yesterday to get some essential repairs to my current chair and look at new chairs.

We were there 2.5 hours and spent the time with Rob educating me.

We spent 2 hours with Rob at Bromakin wheelchairs. After assessing my situation we decided the best thing was for the engineers to work on my existing chair to get it able to carry me through the next few months. We now have a thorough but temporary fix to my current wheelchair.  I paid for this with savings, leaving the donations intact. 

This delay means I can save up for the extra cost and lose

 the remaining weight. The plan is to have a purpose built chair which means it can be lighter and stronger than an adjustable one. The total cost will be in the region of £4500+. In the time whilst I lose the weight I’ll also be gaining skills to be able to use a specialist chair effectively.

The delay is important because an adjustable chair is heavier and weaker due to the moving parts. Incredibly, the ‘test chair’ I used yesterday was only 15” wide, which is probably my correct width once I lose more weight.

For context my current chair is an 18″ and my power chair a 20″ i was genuinely speechless when Rob told me it was only 15″ wide. When 15 is comfortable I will be ready to order the new chair. 

The new chair is going to be  life changing, having test driven a similar one today my mind was blown with the possibilities of what I might be  able to achieve.


The chair needs to last and I need the support of a snug fitting chair (we are adding foam to the current chair to correct my position and prevent me sliding around)

I will be setting up a bank account to keep the money raised separate from my personal account. If you donated and are not happy with this plan please do get in touch.


What do I need to be ready to order
1 – to fit snuggly but comfortably in a 15” chair
2 – Improved core strength – core strength dictate angles of seat so the more my core strength is where it will eventually be the more suitable the final chair can be without building in adjustability

I realise everyone was hoping to see me in the new chair and able to move this adventure forwards quickly and that is why you were so generous. I hope you understand this is the most effective use of your money and gets me the best and longest lasting solution.

Some plans will be on hold but the work Robs team did today mean Wednesday can go ahead and so can Hadrian’s wall. I will have to do The Great North Run in my current chair too but that will just mean I will be faster in it in 2022 race when I have the new chair. 

In the meantime

  • I will be :
    hitting the gym regularly to build a core fit for the new chair
  • Working on my seating position on runs
  • Learning to balance in this chair – really important once I have a properly balanced chair to avoid tipping it over and landing on my head
  • Building up my general strength and running ability
  • We’ll be using the freewheel more too, to take some pressure off the front forks. 

When we do order the new chair we’ll also be needing a suitable cushion and push rims.  All of that will be decided nearer the day.  I also have some pretty bad hand issues and so it makes sense to wait to see whether they can be operated on or the new chair needs to accommodate it and it’s too soon to know that too. 

Please continue to follow this adventure to find out whether my bum will shrink and my abs will grow.
Thank you again for all your support

Categories
Challenges Uncategorized

Wheelchair User’s 12 Hour Charity Challenge Supports Local Business in Carlisle

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release Wednesday 26 May 2021

Wheelchair User’s 12 Hour Charity Challenge Supports Local Business in Carlisle

On Wednesday 26th May Carol Hall will complete a 12 mile / 12 hour/ 12 Business Charity run for Young Minds and Diabetes UK. She hopes to raise money for these two important charities whilst also showcasing Carlisle and some of the small businesses who make it such a great place to live and visit. 

Starting at 9am Carol will set off from a business or organisation, wheel for one mile until she reaches her next stop.  At each stop she’ll talk to the manager and learn more about what is on offer and how they make their services available to disabled people before moving along to the next location.

This is just the latest charity challenge for Carol. She started these challenges back in September as a way to get fit and lose weight whilst helping the wider community.  Her first challenge was 30 miles in one month for refugees, her most recent was one was 32 miles in one go! She’s come a long way in all senses having also lost a whopping 50kg since August. Carol blogs her progress and adventures under the Name WheelieMum on facebook, youtube and her website.

The charities are very personally important to Carol, through her work as a volunteer mentor she’s seen first hand the effect of the pandemic on young people and wants to ensure they have the resources to cope and become more Resilient.  Whilst she is not diabetic, diabetes was a very real possibility given her need to lose weight and lifestyle.  

 

Carol, now age 50, realised 17 years as an electric wheelchair user was taking a terrible toll on her health and so in August, age 49, she started to address this. By the time she turned 50 in October she was already wheeling 10km.

IMG_20210514_165403-2

 

Regarding why chose this challenge Carol said “This was to be my come back run following a shoulder injury and it’s my way of supporting both my community locally and people in the wider community in need of the charities services”.

 

Regarding choosing to use her videos to support local business Carol said “The owner and workers are my neighbours, Carlisle is my city.  The pandemic has hurt many small businesses and so I want to help my neighbours show off their services and come out of this pandemic far stronger than they went into it. 

Wayne Donough of Well Done Solutions (disability equipment store) said “I have know Carol since she approached me with an unusual request to attempt to get into the mountains with a powerchair, As a disabled person and parent of a disabled child myself  Well Done Solutions are delighted to support Carol and her Charities and look forward to showing off our products and services”

In the run up to this event Carol’s training was interrupted due to a caster on the wheelchair breaking but in true Cumbrian style this will not deter her.  The chair is to be fixed this Friday just in time to enable her to complete the challenge.  Carol said “Nothing is going to stop me completing this run.  I am grateful to everyone who is helping me get the chair back functional.  The charities and Carlisle are too important to cancel at this stage”

This event runs from 9am to 9pm on Wednesday 26 May. Visit Carol’s website for links to the donation pages and to see the schedule for the day: where Carol will be and when.

Additional Information

Website: www.WheelieMum.org.uk

Diabetes Uk Fundraiser: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wheeliemum

Young Minds Fundraiser: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wheeliemumyoungminds

Contact: Carol Hall 07419775133 Carol@WheelieMum.org.uk

Categories
Disability Uncategorized

How Can I Improve This?

Here is my current wheelchair set up. I am wanting to improve this. Primarily I’d like to bring the centre of gravity forward when I am carrying more than the essentials. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve? I will talk you through what I currently have and see what you think

 

On the front I have two cycle bags, two camera mounts and a waterbottle holder. I find them hard to open and close and hard to find the items in them without dropping everything on the ground. They store

 

  • Phone
  • Power Bank
  • Charger wires
  • Hand tape and knife
  • Spare gloves
  • Mask
  • A couple of snacks
  • Bank card, bus pass, WheelieMum Card, Cash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will probably need another powerbank and if possible (though I don’t think it’s possible) I could do to have a map on the front because my phone is hard to see.

Under the seat is where I would like to add more storage.  At the moment I have a first aid kit and some basic tools and puncture repair kit.  I am very open to suggestions on how to add underseat storage

The back of the chair has a shoulder bag where I have spare camera batteries, more snacks, my waterproof and anything I think I will need fairly to hand during a run

Under the WeelieMum bag is a cycle panier containing spare clothes and has space for any luggage and it’s where any shopping goes.   

Do you have an ideas on how I can improve the under seat storage? it would be great if my additional clothing could go under there along with the first aid items to bring the centre of gravity forward and free up the big back back for shopping or items for overnight trips.