I’ve wanted to run for as long as I can remember. At every opportunity from a young age I would want to be on my feet and get up speed. Even if the only way to run was with Dad helping with me. I took up RaceRunning which changed my life nearly overnight. RaceRunning is now to be called Frame Running, courtesy of the IPC. It is now officially a new discipline for the Paris Paralympics in 2024.
I always dreamed of running, now I can fly
Now I get whole body exercise and a good cardio workout regularly. This is something often lacking when you sit in a power wheelchair. As a consequence, I am fitter than at any time in my life. The result is I am more confident about my body, which in turn makes me want to throw myself into life and enjoy each day as it comes. In turn, this makes me happier and I am raring to have adventures. I cannot shout loud enough about getting out there and being active!!
As a sport FrameRunning not only lets me train for Boccia but has brought me new competitive opportunities. As a runner I had no competition at home in GB in my classification when I started. I was delighted to gain bronze in the RR1 60m and 7th in the RR1 100m on my first international outing in Denmark at the CP International Championships in July 2017. In the 2018 season my times improved dramatically on every outing, notching up PBs each time I ran.
By early 2019 I had to make a decision and concentrate on boccia or RaceRunning competitively. The result was I chose my lifelong passion for boccia. It wasn’t an easy decision but I see myself continuing to run at every opportunity for the rest of my life. (As you can see here I even manage to run with a broken wrist). These days I focus more on getting out and getting exercise around the streets locally, or clocking up 2 to 3 kilometers around the track on a training night at a steady pace. Click the links here and you can see me running near my home and on the beach.
The benefits of RaceRunning
Before taking part in RaceRunning I was sluggish, slept badly and was often ill. What I’ve found is that:
- A stronger core means better posture and clearer speech, plus improved direct access to my various communication and IT devices.
- Greater neck and head control are useful for drinking, eye gaze and using switches.
- Increasing my range of movement and muscle strength improves gross motor control again supporting my direct access.
- Improvements in my fine motor skills assist me in better direct access such as using a stylus.
- Cardiovascular gains assist with breath control, oxygenation of the blood, and relaxing the body. This has improved my speech output and increased my clarity of speech. But relaxing has also increased my speed of using technology
- Exercise improves concentration and focus, I know it develops learning.
- Taking part in sport provides the opportunity to meet new peers and communicate with others.
I cannot recommend RaceRunning highly enough. When I was in Copenhagen there seemed to be no limits on who could be successful, many of the athletes had greater impairment than me, yet still managed to be active. Find out more at FrameRunning.org and CPISRA