Back when I was 15, I started boxing. It was my Dad who brought me down to the gym, and the man who took me there all those evenings after he came home from work. To begin with, I was no good. I turned up, threw a few punches, and gave up easily. Back then I was 18st (a weight I wouldn’t again reach until I was 24) and didn’t loose any weight to begin with.
But, I kept going, and the weight started to come off. Until when I was 16, riding my bike the front wheel buckled throwing me off on to the pavement. The result? A hobble and a broken bike. I left the bike to the side of the road, and took the bus home.
I couldn’t stand for anything longer than half an hour, and had to rest for two hours before the pain subsided. This carried on for about a month before it got better enough to walk properly. I returned to boxing then. The winter came, and the knee problem returned. It hurt like hell. I went to the doctor, and 9 months later it was diagnosed that I had a dislocated kneecap in my right knee. The kneecap is still dislocated to this day, and continues to niggle me.
About 4 weeks after finding this out, again I’m on my bike (a new one this time), when the chain comes off the back wheel, jams it and throws me off on to the pavement. Knowing I had damage on my right knee, I shifted my body to the left. The result this time? A broken thumb. 6 weeks in plaster, and I returned to boxing again.
Things went well up until a week before my 18th birthday. With some friends, I slipped and broke my right elbow. This injury, aside from my knee, has been the most troublesome. I had a long time off with it, going to physiotherepy, resting, until I went back to the gym. Within the first few weeks I found out the elbow wasn’t right. There was a metal pin left in it to keep it strong, but every time I punched with my right arm the metal work would hit the nerve. It was the exact same feeling as you’d get from hitting your funny bone. Another operation later, to remove the metal pin, and I had ballooned up to 17st and had no desire to go back to boxing.
The problem I had, and I still have, is that I’ve tried so many times to get back to be fit and to eventually be able to fight. When you have so many disappointments, and set backs, you just can’t bring yourself back to try again. It happens to everyone at some point. It happened to me, and for the next 6 years I didn’t bother training. Made the odd appearance at the gym, but nothing serious.
Now though, as has been said before, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t even want to begin to explain it, but something switched inside, and now I want to get fit again to run the Birmingham Half Marathon to thank Macmillan Cancer Support and the Cancer Ward at the QE for their help, treatment and support. I have a history of injuries, and the most notable injury that could prevent me doing this is my knee. But I’m doing everything I can to manage the knee so I can still train while trying to limit any damage to it.
My view point is this. Even if I have to walk it, or crawl it, I will do that Half Marathon.