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Tough Mudder Day Episode 3 – Time to dig deep and finish this thing!

Firstly, I really want to say thank you again to you for your interest, support and encouragement as I trained for, participated in and eventually completed Tough Mudder – becoming the first blind person in the world to do so. I hope that you all felt a part of this world 1st achievement!

This achievement would never have been possible though without the rest of the Almost Fit team – Dirk Venter, Michael Meredith, Paul McGee and Glen Wellham and the support of my wife and family!

read on to learn about how I completed the remaining 12 obstacles and battled major leg cramps to finally cross the finish line

Tough Mudder Day Episode 2 – My life is mud

Episode 1 of my Tough Mudder Day was a cliff hanger! Well, maybe not so much a cliff hanger as a moderate hill of anticipation.

Had I really just completed the Electric Eel without a watery buzzy jolt of electricity?

Yes, it seems that I had. Thank goodness for that, although I was still very worried about Electroshock Therapy, which I knew was still to come and which was even worse than I was anticipating! But more about voluntarily walking into a curtain of live electrical wires later …

Read on to learn about how I tackled the obstacles known as kiss of mud, glory blades, trench warfare, cliff hanger and waterlogged, and how my legs started to fail me

4 Minutes of TV fame – guess that leaves me with 11 more to go?!

What I wasn’t really allowed to tell you during the weeks leading up to Tough Mudder Sydney is that the Channel Seven Today Tonight team, lead by Bryan Seymour, were interested in my Tough Mudder mission.

The crew were definitely planning on filming the Tough Mudder day itself, but also spent time in the lead up grabbing footage of me training, running and of course interacting with my beautiful family.

All up I’d say they would have ended up with around 10 hours of footage, including a bunch from a GoPro camera strapped to Dirk Venter’s chest. Well, at least it was attached most of the time!

I take my hat off to Bryan and his team who somehow turned all the footage, including a 10 minute interview with Renee and I, into a compelling four minute TV story . I now have a new insight about, and respect for, this form of journalism and story telling!

If you missed it, you can view it online here

Tough Mudder Day – Episode 1 – Let’s get tough and do this thing

Sorry that I have been silent of late. I am a lawyer by day, and nights too come to think of it, specialising in not-for-profit and charity law. Work has been pretty busy in the Tough Mudder aftermath.

I have though, as promised, written the first instalment of my experience of Tough Mudder.

read on to learn about the morning preparations, getting to the Eastern Creek venue, registering and all that stuff, the buz, excitement, atmosphere and hype, the start, obstacle 1 – Bale Bonds and obstical 2 – the dreaded Electric Eal

My first audio post – a radio interview on 5RPH

On Wednesday 16 October 2013, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Peter Greco for the 5RPH (1197AM) Vision Extra segment.

With Peter’s questions and prompting, we explore what Tough Mudder is, a little about my preparation, some of the more difficult obstacles such as the skateboard halfpipe and the infamous Electroshock Therapy and learn a little more about my life mottos “give it a go” and “just keep at it“.

Feel free to listen or download at your leisure.

We did it! Team Almost Fit completes all of Tough Mudder Sydney – 12 October 2013

After 4 hours and 19 minutes of hay bales, iced water, mud walls, underground trenches, electric shock therapy, monkey bars, a half pipe, rocky trails, 10km of major leg cramps and the ingestion of more mud than a childhood worth of mud pies, we completed Tough Mudder Sydney!

A massive thanks to the Almost Fit team of (in no particular order) Dirk Venter, Michael Meredith, Paul McGee and Glen Wellham for being part of the team that helped me become the first blind person in the world to finish Tough Mudder. And I can also report that we completed every single obstacle!

Thanks to you, too, for your encouragement and support. It really means a lot to me and certainly helped me push on when the going got … well … tough!

I will report more in the coming days.

I will also be putting up some more photos shortly, but in the meantime you can head on over to the Blind Power Facebook page to view a small sample of photos over there.

World First Blind Tough Mudder

The five members of the Almost Fit team

On 12 October 2013, Darren Fittler, a blind man from Sydney Australia, will be participating in Tough Mudder. If he completes the course, Tough Mudder has confirmed that he will be the first blind person in the world to do so.
read this post for the full article about Darren’s opportunity to be the ffirst blind person in the world to complete Tough Mudder

There can be only one … this week

There is quite a bit in today’s post. It didn’t start out that way, but things just grew.

In this post there is some Body Talk and the usual summary of my workout. I also reveal the results of today’s BioSignature Testing and share my musings on stupid balance-based exercises.

read the full post

A day of rest

Today is Father’s Day, at least in Australia.

I took this as a good excuse; one might even say ‘reason’, to take things a little easy. Particularly after what was a rather tough day in the garden yesterday!

And if I can’t slack off on Father’s Day, when can I?!

I do like getting out in the garden. But not being able to see what I am doing does lead to some interesting adventures and read more about gardening without sight and some more Body Talk

Father’s Day starts early

I didn’t get to train or run today as had a very important morning meeting.

I had a Father’s Day morning tea at my kids’ school. There was coffee and bacon and egg rolls, which I enjoyed thoroughly at 7am!

Actually, I would have to say that bacon and egg rolls and coffee are two of my most favourite things!

There were also some very tasty muffins and other chocolate treats. But don’t worry, I didn’t indulge. I would like to say that it was because I was strong. But to be honest, I just didn’t feel like eating that stuff this morning.

So, apart from the noise of a hundred kids yelling and carrying on bouncing around the hard surfaces of a school hall, it was perfect! Well, actually, read more about my Father’s Day breakfast

Website is live, but so much more to do!

Today was another important day in the history of this blog.

An essential milestone was reached today. Yep, got the site up and live. I also got to know the WordPress interface a little, but it is a very busy interface and rather difficult for me to get my head around using screen reading software.

read more about my website challenges

Operation Crazy Pants

This is another post that doesn’t have much to do with fitness or Tough Mudder directly. It does however, let you know a little more about the Almost Fit website and gives a small insight into how I go about shopping as a blind person.

read on to learn a little more about the Almost Fit website, Operation Crazy Pants, how I go about shopping as a blind person and how GPS is useful to me

Outdoor run No. 1 – Running Blind

Today Dirk Venter and I embarked on our first outdoor run together. Just some street running up to the landmark Coke Sign in Kings Cross and back again, with a brief diversion into Hyde Park to try some gentle off-road running.

This whole running together thing is new to both of us, so we had to experiment a bit. Dirk brought along a piece of elastic strapping (like physios use) to tether us together.

Running with an over-sized rubberband kinda worked but was not so good when judging a quick stop … oof!

read on to learn more about our first running adventure

Monkeying around

Another day of dead-lifts. Dead-lifts are good for you, so Mr Dirk Venter keeps telling me. But, they really do take some focus and good old fashion determination.

You may remember that Dirk went easy on me last week. Well, you will be glad to learn that he is over whatever illness brought on that moment of kindness!

read on to learn more about today’s deadlifts routine and my first go at the monkey bars, and Dirk’s too

Training blind

Hi, and welcome to another post.

I have written a few posts now and thought it was a good time to share a little about why I started training and about why I decided to team up with a personal trainer.

There are four main reasons why I teamed up with Dirk Venter for training, two of which are directly related to me not being able to see. The reasons are:

  • to make sure I don’t disrupt anyone else’s training
  • to get good hands-on instruction on proper technique
  • to motivate me to go to training (after all I have already paid the money)
  • to be pushed harder than I am likely to push myself.

I don’t like the idea that I can’t just decide to join a gym and go like most other people. There is, as with many aspects of being blind, a need to put in extra planning and thinking and to take extra steps to achieve what might seem to be the simplest of things. This extra work takes extra effort and needs motivation. Which I try hard to maintain, but not always with success.

read on to learn more about training without sight and today’s shoulder workout

BioSignature Testing session 2 and some fun in a not-for-profit pub

Almost a week has passed since my last post. I was away in Melbourne for work and then had a busy weekend of family things that I won’t bore you with!

Today was the beginning of a new program which means, yes, another bioSignature testing session. This caught me a little off guard as Dirk had said that we wouldn’t test again until early August. I should know by now though that Dirk can, and readily does, change his mind!

I was not expecting good results, mostly because I did not eat very much or very well during my three days in Melbourne last week.

Oh and the meal I had at Charcoal Lane on Gertrude Street, on the fringes of Melbourne’s CBD, while very tasty indeed, probably wasn’t quite what Dirk would have recommended.

Hmmm, and to be honest, Dirk would not have been impressed at all to learn that we followed Charcoal Lane with a visit to a not-for-profit pub on Manchester Lane called Shebeen. Well it wouldn’t be visiting a pub that would have been frowned upon, more the beer or two I had! But all for a good cause.

read on to learn more about Shebeen, my BioSignature results, today’s leg workout and my challenges of eating well when in a foreign city

With shins like a hockey player

Hmmmm, thought about doing some exercise today … again. Dam it, just can’t seem to get the weekend workout thing going on. In fact, can’t even seem to get the weekend stretching or something going. But there’s another idea … how to get a good workout at home.

I smashed my knee into a wooden chest today. My fault, I left it there! Rest assured though, this is Far from the first time I have walked or run into something. Not seeing where I am going does mean that I run into things somewhat more than your average bear!

My shin bones have a good collection of old and new scarring and so many chips and dints that you could almost call them serrated – a lot like I imagine a hockey player’s shins to be.

read more on my poor shinbones, if you dare!

Happy Independence Day

Independence is very important to me. There is a perception out there that people who are blind are less capable, less efficient, less intelligent and more needy than others. Blindness is also a very frightening and confronting concept to many. No surprise really seeming that we all live in an extremely vision oriented world.

People find it very difficult to comprehend what life might be like if they were required to interact and participate in the world without sight.

It is possible though … of course!

I work hard to maintain my independence for my own sake and to also read more about independence, my leg workout and some Body Talk

My first run

Today I embarked on the First run of my Tough Mudder campaign. Just on a treadmill, but you gotta start somewhere right? And even running on a treadmill can be ‘interesting’ when you can’t see what you are doing!

Without constent visual cues of where I am in relation to the treadmill, I need to use other senses – primarily touch, but hearing also comes into the mix.

learn more about running blind

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