Tag Archive for VI Climber

Power 100 2018 – A secret I managed to keep

Back in early September I was made aware that I had made it into the Shaw Trust Power 100 2018.  But at the time knew nothing of it, who had nominated me or even what I was being nominated for.

I most certainly did not believe that I was chosen from over 700 entries to be named on the list which is compiled with the tag line

‘Britain’s most influential disabled people.’

Which may be why I kept it a close guarded secret.  I only told my closest friend (because I did have to tell someone and I honestly believed he had nominated me-but he swears it wasn’t him)

Even when the proofreading of my bio that would be included in the publication came through I struggled to believe it.

I had previously heard of The Shaw Trust, but in only its fourth year, the power list is a relatively young publication, but one that is an amazing achievement in increasing awareness of people with disabilities and the impact they can have on the world around them. (Just as those who do not have disabilities can)

I then received my invitation to the launch party of The Power 100, to which i was welcome to bring someone, and it was I felt only right that I should invite my CPiC to attend after all I was sure he had been the person who had nominated me.  (He is adamant it wasn’t him)

The event was to be held on The SouthBank and the dress code was ‘come as you are’  But no further information was forthcoming.

So Wednesday evening after a day in London with butterflies we attended the ‘Power 100 Launch’

The speakers talking of the work both they and the Shaw Trust do were amazing.  The ‘Top Ten’ of the power list were announced, along with a little biography of what they did.

It was at the point where Alex Brooker was announced as Number 1 and invited to speak that I felt truly moved.  His words, his whit and his ability to show how humbled he was by this really touched me.

It was after these that the publication was handed out.

It wasn’t actually until the point where Simon (my CPiC) found my bio page that I felt I was actually included.  That this wasn’t all a big misunderstanding and they had invited me in error.  As he read out my bio I found myself overcome with emotion.

Is it possible to say I felt proud of myself?

I realised that for the previous ten years (almost) since I recieved what I felt was devastating life ending news about my diagnosis I had actually impacted somewhere.  I hadn’t ‘wasted’ my abilities.

I realised that I mattered.

You can see photographs of my inclusion within the publication HERE

You can see my bio and the other 99 entires in this years Power 100 2018 HERE


Why do I climb?

I watched a climbing film this morning about a climber with progressive cerebral palsy.  He took up climbing as it looked more fun than physiotherapy.  When asked what he enjoyed most about climbing he answered:

I am equal to everybody else.

This comment has had a profound effect on me.  A friend asked me a few months ago; how do you feel when your climbing?

I couldn’t answer. I told her it was something I would have to think about and come back to her on.

It is a simple enough question isn’t it?

How do I feel when I am climbing?

I feel free.

No-one is looking at me when I am climbing, they are all too busy concentrating on their own climbs or climbing partners.

I have no idea what it looks like to climb (not first hand, without zooming in on pictures) therefore I do not feel conscious of how I look.  Don’t get me wrong there is the odd occasion I come down off a wall and I can feel the sweat stinging my eyes and I have a fair idea of how red and sweaty I look, but that is no different to any other Climber that has just given their all.

Climbing is not something I have known with much better sight.  It is not like the sight I had 15 years ago, which although pretty poor was much clearer than the sight I have now; the sort of sight that wearing glasses made a real difference; where as now they only really help with REALLY close up things.

An example, as a child I rode a bike, as an adult I rode a bike and even up until last year I felt comfortable riding a bike.  Since my hearing loss I have found it a real struggle to feel safe on a bike.  Not the physical movement of actually turning the peddles and making the wheels move, but the ability to even judge how far my foot is from the ground.

I refuse to give up on ever riding again, but my days of riding alone or just taking the kids out are gone.

[I have digressed slightly….Fogive me]

With climbing there isn’t this feeling. Because the routes on walls are very rarely the same after 3 months, there is no ‘marker’ to judge my changes in sight.

The only way I can judge my climbing is the same as anyone with any type of sport…… How I feel the next day !!

I am working on stretching and movement, on endurance and core strength, which in turn is improving my climbing.

When I am on a wall, only the thought of reaching the next hold and getting further than I did before is on my mind.

My sight loss and hearing loss don’t come into it.  They make up such a small part of me as a person, and yes they clearly do have an affect on the way I climb.

But for me I JUST CLIMB.

And just as Nik Royale (BMC Article linked here) commented how he felt about climbing over 5 years ago; I find myself absorbing his comment and believing in it, regardless of if you take part in Paraclimbing or other forms of competition.

Climbing is about equality.  A climbing wall doesn’t care about the colour of your skin, how your body looks or even how your body works.  It enables you to find a way, to reach personal challenges and milestones.

It is simply there for you to climb it.



A simple question

Watching the Para-athletics, makes me wonder:

Would I be a Climber if I could see?

It’s a simple question; but honestly not one I can answer.

Simply put, it doesn’t matter about ‘can I?’ ‘Would I?’ or even ‘Should I?’ Because I can’t see and I can climb.

My sight & hearing loss has made me who is here today, it’s not about what I can’t do.

it should ALWAYS about what I CAN DO.

Yes I like most have wishes and hopes of things I want to do; but as yet haven’t.  I am also human and long for the day that I can see and I can watch my children playing on the other side of the park.  But, I am a realist and know that there are some hopes and dreams I will never have come true.

But life is for living, something that I can’t do if I sit too long and dwell.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support
%d bloggers like this: