"Are you limited by your Challenges" or "are you challenging your limits"

I Live with a Neuromuscular / Spinal Condition and plan to 'Challenging My Limits' 2017 my goal was the Lake Zurich 26km Marathon Swim.

Where do I go from here? #destinationunknown

Decide what you want, believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, and believe it's possible for you.

DragonRunnerby DragonRunnerDec 13th 2013
So it begins. The months of endless strokes, revolutions and steps. There will be pain, dark moments, mind games and more pain. However first getting to the start line and just under 17 hours later crossing the finish line in Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham as an Outlaw will make this Challenged Athlete a happy person.

So don't forget to say a hello when you pass me, that simple word will make such a difference or even stay with me for a short while.

In the words of Paula Radcliffe "Never set limits, go after your dreams, don't be afraid to push the boundaries, and laugh a lot, it's good for you!" Outlaw Triathlon 2014 here I come.

So that is the main plan for 2014, as this should be the last blog for the year lets have a review of my year.

One of the difficulties I have to contend with is people's perception of what I should be doing or can do. It is I suppose hard for some people to realise that not all medical conditions are visible. There are millions of people who are forced to contend with serious illnesses, injuries and circumstances, which have left them with mountains to climb every time they take a step. Most people do not realise a person can have hindrances on the inside, that may not visible on the outside. Their restrictions may not be conspicuous at a glance, but their pain, limitations and inability to function normally can be debilitating. My limits may be different to some but they are certainly been pushed more than a lot of others I see just walking around the high streets carrying their walking sticks.

The quest for me goes on, I end the year as it started, trying to find an answer to my condition. If anything at present I am improving my patience levels as I get passed from one specialty to another, waiting for test and to try certain treatments to see if they work. At present the current AFO I am wearing does not seem to be helping much, which is making the whole process harder and has really put the December run training back a few weeks something which I am not happy about, as certain times of the day it is harder enough to walk let alone anything else.

I cannot review my year without mentioning Ironman Sweden, so much was learnt that day not only in covering the distance but how my body reacts to being pushed to the limits in crossing that line on the Storgatan, Kalmar. My training plan on the whole worked for me so it will make a large part of my plan to cross the line in Nottingham.

Another highlight for me this year, is something mentioned in the last blog. I have now become a Level 1 Triathlon Coach. So look forward to working with the members and the experienced Coaches of Celtic Tri in the years to come. I know that there will be many pleasurable experiences with this venture, and thank you to the Club Management for the opportunity. I do have one personal goal with this venture and that is to work with as many Paratriathletes as possible, as well as all connected with this incredible club and one year progressing on to the next level.

The winter will see me working on my bike handling skills, with the introduction of riding a MTB and experiencing new routes and trials, this includes some night rides. One of the strange things about riding at this time of day is as you connot see the top of the hills. This is really helping with the mind games. As I just got keep going as long as I can to get to the top, not knowing how far away they are. This is putting a totally different perspective on the rides. If the plan works it should help a little with my climbing and general road speed in the future.

Also this year I have enjoyed the long swims I completed in, from the Eton 10k to Brownsea Island (6.5k) and all the other distances in-between, these will help with one of of my "A races" in 2014, covering the 14k between Henley and Marlow Bridges. There may be a few other swims along the way too.

For those who follow me on Facebook the daily messages I post are words to myself, which I recall when the going gets tough during the day. I find it helps me to start the day off with a positive.

Before I start the blog for next year I am going to have to think of a new theme, where certain words are sneaked into the blog, this year was Abba song titles (how many did you notice). So as a start it may be based on the myths and Legends of Robin Hood, unless someone comes up with another suggestion.

Next stop for me is - Nos Galan Runs (Mountain Ash) on New Years Eve, so was wondering if this is the last race of the year or the first race of the year? So thank you all the who followed my travels and moans during the year and for your support, as always you all play a big part.

Next Year at present looks like this, with luck.

December 31st - Nos Galan Races, Mountain Ash
February 16th - Love 10k Run, Cardiff
March 2nd - Bath Half Marathon
March 21st - Swimathon 5k, Penlan, Swansea
May 18th - Llanelli Sprint Triathlon
May 27th - Eton 10k Swim
June 1st - Outlaw Middle Distance Triathlon
June 13th - Great North 5k Swim, Windermere
July 27th - Outlaw Long Course Triathlon
August 10th - Bridge to Bridge 14k Swim, (Henley to Marlow)
September 7th - Great North Run
September 20th - Langrose Lake 6k Swim
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