The big news this week has to be the announcement of our sponsorship cause for this year’s challenges. I must say I am very privileged and somewhat surprised to have been accepted as a donor for the #StayStrongForOws campaign by Owen Williams, his family and Cardiff Blues. I had assumed they would have far bigger names than I competing in these events and raising money to help Owen, but they were genuinely pleased and delighted of my offer of support. I will be meeting with Helen Davies, the Blues family liaison officer next week to further discuss my plans and hopefully to chat about publicity to gain the maximum exposure and amount of donations for Owen.
Many of you will already know Owen’s story, but others who maybe do not follow rugby in depth will not. Owen Williams is a Cardiff Blues and Welsh International centre who showed superb talent on the rugby field with maturity ahead of his years. Owen was representing Cardiff Blues in the World Club 10’s tournament in Singapore last year when he suffered a significant injury to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord. Following treatment in Singapore he was transferred to the Rockwood Hospital in Cardiff for further rehabilitation. I have not yet had the privilege to meet Owen personally, however I have seen him speak on Scrum V (you can watch here) about his recovery and his stoicism and determination are inspirational. At Paul Turner’s request (as my supporter this year), I was pleased to have the opportunity to offer any support I can to Owen and his family, and I am committed to doing the best I possibly can for him.
The injury suffered by Owen is truly awful for any rugby player and their family. To suffer in this way playing the game you love and doing your job could be devastating, but to see Owen bouncing back brings a tear to the eye and ensures me plenty of motivation whenever the training gets tough.
In July last year, Cardiff Blues launched the #StayStrongForOws awareness campaign to support Owen in association with the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust. Many wristbands have been sold and events undertaken by famous names from Welsh rugby already and I realise these attract much more media attention than my own efforts, however I sincerely hope anyone who can gives a little and most importantly helps me to promote my effort at every challenge I attempt. I also hope to draw some commercial sponsors who may be able to afford that little bit more…. If I can raise the required amount I will join Cardiff Blues on their cycle to Paris in June, but I simply don’t have enough of my own money left to foot the bill myself!
The link to my Just Giving page will remain on the menu of this blog, or you can click here. Thanks for reading and sharing.
Naturally the bulk of this blog revolves around the story of my sponsorship cause but I shall rattle through my training over the past week for those who are interested (don’t forget you can also follow the Sports Tracker links from the menu for more regular updates!):
Friday 16th Jan: 21.21km run with Mave (1hr 53mins)
Saturday 17th Jan: 1.7km swim (drills) with Bérengère (53mins)
Sunday 18th Jan: 22.08km run with Mave (2hrs)
Monday 19th Jan: Gym session (Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Abs)
Tuesday 20th Jan: REST DAY!
Wednesday 21st Jan: 1.7km swim (non-stop) (42mins 47secs) & 10km run with Mave (53mins)
Thursday 22nd Jan: 50km cycle ride (2hrs 1min)
Friday 23rd Jan: 25km run with Mave (2hrs 15mins)
Future blogs will go into a little more detail about the training but this one is probably almost long enough!
Finally, a diet update…. Less than 4 weeks to go on the complete elimination diet and we have begun reintroducing foods….
Eggs were first (on Monday) and there was a minimal reaction on my part (slight heartburn and stomach noises), although we haven’t had any more since then! However yesterday (Thursday) was gluten grains and there a problem was found! Bloating, and most disturbingly a pounding headache…. Certainly seems to be an issue with gluten then, although bread and cakes will be tried separately but over the longer term I can foresee bulk purchases of gluten free flour in this house! Next comes dairy, on Sunday….. watch this space…..
The diet has been difficult in avoiding tea, coffee and alcohol with friends, however it is building good habits, helping with weight loss and finding out what causes stomach “issues”, which many people seem to have. I would certainly suggest it is a worthwhile exercise for anybody to undertake, at least once.
That’s been my week, and again thanks for reading and spreading the word. Have a good weekend and I’ll be back with another update (and more photos….) soon!