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A Quick Fall & A Steady Climb That Caused My Spinal Cord Injury

Seven Years After My Spinal Cord injury

A bit about me; I'm 29 and in August of 2010 I had an accident (35ft fall) which led to me breaking my back in two places, and dramatically smashing up my ankle! Following 6 months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, a couple of 8+ hour spinal ops and various other ops and procedures, I reached a point where I shuffle around a bit on crutches, but predominantly I was a wheelchair user. With huge amounts of dedication, continued Physio and gym work I reached a point where I was walking fairly effectively (however painfully) but as I walked better the damage to my ankle (which had been irrelevant in a wheelchair) became more apparent! Cut a long story short, a few ops later and lots of opinions considered I opted to have my leg amputated below the knee in 2013, and I've not looked back since!

Prior to my accident I was a keen rock climber, and an outdoor instructor. I've returned to climbing in a big way. Last year I competed in 3 out of 4 of the national paraclimbing series, and reached a podium position at each leaving me in third position for the overall series. I have since been invited to be part of the gb paraclimbing team. I still have a long way to go, but I dont believe I've even scratched the surface of what I could do yet. If I'm honest, I'm not interested in being a good paraclimber, I want to be a world class climber by anyone's standards! To do this I'm training most days and pushing myself hard to see all the improvements I can! I also position myself so that I can do some big expeditions and push the boundaries of what it means to be 'disabled'.

Along side the competitive rock climbing I also want to do some big wall climbing around the world in the future and am a keen kayaker and lover of adventure and exploring. I really believe I will get to some interesting places, but the most exciting part of my life is my family. My wife and two little boys are the best part of my life and my extensive rehab process and huge amounts of training has allowed me to be the type of active hands on parent to my little boys I always dreamed I'd be. I've attached a climbing video a friend made of me about me. It's a bit old now. Pleased to say I'm slimmer, healthier and better at climbing now than I was when it was filmed. :)