The last 7 years of my life have been absolute hell.
Struggling from quadriplegia, learning to communicate with only my eyes, learning to breathe again on my own and – the final indignity – being fed baby food until I was able to hold a spoon! For a 33-year old ex-squaddie-cum-martial arts enthusiast-cum-builder-cum-runner, this was quite a comedown, I can tell you!
After waking from coma after my stroke, I was totally paralysed, unable to do anything except blink. I had to learn absolutely EVERYTHING again – walking, talking, eating and even breathing. But I did it. 6 months and 1 day after a massive brain stem stroke left me locked-in, I managed, albeit shakily, to walk out of hospital and into an uphill struggle from then on.
So you’ll forgive me for confessing: “I am extremely proud to have found my feet again – not just in a physical sense. At the same time, my experience has humbled me, and I will always be very grounded!!
You don’t just get through locked-in syndrome and think: “Oh well crack open the beers and spark up”.
It’s made me completely O.C.D. from my P,T.S.D. Yet it’s changed me into ME! – only a little more introverted I guess, a little more distant from the world. Hey, it’s even turned me almost pescatarian (that’s fish-eater to me and you!) – I feel stronger for it. I’ve got used to the new Pete and I’m content with bugger all! I know what that REALLY means now!
For the last 7 years almost, I’ve spent most nights in the gym, getting my body to work again. The gym is my church for mental and physical health and once I walked in there nothing else in life mattered. Just me, the music and my obsessive mission to be strong again!
3 months ago, I joined Surge Gym, Clarkson. I’ve never lived so close to a gym before -ever so have taken that as a sign from the force above.
I dare to believe I can be a body builder!
Yes I know. I thought I’d just stop and get on with my life -,but working out has become my life now and I need to see just how far I can push this battle-worn carcass of mine!
I recently met this Personal trainer in Surge called Warren who’s taken me under his wing. Sadly, when he was 20, his mother was cruelly taken away from him with a stroke. .
You know when you’re being guided! I swear you’re given signs in this life! But you still have a choice, E
ither follow these signs or just believe in nothing and moan about stuff! As for me, I believe when your cards are dealt you must play the best hand you can!
I might be dead soon, so having fought so hard for the life I have left, I personally want to put my absolute best hand on the table. I’ve realised my curse has become my drive for life and now I’m going for it!
I am doing this for me!
I am doing this for locked-in syndrome survivors!
I am doing this for stroke/brain injury survivors!
I am doing this for everyone who is fighting against the odds!
But most of all, I am doing this because no one believed I could!
WARREN – Let’s show ‘em bro!