In January 2015 Jamie realised that his life was never going to be the same, He concluded that even if he woke up perfectly able-bodied he would never be the man who went to bed on the 6th January 2014.
After holding a small funeral for his able-bodied version of himself Jamie decided he needed to find out who he now was and what he was now capable of. Challenge 2015 was born. 12 challenges one every month for twelve months.
January – WCMX: Jamie took a chair built for Tesco’s cut the back end off, fitted suspension, and took himself off to a skate park.
February – Hand-cycle Marathon: Jamie every year takes part in a challenge for TSSAware in memory of a dear young lady taken way too young from Toxic Shock Syndrome. This time Jamie hand-cycled From Cwmbran to Chepstow. 26 miles in terrible wet and rainy conditions.
March – Clay Pigeon Shooting: Jamie has used a gun before both in the arm and on a shotgun range, but never in a chair.
April – Down Hill Rough Riding: Yep you guessed it. In a wheelchair purpose-built for the downhill circuit and hitting speeds of 40+MPH through the woods.
May – Carten100: Back in a hand-cycle only this time 100 miles from Cardiff to Tenby. 13 hours of grueling road cycling using only hand power.
June – WAAT4: 30k adventure over the Brecon Beacons. Jamie did this in a wheelchair, the first to achieve and currently the only person to attempt this challenge in a self-propelled wheelchair.
July – Rowing Down The River Wye: somewhat easier challenge than his last few but still very taxing with limited core control.
August – Surfing: Being in the sea is one thing, getting there is another. With some great support, Jamie was soon in the waves and loving the open water. He even hit a few waves along the way.
September – Zip Line: Something ticked off Jamie’s Bucket list. The challenge was getting into the sling, but with some upper body strength and ingenuity, no challenge is too big.
October – Motorcycling: After years of being a biker, this seemed a thing of the past. However, with an adapted bike, open track, and a great team. Jamie was soon up and hitting the bends at great speeds.
November – Getting On A Aeroplane: Now an easy challenge in a wheelchair, Jamie had been dreading it from the word go. However, with a bit of trust in those around him, it was soon achieved.
December – Christmas Market: Definitely the most dangerous. Hit with several bags, poked with umbrellas, sat on, and bumped into more time than could keep count. There was a little corner where Jamie sneaked a mulled wine so not so bad.
Every challenge came with its massive ups and horrendous downs. However, Jamie learned valuable lessons about his abilities and vulnerabilities. Jamie also learned that at times we all fail. That is a fact of life. We all fall over from time to time. This is also a fact of life.