2013: Apart from having a few allergies and intolerances I was a healthy, energetic, fit individual - always on the go. Nothing stopped me. I'd think nothing of going for a 110-length swim, then a 6-mile walk followed by a 20-mile bike ride. Our family holiday was cycling 222km along the C2C, Whitehaven to Tynemouth cycle route.
July 2014: My life changed dramatically overnight. Basically, my body decided to rebel against me. Amongst other things, I got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and, later a hypermobile Elhers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) diagnosis. The ceaseless energy is gone. Now I think about the amount of energy spoons I can spend each day and they often run out. To achieve things, I pace myself and break down tasks into small, manageable chunks.
April 2016: I got my exercise bike. I only managed 2mins a day, but 5 years on after strength, stamina and determination building I can now manage 1hr a day. I still can’t go fast; managing 4.5-5.5km a day. It's not far and not the same as cycling in the fresh air, but it’s the best I can manage. I'm happy with that.
Jan 2021: 2020 was the trickiest year we could imagine. No one's going far from home and everyone's got different ways to cope. I'm a positive person and it's important to me to find the best in things - discover ways forwards. My 2021 challenge will be cycling from Land’s End to John o'Groats. Obviously, not out in the real world. There's no way I could manage a real bike - balancing’s hard and hills are impossible. But, taking 1 tiny bit at a time, on my exercise bike, I will achieve my goal! I believe it'll take approx 1 year to pedal the virtual route. I'm starting on 24.01.21 hope to finish by 24.01.22. I'm using a tracking app and will post regular progress updates. Please support my challenge and check in to see how I'm doing.
Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) is a successful, dynamic and influential disability charity made up of volunteers, mostly disabled people themselves. Our projects help disabled people participate in society, improve their skills, find work, access shops and public places, find accessible transport, enjoy events, deal with hate crime, and much more. We do this by campaigning, influencing and working in partnership with councils, companies and organisations. We operate on a small budget without any public funding, so every pound given to us will work very hard.