Rod has dunked basketballs, for real. This is Rod dunking a basketball. It's frigging awesome. How many people in the UK do you know who can do this? I didn't know any. I know one now. That doesn't happen with ease. This is exceptional. I for one remember playing at school. Never managing to tip the basket net with the microscopic edge of my nail, thinking, I wish I was a little bit taller. Yet, height really won't make a dunk happen. Commitment to relentless training, studying and learning the sport, along with conditioning, imagination, desire, willingness to fail in order to experience success and above all else the determination to compete with one self and others.
You see, more wonder than answers to the outside observer looking in. Watching and having time with Rod has confirmed one unqualified opinion - I have no idea how he does it. I have stopped trying to comprehend what Rod is experiencing. The journey Rod took to get to being able to dunk the hoop, only Rod knows, uniquely to him what it took and how it happened.
Meeting Rod and Ellen for the first time as a representative of BWT physio clinic, I was taken aback by the love, energy and smiles that lit the room up. The BWT physios Helen, Linda, Tom and Matt present Rod the physical interaction that is impossible to achieve in his own home. Combined with Rods carers attention to detail, the 4 hours of "up and about time" - 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon - is fully utilised for wellbeing, maintaining range of motion available and stimulating conversation.
What I can say positively, and without hesitation, is that Rod is living the fullest of life under the crazy circumstances his body presents. Alongside that, Don, Mario and Matteo who provide full time care at the house reflect such an outlook. Ellen and her family are relentless in demonstrating their love for their Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, and Uncle. Rod has a cracking sense of humour, communicates through hand squeezes and eye movement. He takes part assertively in his conditioning exercises and commits fully to whatever is asked of him. He can tap out a good beat with his left foot! He can push and pull through his chest and back. It jitters on and off. It is all assisted movement, but all the practitioners feel his force and more often than not will not let him win easily. The effort to make movement will be exhausting. He can control his breathing rate and practices this to keep his lungs as effective as they can be. He is doing what can, to the highest level that he can. As if he was training to dunk a ball for the first time.
Providing the BWT home visits for someone in Rods condition was a new experience and admittedly, at. first overwhelmed to comprehend the enormity of what Rod and Ellen have to face daily. I'd love to dress it up and paint a picture that we all know what we are doing, Rod is coping fine and his family have come to accept the limitations that MSA presents. I'd love to. That would be BS and we might even smell it off the screen if it were written in such a way. It is an unknown everyday and the reality, especially during 2020 of covid, I would suggest is only within comprehension of those living within Rods household.
So, what can we do to help. Go forth and do what you are uniquely good at. Something that creates a reaction from others whereby they might say - "you are doing what?! "You are going up and down 49 times!? Why?" Distract eyes and minds from a crazy year and bring Rods condition to the attention and awareness. Rod was dunking balls not so many full moons ago. MSA, as with all other degenerative physical conditions is a bitch however Rod is a shining star that tells you he is putting it in it's place in the chain. At the bottom. Placing his. attentiveness to his wife and children at the top.
Multiple System Atrophy is a progressive neurological disorder that affects adult men and woman. It is caused by degeneration or atrophy (shrinking) of nerve cells in several (or multiple) areas of the brain. This has resulted in catastrophic failure for Rods movement and autonomic functions of the body such as bladder and blood pressure control.
Matteo did 15 - 4600ft 😁 with £200+ personal sponsors. Anna did 10 👌. Helen did 9 🤛. Pat did plenty!🤩. Cindy skipped up plenty more🤪. Everyone who supported did plenty more between them. ✌️£500+ collected on the day from generous walkers and cyclists. A further £700 online over the weekend.
A walk in the park. A luxury. An opportunity to help. A decision. A joy. A team effort. A lot of fun. It got hot, we knew it was going to get hot. When it got hot I rested and kept cool.
Anyone who thinks they are suffering when doing stuff like this needs their head examining. There is no requirement to "relate" to what Rod and Ellen are going through. When it is about something that is impossible to comprehend, we have to get the head down and do what we can to help.
What will we do to help? We all know people who are truly suffering. There's a wad of money floating out in the ether, and yet! Yet! The guys are £3000 short, not yet seen are the tremendous fundraising exploits of Maxine at the West Hants club as they are still to be added to the official Crowdfunding page. So the future challenges, fundraising ideas and ambition to #keeprodrockin will bring them to their target. Importantly, add depth to the quality of life that Rod has, bring comfort to Ellen knowing she is providing the best for her husband.
The physical effort of climbing and descending a 300 ft, 25% incline slope 49 times takes practice, experience and a nutritional plan. I have built on all 3 during my 30 + years of physical training and challenge experience.
You can see an amazing array of training nutritional products at Xmiles. Based in Wimbourne, well worth a visit if you live local although a fantastic online presence and easy to use internet shop. My chosen product is Spring ~Energy. Great for these hard hitting sessions and endurance sets. Really not much more to share about the training factors. If you want to know more or need help with your challenges ahead then get in touch. Madmule can help or put you in touch with those who can.