Right then where to begin.
Back in 2012 I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis). A Life sentence everyone would fear and with good reason, its life changing and debilitating in most scenarios. I, however didn’t want to be another “patient” or another “victim” that’s not me but what you think and what the reality is can be worlds apart. Like most people one goes in to denial, “this isn’t happening to me this happens to other people”. “I’m fit, healthy, active I look after myself”, but sadly It did happen to me and no matter what, there was no escaping it. The Denial was the first phase, only my wife and parents knew and that’s where it stayed, I told no one else why would I, that’s admitting its real, that’s admitting defeat, that wasn’t me, I don’t admit defeat so I kept on living like nothing had changed and for a few years I managed it, I kept doing all the things I loved to do. I kept exercising like I use to, triathlons, Ironman, Mountain biking, Cross fit, Kayaking, running. I’d do anything to prove to myself that the impending doom of MS wasn’t real and the black cloud of disability hung over me like a wizard of oz storm. Truth is there was no escaping it. The physical aspect of MS started to take its toll, blurred vision, lack of balance, numbness in fingers to name but a few, all of which resulted in complete and utter deep dark depression that has stayed with me ever since. Its not that I’ve considered anything “final” that’s just not how I operate, but it did change me as a person and not for the better. I was angry with the world and angry that this had happened to me. What had I done to deserve this? This was a life time prison sentence, trapped in my own body that in fact now didn’t feel like my own. There was truly no escape. When my eyes were open it was there, when my eyes were closed it was on my mind, the thoughts of “what if’s and “maybe’s” followed me from the reality of daytime to the thoughts and dreams of the night. It really was a tough pill to swallow.
Over time things didn’t really get better they just changed. My acceptance for the disease became easier, well so I thought, but the physical side of things also changed. The numbness and the blurred vision got better and now they’ve levelled out and don’t cause an issue. I’ve been offered drugs in abundance for all the nuances I’ve had and flatly refused them. Personally, I don’t believe in drugs and never have. I’m a strong believer in the mind and the body and the fantastic link between the two so denied taking anything the Doctors wanted me to take. For me it was, and has been a personal journey of discovery. No stone has been unturned, somethings work, somethings don’t, somethings work momentarily and those you grasp on too with both hands hoping they’re the holy grail. The truth of the matter is the only holy grail I think lies within you. Change your mind change your body and that’s what I started to do.
It was about 4 years ago my left leg stopped working to a capacity that rendered me unable to walk more than 25-30 meters without my foot dragging or tripping up constantly. You then become very aware about falling and people watching you that don’t understand or have any back ground knowledge on you. At this point I become very aware of what I couldn’t do and stopped everything because I didn’t want to become an embarrassment or a hindrance to my friends and family. I was no longer able to be the Dad that I had imagined I would be to my daughter or the helpful husband that I aspired to become. Talk about being at my lowest point ever, I couldn’t get much lower, but I always had a feeling that something would come about, I never gave up, but never knew when it would happen but always hoped it would be sooner rather than later… Then one day whilst listening to an audio book on David Goggins I stumbled across a man called Joe Hippensteel that had fixed what can only be described as one of the most broken men alive (as in broken body terms). It was at that point my journey began. I did everything I could to get in contact with Joe and eventually got myself to one of his seminars in London of this year (three years in the making due to Covid etc). I stretched for 7 days straight for about 8hrs a day. My body was put through its paces, every evening I felt I’d been in a car crash, but no real improvement. You start to wonder if this life sentence really is permanent but Joe and my designated teacher ANNA kept on reassuring me that I needed to trust the process, so I did. Then by day 5 I woke up and was able to move my left leg in a way I hadn’t been able to for at least 4 years maybe more. As you can imagine the emotion was insane there was light at the end of the tunnel, my hopes and dreams were starting to come true. This movement was what I needed to believe, this movement was what the doctors said I’d never have, this movement was the biggest two fingers to them all. This movement in my leg was the beginning of the rest of my life. I’d been written off by most, but I always believed. I’ve tried most things in my life to get better and make a difference but nothing really stuck or made that much of an impact, but I had a guttural feeling that UHP (Ultimate Human Performance) was the answer, and bloody hell it was!
Since finishing the 7-day course with Joe his colleagues and the London class of instructors I have remained in contact with Anna (my designated teacher/Coach) on a daily basis. She has been the rock behind my progression, without Anna I would’ve been lost in a sea of complication and uncertainty. She showed me the way to go and navigate through a barrage of questions I had for her some complicated most not, but no matter what she has provided me with the desire to continue and the knowledge to go with it. My progression mentally and physically in the last five months is something I could have only dreamt about. Mentally it’s been a real struggle. For many many years, going from what I was able to do sports wise, to now not being able to walk the dog takes it toll on you. Together we worked through things, she was fantastic at listening to me and even better at suggesting ideas that I’d never thought of. It spurred me on to really take a look at myself and who I’d become and now with continual work I’m in the best place I’ve ever been mentally. The burden of trauma is a heavy weight to drag around with you and we worked on it together. On the physical side of things, it’s definitely a work in progress, but that’s OK I’ve seen improvements that can, will and are getting better and better week after week. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had to put the hours in but with her help and assistance I now get to ride bikes with my 5-year-old daughter and go on short walks with friends and family something I’d never thought I’d do again. And this is only in the first five months. It gives my real hope that I can have the life I want again
Thank you Anna…
I went to Anna because of my backpain and general stiffness from swimming. Every morning I kept waking up with a serious pain. Anna assessed my condition and worked 5 types of stretches with me. She taught me to do the stretches correctly, so I was then able to do these at home on my own. Already after a couple of weeks I started to feel improvement. Not only that the morning back pain wasn't as bad but I felt more flexible. Anna also did pressure points on my hips. After that session I walked home feeling 20 years younger.
I had a session with Anna and found that it really helped with my ongoing back issues. Anna is very professional and knowledgeable and showed me various stretches to do at home to continue to help my back. I have previously used a chiropractor, acupuncture, physio and have had back surgery and found that my session with Anna was the only one that really relieved my back issue. I would throughly recommend.