Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. This is my story:
June 2007 I sat with my family to receive the devastating news that my dad had cancer; the news that nobody wants to hear. January 2008, 10 years ago I lost my dad, my best friend, my hero, to lung cancer. How would I cope? My dad and I did everything together. From supporting me growing up with all my sporting interests, swimming club, surf lifesaving and golf, to taking me around the world to places like Tenby, France and even Daytona, America to compete in Ironman Surf Lifesaving. Wherever I had to go to compete, my dad was always by my side, followed by a father and son pint to chill out and reflect. This I miss dearly.
Where have those 10 years gone? I found myself in some very dark places. I felt worthless and lonely. I turned to drinking and smoking excessively, and not a day would go by without being drunk. If I am honest I didn't care what happened to me. If I didn't wake up the next day, it would have been a relief with all the pain that I was going through in my head.
In 2014 my beautiful, amazing wife Gemma (Gigi) walked into my life. She is my rock, my world, my everything and by 2016 we were married. On the return from our honeymoon we found out that we were expecting our first child together. I had already stopped smoking in 2015, but in January 2017 a month before Oliver arrived I decided things had to change. I still enjoyed a drink, but no where near as much as I had in the past. My weight ballooned to 18.5 stone and I didn't like feeling that way. I had a conversation with Gemma and shared my dream, my goals, and I told her I wanted to complete an Ironman. It was a lifelong ambition - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run all to show our little boy Oliver that daddy did have a bit of talent back in the day and anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I wanted to turn my life around for him. Gemma agreed and gave me the thumbs up to go ahead with this challenge!!!
Oliver arrived safely in February 2017 and the moment I held him in my arms I have felt like a totally different person. I became a man. I became a daddy. I am so proud of him and I'm always smiling when I'm with him. Gemma is a constant boost of support and encouragement and she is with me every step, every mile of this journey.
So, as part of my training plan, I wanted to compete in some smaller distance triathlons and the half Ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). During 2017 I competed in the Swansea Triathlon for the first time, Swansea Half Marathon, Saundersfoot Triathlon, Gower Triathlon, Cardiff Half Marathon and then Mumbles Triathlon (Half Ironman distance). Every triathlon I have competed in, I have crossed the finish line with my son Oliver in my arms, proud as punch. He is the one pushing me every day and he doesn't even know it. On reflection this was a good year. A good start considering I had not done any kind of training or competing for 12 years.
The winter months ticked over with training, ready for February 9th which was the start of my 30 week Don Fink training plan. I am currently training very hard. I am now 15 stone and I have recently completed Swansea triathlon again. I was hugely pleased with crossing the finish line 19th out of 900 competitors. It was a big indicator that my training was paying off and I was heading in the right direction.
So, the big day is fast approaching. Wales Ironman, Tenby is September 9th 2018 and I want to give something back to Macmillan. My dad only had a short period of care after his diagnosis, but for that I am extremely grateful. I want to make my boy proud, just like I made my dad proud. I know he is watching over me and he sends me signs when it's needed, especially through the gruelling conditions, the mileage and the exhaustion. So, please donate to Macmillan Cancer Care, whether it be a few pence or few pounds, it will all be greatly appreciated, and will keep me swimming, cycling and running.
Wish me luck and thank you,
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Thank you for choosing to support me and Macmillan Cancer Support. Just so you know, 30% of the sponsorship that I collect (up to the cost of my entry fee) will be reimbursed. This means that Macmillan receives 70% or more of my sponsorship.
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