The Push 500 Wheelchair Challenge is not an organised challenge, it is a personal one for me. I am wheelchair-bound (see About Me) and so this challenge is, from the outset, not an easy one. At all times I will be pushing myself, with no assistance, in a normal wheelchair. Granted the wheelchairs these days are lighter and more nimble than they used to be, the chair(s) in which I will be undertaking this are all ‘normal’ chairs. I will not be using a racing chair as seen on marathon’s and races, it will be one of my chairs that I use daily.
Being physically, and thanks to the chosen charities now also mentally, in a place where I can hopefully give back a little bit (however cliché), I want to raise awareness and raise money for the chosen charities. The challenge is purely my challenge; as I was thinking how to achieve that cliché’d ‘giving back’, The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles came to mind, and I decided to raise funds by pushing myself in my wheelchair 500 miles… oh well. The 500 miles was to be a cumulative distance over quite a long period of time, and started 2 miles at a time, not easy considering the paralysis, but the charities’ work drove me to to do it.
During the first two 500 mile challenges, I did a 24-hour event, and one that included pulling an 80lb trailer on the first two miles; more 24-hour events will be planned, as will more trailer-pulling, as I undertake my 1000 mile challenge (it’s the song lyrics, not my choice). Why the trailer? In support of the troops currently deployed abroad (including my previously served-with Regiment and Corps would, will and do), I also intend to pull for at least one mile the full weight of kit and equipment that a deployed soldier would carry on patrol. Why the 24-hour event? The RAF are a 24-hour service (three of my chosen charities are RAF-based charities).
Having spent nearly the last five years undertaking this challenge, and covering over 1800 miles to date (02 December 2016), there’s about another 10 years of fundraising left – but thankfully the song that provided the spark for this challenge allows for me to do this, as I can work on the second and subsequent chorus. So, unlike me, this challenge ‘has got legs’ (ok, I’ve got ’em, they just don’t work).
The RAF-family of charities that this challenge supports can be understood, and after learning to fly thanks to a scholarship from Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (flying solo own my scholarship really provided the impetus to do something to fundraise) so can FSDP, but why Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope? Although I’ve understandably had no support from them: In 2016 Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope asked me to be one of their ambassadors – and to me it wasn’t right to be doing my fundraising if I wasn’t fundraising for them also. So please continue to support Push 500 as all of these great charities need the continued support of Push 500 to allow them to do their amazing, and much-needed, work.
Please, support me in this challenge by sponsoring/donating to my charities.