Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Hidden Disability... Not the constapated asshole

Dave on the slate, North Wales. 
I had the pleasure of working/climbing with our other GB Para Climbing Team coach, Phil Blue here in Snowdonia along with Jay, Katie and GB Paraclimber Dave Bowes.

A good day in the quarries on the slate to give Jay a days real rock practice before we fly over to the Pyrenees in a few days.

It was good for Jay to meet Dave because of Dave's hidden disability ( Dave was in a serious motor bike accident leaving him brain damaged with various after effects. )

"I have persistent post concussion syndrome ( basically permanent concussion symptoms forever: affecting memory, concentration, attention span, confusion, sensory overload, anxiety), central vestibular disorder, vestibular dysfunction in both ears (both mean I have no sense of balance, I have to focus on fixed objects ahead of me to use as a tilt guide, like the dial in a plane), REM sleep disorder leaving me unable to get regenerative sleep, post traumatic migraine, moderate to severe depression. Finally the worst, complete change in personality, as in Dave version 1 died on 08/09/07, a new Dave is who you know. Commonly called frontal lobe syndrome..."

I've been to various Paraclimbing Competitions with Dave, most recently Gijon at the World Championships where he came 4th in his category. An exceptional guy!

When I first met Dave I thought why is he here amongst such obviously disabled and challenged paraclimbers but that was my mistake and spending more and more time with him has lead to a greater understanding of him and his hidden disability. I realized I had been an asshole and I even think I like him now!

That's the thing with all this... You don't need to like people with a disability by default. That's something else? People are people, and some are nice and some can be assholes. I wouldn't say I have gotten to know all the team yet nor do I like their assholes. But the more time I have with them climbing and coaching the more growth they give me as a more caring human being. Sorry about the asshole comment but it was just a running theme!

Phil and Dave

Referrals from clients:

"...This training season I decided to get all the help I can to speed up my improvement. I needed guidance to work towards my goals in long term. I also needed more vision and opinions about my exercises and weak links. I am glad I can share my training with Mark..." (Ville Mustonen, Finland)

" I met Mark in Glen Nevis on his return to climbing to check out some lines he had in mind for me, I wasn't really training at this point but after a day or two talking and training with him I had a much more structured idea of what to do to improve and I did" (Kev Shields)