I grew to love climbing at Oakwood Climbing Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire in the South East of England.
My friend Mark had nagged, incessantly, for me to come climbing and in 2015 I relented. I could not see how with one functioning arm I would be any good.
With my dominant, from birth, left side weak from traumatic brain injury and my hand and arm particularly displaying Hypertension / Spasticity routes and holds up a wall can present a challenge but I find great enjoyment amongst the climbing community as well as an allure in that my busy mind quietens when I climb. Movement, balance and coordination are arduous processes but on a climb a focus allows me freedom and calm.
I compete in the category RP1 which signifies my Range and Power is the most severe of the three RP categories and displayed in three limbs.
My brain injury was attained at the age of twelve, in 1996, when as a pedestrian I was hit by two cars. After a coma I suffered paralysis from the neck down, could not speak and experienced a degree of regression. My right Tibia and Fibula were reformed after they shattered in 2004. There is nerve and tissue damage caused by a subsequent Fibectomy (removal of a section if the Fibula). With the hypertension in my left arm I have gross motor control, but no fine motor control or dexterity and the tension has lead to early onset Keinbochs Disease with the death and shattering of the Lunate bone in the wrist.
When not climbing I swim teach and currently work with a charity in a role assisting disabled swimmers in London and with the precision of using my non-dominant right hand an accuracy is attained with which I draw portraits and figurative fine art.
Photography by Benjamin Youd