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Challenge your limits but don't limit your challenges!

What a week we had in Northern Ireland at the North West 200. I was privileged enough to be invited to ride a charity lap of the 8.9 mile course on my adapted motorbike, and combine that with the most wonderful week with my family. I am so grateful to my team, the NW200 organisers and all who have supported me on this journey.

My spinal cord injury meant I lost all movement and sensation from the chest down so why the hell would I want to be Velcroed onto a powerful motorbike and launched onto the road, knowing if there was an issue with the bike or if a bump dislodged me I couldn't just pull up and get off?

In fact, having never sat on a motorbike before being paralysed, why on earth did I say yes to having a go at this sport? Falls were inevitable. Learning was tough.

The morning before my charity lap felt forever. The race before was red flagged and I wasn't sure how long it would be before I got a call from Steve Plater, a former British Champion and North West 200 winner, to say it is time for me to get ready. I was lucky enough to have Steve lead me around- not at his usual speeds though!

So how did I feel waiting? I had a cup of tea in my hand and it was evident I was shaking, it was a gorgeous warm day and I was shivering like it was winter and my stomach was churning- a can't feel a thing from the chest down except I can feel that sensation that something exciting and scary is about the happen. It isn't a feeling I love at the time but I absolutely love challenging myself and being out my comfort zone.

I am not sure the exact speeds I reached as I thought I had better look where I am going as there are trees at the side of roads and I know from my life changing injury, you won't come off too well if you collide with a tree, but I think I reached around 90mph. Once I was out there I feel the nerves disappeared and it is like the bike is part of me. I get a huge sense of freedom. I also think that if we take on challenges we will gain attributes that will help us in all areas of life.

Why challenge yourself?

Challenging yourself is essential for personal growth and development. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, helping you discover hidden strengths and capabilities.

By taking on new challenges, you expand your skills, knowledge, and experience, leading to increased confidence and self-belief. It also fosters resilience, as you learn to overcome obstacles and setbacks, developing a strong mindset.

Challenging yourself keeps life exciting and prevents stagnation, ensuring continuous learning and improvement. Ultimately, it allows you to unlock your full potential and achieve extraordinary things you may have never thought possible.

My challenges started predominately to raise money to cure paralysis, and over the years I have raised £865,000 through the various feats I have taken on but they also have served another purpose; they have made me who I am today.

Please take a look at the auction which ends soon:

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