With about a month until Team Ocean Valour departed New York, disaster struck. Sam who had worked so hard as part of Team Ocean Valour for the preceding two year period was completing a weight lifting session in a final effort to boost his strength for the row. As he completed the lift he felt something in his back give away. After physiotherapy sessions, scans, checks and a visit from a consultant the news was not good. Sam had damaged a disc in his back and even the most optimistic recovery timelines suggested a 9 weeks recovery process which would still result in him rowing with a weakened back.
I’m gutted to not be on that boat. Tom and I have worked hard to get this far, and for the last 2 years it has been the first and last thing I’ve thought of each day. To be told by the Orthopaedic Consultant that following an MRI scan any chances of rowing this year are long gone is a bitter pill to swallow. But it is far better to know now than it to have failed out of reach of rescue. Bodies suffer when they are pushed, and while a fresh injury mid row is bad luck, to go knowing it would fail is foolish and dangerous. We have worked too hard to put pride before the safety of ourselves and others. It is frustrating that it happened trying to better prepare myself for the challenges the row had in store for us. Maybe in this instance I should have paused instead of pushed when I felt tired, although all is easy with hindsight. But, and I believe more importantly, Ocean Valour most certainly lives on and we still need to raise money and awareness for The Brain Tumour Charity; that is after-all what we are here for. So the chin stays up and I will find my way to keep pushing, even if it is not from a rowing seat.