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Beat The Beast Challenge

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It is with great delight that I am able to inform you that I have today walked my 7502nd mile which, on top of the 5035 miles cycled, 945 miles run, 488 miles cycled, cross trained, run and rowed in the gym, 17 miles paddled and 13 miles swum, means that I have completed another 1000 miles under my own steam, bringing my total to 14,008 miles covered under my own steam.

Cocoa So Content
Cocoa So Content

I would like to say that every single mile covered was a joy and certainly most were. But in the last fortnight I have had a rash of SMART attacks (Stroke like Migraine Attributable to Radiotherapy). The worst of this recent spate of attacks saw me left without sight, speech, the ability to swallow, poor balance and with very limited motor function down my left side, with a headache so painful that it felt like an ice-pick had been driven into my head. For eighteen hours my darling wife, Allie, nursed me while I lay unable to feed myself, unable to do anything other than lie there feeling as if I was sliding towards death. A night’s sleep, broken by bouts of pain, managed to bring me out of the SMART attack but left me feeling and looking decidedly drunk, with the world’s worst hangover. The worst bit was that not a drop had touched my lips. There were no wonderful memories of the fun had the night before. Just pain, a blurry pain.

A Beautiful New Day Dawning
A Beautiful New Day Dawning

That morning, after a breakfast that was truly savoured on a hungry stomach, I knew that I had to walk. Take Cocoa for a walk.

My balance was poor, my coordination of my left leg very poor which made my walking look very much like that of a drunk recovering stroke victim, but I was determined that I could walk on my own with Cocoa and wanted to give myself the confidence to do so. Allie reluctantly agreed to let me go. I staggered and stumbled onto the edge of the Golf course and unable to see clearly where golfers were, I hugged the edges of the course to try to walk my brain back into a functioning state. Cocoa refused to leave my side nor stray any further than five yards from me and, despite the pain in my head dropping me to my knees again as I stooped to pick up her doodoo, I took comfort from knowing that she was with me and that should I collapse as I sometimes felt close to doing, she had a dog tag on her collar stating that her owner was brain damaged so if she was found, I was probably in trouble so please call Allie’s number urgently. Allie tracks me on her phone and could then come to pick me up and take me home. I would much rather that than being bundled into an ambulance and rushed to hospital as a suspected stroke victim again. It wasn’t a stroke, just looked horribly like a stroke.

I walked further than I had promised Allie avoiding eye contact with all that I saw, just kept walking, and kept walking because as I did, I started to notice the coordination coming back into my left side. I wasn’t quite striding but was at least able to bend my knee and move it forward without dragging it or clumping it like a Disney cartoon clown. As I kept walking my sight became clearer, my head clearer and my outlook for the day, despite a headache still bubbling away in my right temporal lobe, was significantly rosier than before.

A Fiery Dusk On The Beach Beside The Glen Golf Club House
A Fiery Dusk On The Beach Beside The Glen Golf Club House

The following day I had another period when I felt decidedly drunk again but walked it off without it becoming a SMART attack.

The following, following day, after a tiring visit in which I was unable to take a much-needed nap, I suffered another much smaller and shorter but still defined SMART attack. I kept walking.

This morning, as the sun shone after a great night’s sleep, I was able to walk with a spring in my step calling a cheery good morning to all that I met out on an empty early morning golf course while Cocoa played tail chase with a young Hungarian Vizsla through the rough edges of the course until both were exhausted.
Whenever I walk I pray that with my balanced daily lifestyle of focused diet and brisk walking, coupled with learning to play the pipe organ, learning to play golf, learning to act and writing these posts, that God will strengthen me in mind and body day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, so that I might one day become useful again.

I pray it each and every day in the hope that God will answer and in the hope, as stated by the American Author Earl Nightingale, “We become what we think about” that I will one day become useful again.

Smile No.423 Clare From Nottingham
Smile No.423 Clare From Nottingham

On this daily battle back to fitness I continue to try to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. They have come to prominence for all the good works done in the Ukraine but we must not forget the millions, whose lives the DEC continues to save and rebuild, in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

So far I have managed to raise £17,378 for the DEC with every single penny raised, thanks to the generosity of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune, MHCreations in Glasgow and Key facilities Management in Doune, going to save and rebuild lives through the DEC.

North Berwick Law On A Crisp Clear Night
North Berwick Law On A Crisp Clear Night

This money saves lives and gives me the resolve to make more of mine. Please sponsor me to keep fighting with just £1 per month at www.beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk/sponsor-archie. I guarantee that every single penny raised gives me strength and goes to save and rebuild lives through the DEC.

Not a single penny is lost to costs.

Thank you
Keep safe.

A Happy Dog At Whitekirk Hill Trig Point
A Happy Dog At Whitekirk Hill Trig Point

Please keep me fighting.

Keep being brilliant.

Keeeeeeeeeeeep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude

Archie