Tuesday, 30 June 2009

MJ, Stem Cells and The Saturdays on a Sunday

On Sunday night I went to see The Saturdays in concert at Leicester’s De Monfort Hall. I’m not the biggest fan of their music, but have liked all of their singles. Pixie Lot supported them and she was great. She paid a tribute to Michael Jackson by singing his classic Want You Back that received an amazing response from the audience. The Saturdays were quite good. I didn’t know all of the songs, as I don’t have their album, but they did a medley of songs that included Pink’s Rockstar, which got me dancing!

I just want to go back to Michael Jackson for the moment. How can anyone have missed that he died on Thursday night. My opinion on the matter is that he’s had quite a sad life. Thrown into the starlight at the age of 5 all he’s ever known is fame and living his life through the media. He clearly had some mental health problems after transforming his image dramatically, allowing children to sleep in his bed and not seeing an issue with it and generally living in Neverland believing he was the real Peter Pan. It’s undeniable that he has made some of the best music around, but a real shame that his life was short lived and generally appeared as an unhappy one.

Yesterday, I had an appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital. After the usual forever long wait I was told that my eye is stable and pressure was 12. It still makes me laugh when they say my eye is stable, I’m pretty sure it looks like a bombsite back there! Detached retina, scar tissue, oil bubble, various buckles and sponges and the general incorrect growth. Anyway, over the past few months I’ve been doing some research on Stem Cells, which could potentially restore some of my vision. The Chinese believe they can treat Norrie’s Disease, but haven’t trialled it yet. 2 other people with the condition have registered their interest, but haven’t yet had the treatment. I’m getting a copy of my notes from Moorfields and will see if the doctors in China think they can help me. It’s all in the very early stages at the moment, so I don’t want to harp on about getting my hopes up and how great it would be to see colours and read again. To be honest I’ve accepted my sight loss now and would be happy enough to continue life this way, but if there is a possibility I could have some sight back who blames me for looking into it.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Job, F1, Comp and Legs!

I’ve been meaning to update my blog all week, but for one reason or another I haven’t done it. Don’t worry I have a good memory though.

Let’s start off with the interview I went to last week Wednesday. It was your usual Admin Assistant post in the Adult Social Care Department at the Council a couple of villages away. First up was the test and as soon as I realised I needed to convert my Excel spreadsheet into a bar chart I knew it was all over! I just couldn’t figure it out. Anyway, the interview went well and they finally called to reject me this Wednesday. I came 3rd would you believe and there was just a point in it regarding who they actually appointed. But it’s no good coming 3rd when there is only one job up for grabs! They had nothing bad to say about me and I really need to get my ass back into gear and job search again. 6 months of unemployment when will I give up!

Brum, brum, brum! I went to the Silverstone Grand prix last Friday, which wasn’t the actual race day, but free practice. I got tickets for all 3 days, but couldn’t go on the Saturday as I had an athletics comp.

On Friday we just had a wander round and went to see where our seats were. We were in Cops E, which was the first corner of the track and where they came out of the pits. My mum surprised me when she bought a £45 t-shirt! She doesn’t pay that much for anything! I already bought 2 t-shirts the year before and I got a fancy warm zipper from Turkey, but of course it’s fake Ferrari. I bought a Ferrari beanie hat to wear in the winter for my running.

There’s nothing like waking up at 6.30am on a Saturday morning, running around to get dressed and then a 2 and a half hour car journey to Wigan for an athletics competition. The weather was bleak, but I had a good warm up before my 100m. I was with Amy this time as my guide as apposed to Courtney, but I felt confident I could still do well.

The race started with a false start, which annoyed me as I got a great first start. Bang, the gun went again and I felt myself in front of Amy for a while, which isn’t the way it should be. She only went and slipped on the start line, as it was wet and she was running in trainers. I carried on as best as I could trying to ignore the bad start and finished an amazing last! I still ran 16.1secs, which wasn’t tragic in the end, but really thought I could run sub 16 this time after doing so well at the Metro Games.

After a shivering 3-hour wait for my 200m. God I was so cold I desperately wanted to do well. However, I felt myself lean backwards after about 50m, which slows you down. Once I corrected myself and really sprinted the last 50m it must have been too late. Also, I think Amy dropped back too early as on my last 50 I could feel myself pulling her along! I ran 36.8secs half a second off my PB. Next comp is the Charnwood Open on 1st July.

And the winner of the Silverstone Grand Prix 2009 is Vettal! Huh?! Ah it was a shame Ferrari didn’t win, but Massa came an impressive 4th compared to last year when he spun 6 times in the rain and came last! Raikanan came 8th and at least scored a point. The race was enjoyable, but I was miffed that we couldn’t hear the commentary from where we sat. So, I had the radio stuck to one ear on full volume throughout! I was also chesed when the Grand Prix had just about finished and my £7 horn ran out of gas! Yet everyone else’s around me was hooting fine!

Finally, I want to explain about my newfound impairment. Not only am I blind, but also I discover my legs shall we say aren’t quite right. I’ve always known I have dodgy knees that look at each other, but what I didn’t realise was that I have twisted shins, flat feet and one leg longer than the other! They’ve been causing me quite a bit of pain for about 2 months now and I saw a Podiatrist yesterday who enlightened me. I have some temporary insoles for my trainers that are giving me arch support and the right side has a heal so my legs are the same length. He also wants to tip my left foot so my knee doesn’t turn inwards as much, but thought it would be too much adjustment to do in one go. Although the insoles felt odd at first, I love them. I went to the gym this morning and I didn’t feel any pulling on my legs. Will update you on how I get on.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Isn't It A Wonder

Isn’t It A Wonder…Is my theme for this blog entry!

I saw Boyzone on Tuesday night up in Newcastle with Beth and Jenny who both have an eye condition called Aniridia. They both also have Guide Dogs called Sandie and Jaynie, which meant I was a little left out, as my furry friend still hasn’t arrived. 14 months I’ve been waiting now, aren’t I patient!

Anyway, let me go back to the beginning. I arrived up north on the Monday and we took a trip to running heaven aka Start Fitness, which is a massive running shop in Newcastle. I needed to buy some sprint spikes, as I’ve been wearing middle distance ones all this time. After trying several pairs on I eventually decided on the Addidas Dash, which is literally sunshine yellow so I’m told. Although I have a large collection of running kits, I don’t own any yellow. Red, pink, blue, orange, and white, but no yellow! So I just had to buy the matching kit too! Since the shop was closing I didn’t get a chance to purchase any yellow trainers, but I still managed to spend £205! Don’t worry; remember it’s my birthday next month, so it makes it all ok!

Tuesday night was Boyzone and if you haven’t already guessed Isn’t It A Wonder is one of their songs. Eoghan the little Irish dude from X Factor was supporting them and I thought he was brilliant. The main concert was enjoyable with them singing their greatest hits whilst Jenny and I played guess the colour of the lights on stage! Beth has better vision and was able to depict things like what they were wearing. I can’t say Boyzone is the best concert I’ve been too, as Westlife are still on top for me. Sorry guys!

On Wednesday I was feeling quite exhausted and came home. I had a training session on Thursday in preparation for the Metro Games that weekend and got a chance to try out my new spikes.

Friday saw me having a beauty session, as I got my eyebrows and under arms waxed and I also had a massage afterwards. I’m getting braver with the whole waxing thing and going to get my legs and arms done next time. Argh!

Yesterday was the metro Games down in London and was effectively the biggest visually impaired athletics competition of the year, as the Dublin Games had such a poor turn out. They were running late with the schedule, so I warmed up for my 100m far too early, but it was unlikely I was going to get cold, as the weather was gorgeous. After warming up in my spikes, my brand new spikes I only went and managed to stand in chewing gum! God I was fuming, whilst I sat there trying to pick it off the sole of my foot. I was also a bit anxious, as I was the only B1 in my event and was made to race B2s and B3s, which basically means they have more vision than me.

Whilst waiting for the 100m to start I was jumping every time the gun went off for the start of other races! Finally, half an hour later than planned it was time for my race. Bang, I was off, 30m drive phase where you stay low, Courtney says drive, 50m I bump into Courtney a little, 30m my feet dropped a little, 10m nearly there, you go, which is said at 5m and I power through the line. I really didn’t have much time to think through the race as normal and was actually out of breath! Now here’s the funny part and isn’t it a wonder how I managed to beat everyone in my race when I was the blindest! I ran 16secs flat, which is 4 10ths quicker than my last comp and I even made a couple of mistakes, which means I can go faster. Still a whole second to get to my target of sub 15secs for this season, but I might just be able to do it. I’ve never ever won a race before and stunned myself. Ironically, my number was 2 yesterday and I said that was my favourite position!

Ok, on to the 200m. It went wrong from start to finish! I chickened out at the start and know I didn’t go as quickly as I was capable of in my drive. Then I was running from left to right constantly, bouncing off Courtney and then going too far and feeling the guide rope stretch to its max all the way round. I just wasn’t gauging the bend right at all, had no rhythm and my stride length felt so short. I must have ran 300m in reality, but still won and was only a 10th off my PB, which shocked me as it was so bad! I only train for the 100m normally, which explains why I struggled going around the bend. I’m going to do some work on it next week though, as I feel I have the potential to do quite well in it.

Overall, it was a good day for me, as I won both races being the blindest. I just need to beat the CP lot now! My next comp is on Saturday up in Wigan.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Looking Back

It seems like an age ago now, but the Friday before I went away I saw Chicago the musical at the theatre. I had already seen it in the West End last year, but enjoyed it so much that I decided there was no harm in seeing it twice. The cast included Emma Barton aka Honey from Eastenders and Jimmy Osman.

My favourite song is ‘He Had It Coming’, which was sung humorously and passionately by the cast. The whole show was spectacular and I never got bored. My mum said it was the best show she’d ever seen at the theatre and considering the amount we’ve seen that’s saying something!

Just Call Me Speedy:
Well, one-day maybe! On the Saturday before I went away I travelled to Bristol for an athletics competition. It took 3 hours to get there and the weather was blustery and showers! No time to warm up at all, as my 100m was called as the first race. Yet again I wasn’t out of breath at the end, which is frustrating, as I know I’m clearly not doing it right, but I ran it in 16.4secs. That’s half a second quicker than the last competition. So I was pleased, but not ecstatic, as I still aim to run sub 15secs this season.

Thankfully, there was a nice warm place to relax before the 200m. About 10mins before my race was due it started to hail heavily and I was dreading it. Again, because of the weather I didn’t really warm up, but by the time I got to the start the sun was shining and I felt over dressed! It was too late to strip though! I got a really good start and scared myself a little, as I thought I was going far too fast! After 100m I was boiling, but knew I didn’t have far to go. I came 2nd for the second time that day and found out I ran 36.3secs, which takes 6 tenths off my PB.

I was happy that I’d improved in both of my races, but my technique still requires some work and I know I’m capable of a lot more. However, last Thursday I had to visit a physio, as my left leg has felt very tight. Basically, the arch of my foot has collapsed a little and causing the tightness. Later this week I’m getting some soft tissue work done on it and I’ve been referred to a podiatrist, as I need an in sole making.

My next competition is the Metro Games in London on Saturday 13th June and I’m hoping for more PBs!

Sunning It:
Turkey, I’ll keep it short. Nice hotel with 2 pools, lush weather, but awful food! We went all inclusive and I was angry to discover that they charged extra for ice cream. This doesn’t happen in other all-inclusive hotels. I lived on potatoes, rice, pasta and bread for a week, but don’t worry I didn’t lose any weight! We didn’t do much, I spent my days reading my books, playing on my talking dictionary and taking in the sun. In the evenings we played cards and my parents played pool. They also played tennis as per usual.

The highlight of the holiday was shopping! Not for the fake designer stuff, as their size small was too big on me, but for gold! As an early 21st birthday present my parents bought me an 18 carrot white gold ring with a quarter carrot of diamonds (28 shiny ones) and a single sapphire in the middle. If that wasn’t enough I was spoilt and got a 14 carrot white gold charm bracelet with 3 18 carrot white gold charms. The charms are an eye to represent my visual impairment and in Turkey an eye keeps the devil away, a love heart that signifies how caring I am of course and finally a letter S for smart, sweet, stunning and sporty! Or maybe it was meant to be S for Selina?! Anyway, it’s all gorgeous! I need to get more charms for the bracelet, I was thinking a book, a star and a key for 21, but we’ll wait and see.

Just Quickly:
To finish off I have a job interview on June 17th for the Adult Social Care department a couple of villages away from me! Yet another interview to add to my collection!