Sean, a parkrunner from Corkagh parkrun in Ireland, used parkrun to help rehabilitate after a spinal cord injury threatened to leave him paralysed from the neck down.
I ran my 50th parkrun today. This was far from my mind in March 2014 when I acquired an injury to my Spinal Cord at C3/C4 level.
After two major surgeries, the threat of paralysis was averted, but it left me with life-changing damage. I was lucky to get a place in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, and I remember on my first day, I was timed on the length of time it took me to walk 20 metres. It was a crawl.
Thanks to the work of the excellent Physio staff there I made good progress. My partner Carol discovered the parkrun concept, and we did our first walk in Griffeen in a time of 43:20.
We then discovered we had a parkrun on our doorstep in Corkagh Park became regular parkrunners there and today I ran a PB of 31:19.
I have to use all manner of painkillers including pain patches, painkillers, support bandages etc. to help me get around. My main point is that parkrun has given me a focus in life. I hope my experience will inspire others with various problems, both physical and mental, to do likewise.
I look forward to my Saturday mornings, and I try as hard as I can each parkrun, I am not the quickest but I push myself to the limit each time.
Carol, my partner, started parkrunning at the same time and it has helped her to lose more than 25kgs. We’ve both clocked up 50 parkruns now and of course, parkrun wouldn’t be the same without the help of the volunteers. I really appreciate what they do, in rain hail or shine.
Here’s to another 50 parkruns!
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