All I did for weeks and weeks and weeks was throw these dreadful blue sandbags at a net & what makes her happy!
It all began when I met fabrics tutor and Welsh athletics coach for the disabled, Anthony Hughes. In time Anthony and I got on rather well. He invited me along to an athletics training session that took place every Thursday night at The Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool.
Five O’ clock that Thursday evening I got on the bus that was waiting outside the medical centre, and off we went. We arrived at the Leisure Centre. I went up in the lift, and went into the sports hall. It smelt of stale sweat.
We all lined up against the wall. Anthony said “Hi” to us all. Shortly after we started doing some warm-up exercises. Warm-up exercises are to prepare the body for exercise and prevent injury. We did many different exercises, but there is one that will stick with me forever. You clench your fists and hold your arms straight out to the side, and leave them there for one minute. The longer you leave them there the heavier your arms felt. It was like you had a bag of sand in each. My muscles were burning. I was so glad when it was over.
The sports hall was split into four different stations; javelin, shot putt, discus and club throwing. Anthony took me around each station, explained a little bit about each sport and allowed me to try each of them. We both agreed that club throwing might be the sport for me, so we made our way back to the club throwing station. He first of all made me observe someone throwing the club. After a while he told me to reverse up to the blue mat with my back to the net. He then handed me a small blue torn sandbag with a floppy handle and told me to throw it. I did just that until we were called to the wall to do our cool-down stretches at the end of the session. Cooling down is very important after exercise. It helps
to relax muscles minimising the risk of injury.
We then made our way to the café upstairs, where we had our tea. I felt drained
and struggled to pick up the fork to eat my baked potato. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I slept well that night. I continued with the training sessions every week and made steady progress.
All I did for weeks and weeks and weeks was throw these dreadful blue sandbags at a net. I got to know the sandbags quite well. It was fair to say that we had a love / hate relationship. Quite frankly their floppy little handle infuriated me.
Soon Anthony pointed out that I was looking to the side when I was throwing the bag. This was affecting my throw. I needed to be looking ahead, and get out of the habit of looking at the bag. After weeks of working on these points, and weeks of Anthony calling me spaghetti arms (Haha). My technique improved a lot and I progressed to throwing a club. I was very happy.
I trained hard for a period of twelve months. Then one Thursday night it was announced that there was a training session at The Flash Leisure Centre on the following Saturday. I went along. I couldn’t help but feel there was something a bit different going on. People had travelled up from South Wales. Obviously people I’d never seen before. Anyway I thought nothing of it and carried on. At the end of the session, Anthony wheeled beside me and said “You have just had your trial for Wales. You were successful. Congratulations!” I was speechless. I came over all emotional. My voice broke as I thanked him.
Next time: Read how & when “I began my International duty” & where my journey takes me ”….