A Call for A SmartTreadmill

I currently own a NordicTrack T14 treadmill. What makes this treadmill so special is its iFit Live system. The iFit live system allows a route to be plotted online through google maps that is then sent to the treadmill. So any inclines that appear on the plotted route are automatically changed by the treadmill. It basically allows you to practice running the inclines of any given route.

This really is a nice system, you can even hook up a TV and navigate to the iFit website and it will display the google street view of your current location. However after using this treadmill for a while I can see a number of areas it could be improved to make a truly great treadmill.

The Smart Treadmill as I envisage it would be controlled by an iPad this is for a number of reasons.

1. Reduced cost for developing the console. The consoles are read more

Technology frustration

A lot of what I consider my daily life is only possible thanks to particular pieces of technology. Therefore my reliance on these gadgets is incredibly high so when one fails or in this case failure after failure I get incredibly frustrated.

I decided to go and run a steady 15 miles this morning, so packed my plastic drop bag with the essentials; water and some Twix’s. It was already feeling like it would rain heavy so I warned my wife I might come back early as I didn’t want to run in the rain today.

I dropped my bag near my usual lamppost and opened up RunKeeper. “start activity” I placed it in my pocket “activity stopped” dammit. So I pulled it out and did it again, put it in my pocket and accidentally pressed the button for a distance update. “3.95 miles” well considering I had taken 2 steps that may be a little off. So after read more

A Rough Day

Today has just seemed like one of those days where everything seems to go slightly wrong.

The day started out pretty well, I had to make a few adjustments in travel arrangements today so I headed round to my sisters to get a lift in with my brother in law. I then ended up shooting my willing nephew repeatedly with a Nerf gun. This was certainly a fun morning activity!

Arriving in sheffield we missed my first lecture due to a few issues and I had decided my time would be better spent working on an essay. A quick call from the press association attempting to schedule filming for that day gave me an opportunity to bargain for a lift home! They didn’t go for it so we rearranged for another day and I had to figure out another way to get home.

Shortly after this is where it all started going wrong. I had to attend an afternoon lecture read more

Marathon Sandwich

The first of this years challenges has been entitled the Marathon Sandwich. It will involve me running the Sheffield half marathon, then running a full marathon, with a half tacked on the end.

The halves make the break while the marathon is the filling, making for a marathon sandwich! It will be a steady 52.4 mile run that I am intending to use for training for the South Downs Way 100 which is 4 weeks later.

The event takes place on the 27th of may. In order for people to take part we have decided to run the majority of the distance doing circuits of Endcliffe Park in Sheffield. So we are inviting anyone who would like to attend to run a 1.3 mile loop of the park.

I am raising money for a local blind charity Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). It is a wonderful charity that offers many services to the visually impaired within the read more

Post Surgery and the Media

Around a month ago I finally had eye surgery on my left eye. While the surgery went well I arrived home in quite a lot of pain. After 3 hours I couldn’t take the pain any longer and had to return to the hospital, turned out my cornea had been scratched during the operation and was causing my a lot of pain. Thankfully nothing serious so I went home and waited out the pain.

However the past few weeks have been incredibly difficult, the imbalance the surgery has created is too great. I am really struggling. This has unfortunately caused a few issues with university and training.

I will have to defer some of my university exams and essays till the summer. I simply don’t have enough time to catch up on everything I have missed. This is a real shame as I didn’t want to have to resort to this, but I would rather get a result I am happy with read more

Once in a lifetime

Once in a lifetime is a saying that gets easily used. When my wife and I travelled America we lauded how it was once in a lifetime. In reality we will no doubt repeat that trip in a decades time. We often use the saying when the task in actuality is easily repeated.

For once though I believe I have a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have been giving a condition place to be a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer. The condition being I pass the security and background checks, pretty sure I will pass this easy enough!

So I am truly honoured to have been chosen. It is without a doubt the greatest reward for the past year of hard training and running. I would even rank it higher than my TV commercial!

Like most things in life there was a long string of interwoven events that led to me being nominated.

Disregarding all the training for a while, the read more

Under The Knife

The majority of blind people are still have some level of vision. Only around 2% see total darkness. Luckily I fall within than 98%. For example I can still perceive light that in turn allows me to see shapes and movement as well as on good days make out a little detail. The sight I have lost is my peripheral vision, central vision, colour definition and I also have total night blindness.

To be able to utilise this small amount of vision I need to wear glasses. This is often frustrating as glasses and contact lenses cost me around £1000 a year. This is an enormous amount of money for frankly very little benefit. The cost has become far to prohibitive now I am a student and I simply cannot afford it.

Thankfully I have another issue with my eyes: cataracts. This may not at first seem like a lucky ailment to have, but it does read more

2012, the prospects

2012 is looking to be a great year for projects, university and family life.

2012 will see my first year of university complete and hopefully coming out with a great grade. It has been tough going this past couple of months so I hope to have it all on track and get that all important first.

As for projects for 2012 where to start! I hope to launch a number of blogs focussing on running and fitness within the disabled community. I often forgot how lucky I am to have access to equipment and knowledge when it comes to exercise. So I plan to start a blog dedicated to making fitness accessible, from reviewing home equipment, creating audio instructions and simply workouts I hope to make fitness at home (and the gym) that little bit more accessible.

I will also be running the “Marathon Sandwich” blog that will detail the training for read more

RP Community

Despite being registered blind for over a decade I have never been involved with the blind community. I decided early on to try and adapt as much as I could and keep this in a constant cycle, it was only when these adaptations required the use of a cane I became involved.

My increasing involvement has seen me start to arrange a fundraising event for Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). While I was chatting with the event organiser she mentioned there was a RP group meeting in a few weeks and would I like to come along. Unsure of what would be involved I thought it might be interesting.

The meeting consisted of a Dr talking about possible cures. Now I must mention as he did these cures are a long way off. We are talking gene therapy, stem cell research and bionic implants. All pretty much sci-fi at this point in time. I read more

some days are easier than others

Some days the commute to university is a breeze, I jump on the train at Doncaster quickly find a seat and begin listening to my audiobooks. A quick walk through the meadow hall station and usually the tram is pulling in and I repeat the process jump on and listen to an audiobook.

Other days it is simply draining. People literally pushing me out of the way as we board the train and kicking my cane out of the way. Only to get to the transition to the tram and the same be repeated. Old people with mobility issues seem able to out sprint anyone when it comes to getting a seat. I was literally turning round to sit down the other day as an old person sniped it from under me!

Yesterday was a mix of the two, the journey to university was incredibly easy and I managed to listen to a few good chapters and even arrived at university a few read more