The benefits of moving have been long talked about along with the benefits of it on your physical and mental health. Here's my story of how movement helped to bring positivity to my life.

We all know that feeling, especially this time of the year, of wanting to stay in bed. There is frost on the ground, dark mornings and a million and one things to complete on your to-do list but yet you still drag yourself up and out to get moving. Imagine having to do all of that and pushing yourself to go for a walk outside, just several months after a leg amputation.

Here's my story of how movement has sparked joy within my personal journey:

My Journey Into Movement

For those of you who have been following my story for quite a while, feel free to skip to the next section as you already know this bit....

My journey into movement and specifically running/obstacle course racing was sparked following on from 14 years in a wheelchair after developing a chronic pain condition at a very young age. Unable to use my right foot from the age of 9, I spent 6 years (once I had turned 16) fighting with doctors for them to amputate my leg to have a better opportunity to move. Those 6 years of fighting were some of the hardest years and challenges that I have ever been through and only on reflection, did I realise how unhappy, unfit and lacking in body-confidence I was. I wasn't able to use my foot at all, which affected my ability to partake in most physical activities. 

Power in Movement

When I was researching the process of amputation, I realised how strong mentally and physically you had to be to navigate a prosthetic leg as well as the various surgeries etc. This is when my journey to movement began. I started lighting weights and quickly got into powerlifting and the throwing sports (discus, javelin and shotput). Almost immediately, I started to benefit from a new routine in my life. My self-confidence started to increase and I started to believe that I would be able to get through this tough journey...there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel at last! 

As I was visiting the gym and athletic clubs, my friendship groups started to expand and everything seemed to slot into place as I was more and more motivated for amputation and the subsequent recovery. 

Looking back, I do think that exercise and movement kept me pushing forward, not only allowing me to be in a better place mentally but it also made my physical recovery post-amputation much easier. Following on from my amputation, I then looked to increase my movement and started running, racing and then competing internationally. While the 6 years post-amputation seems to have flown by, I love to be able to talk about my journey and appreciate how much impact movement had on my ability to be here now. 

Movement Moving Forward

Most people in this world are able-bodied, most people have the ability to have movement in their lives but I also believe that most people don't make the most of the opportunity that they have to move. Whether it's getting on that dance floor and showing your best moves, having a wiggle while cooking, going for a run or competing on an international stage, movement is such a power and such a privilege. 

I would have given anything as a teenager to be able to move the way that I can now - use your priviliage and go out there to smash those goals! 

written by

Jamie Gane

Teacher of Mathematics from Basingstoke

Age group: 25-29

track & field trail obstacle race