Another Successful Taster Day

Today was one of the taster days held by disability Sports Northern Ireland and the Blind Sports Network. I don’t blog about them all the time, because i have been on a few events, but today was a really, really good day.

I got the train down to Derry at 8 o’clock. I forgot it was the north west 200 race today so the trains were totally bunged.

We all met up at Saint Collumns house in Saint Collumns park, where we filled in a few forms and met a few of the guide runners that were going to be doing some guide running with some of the participants. We were then split in to groups. One group were doing the tandum cycling, while the other were doing guide walking/running. We then headed to the running track. I thought it was cool that the park had it’s own running track.

Everyone wanted to do running so a guy from the blind sports network and i headed off for our walk, after a warm up of course, which was meant for the runners, but we did it anyway. I had said to the guy that i wanted a decent walk, after all, i had missed my dose of weekly parkrun so wanted to get a good walk in. As i wasn’t doing the tandum cycling, we were going to be out for at least two and a half hours. Thankfully, he was up for a longer walk. We walked out of the park and along a sort of toepath thing that went by the sea and the train tracks behind the fence. There were a couple of trains that went by in the space of our walk and they sounded as if they were right there on the path beside us but they weren’t. Eventually, we had to turn back because we were getting near the peace bridge and didn’t know where else we would go. There were also houses too so we deffinetly turned back. Unfortunately, we got caught in a very heavy, blustery old shower on the way, but we didn’t let it dampen our spirrets as it soon dried up again. It was just that sort of a day where the showers popped up anywhere. We eventually made it back to the park and walked round it a few times before heading back to the house. Altogether, it was a 4 mile walk, which wasn’t bad at all.

By this time, it was lunch time and everyone started to come back to the house to eat.

After lunch, we headed over to the Foyl Areena, which has just newly opened. It is only open about a month and you could still smell the newness of the building. This was where the boxing and spin sessions were going to take place. We were again asked to fill in some forms before doing the activities.

The first activity of the afternoon was the boxing. There were 3 coaches who had come along to teach us and they had all asked for visual awareness training which i thought was fabulous. First of all, we had to warm up. Part of the warm up routine was skipping. Now, skipping is a disaster for me. I can’t get the coordination to jump and throw the rope over your head. Plus i think you are meant to jump back and forward and not half way down the hall. Oops. We also had to punch the air and stuff. After that, we were able to start boxing. The coaches had used goalposts to create a make shift ring. They later told me that they wanted us to come down to one of their clubs as it would be more realistic. Because they were in a hall, they had to make do with what they had. We were split in to pairs while we were in the ring. Each pair were at a corner of the ring. We were then given boxing gloves. These were in the shape of fists, but they had a whole for your thumb. You kind of had to put your hand in a fist when you were wearing them. We practiced how to protect our faces by having our hands in tight against our faces and how to do different punches. We also were taught how to block a persons punch, and how to move out of the way to miss the punches. We also learnt how to move in the ring. You kind of shuffle along sort of. I said that if a visually impaired person was boxing, their aponent would possibly need to have a word or something so the person could know when the next punch was going to happen.

After that, it was a cool down, which thankfully didn’t involve any skipping, before we headed over to the spin session.

For the spin class, the lady taking it was going to be starting a new spin class each week. We were first of all shown a bike and told what way to sit on it. You sort of have to be leaning forward to do it. It feels as if the seat is quite far back, but apparently it’s meant to be like that. Your feet are then strapped in to the pedals and you’re ready to go. First of all, you start off with some fast music to get the speed up on an easy resistance. Apparently, you need to be aiming for 80ish turns per minute of the wheel. If you are too fast, you don’t have enough resistance. We were shown how to increase the resistance and for some of the music, we had to stand up for a few beats. This felt very very strange. Kind of as if you were a on a horse trotting on a trampileen lol.

The whole session lasted about 45 minutes altogether. One thing about the spin is, you are roasting by the end of it. I mean the sweat is on every part of your body. I would deffinetly bring a drink next time. You certainly need it. I think if i had a choice, i’d do spin over tandum cycling. My legs may not be saying that in the morning though lol. I can already feel it working on me.

It was home time after that. I would like to thank everyone from the clubs who came, and for everyone from disability sports and the blind sports network for such a fabulous day. I thought the boxing and spin were such great craic.

Unfortunately, Ushi was not keen at all on the boxing. She was very focused on me and very very whiny and giving out little barks too. She was so bad that the guy from the blind sports network had to take her outside for a bit to calm her down. Thankfully when they returned, she was much better. When i came over to her she was so so pleased to see me. She went mad and ran round my legs and started to roll a bit on the floor. I wasn’t that bothered and just let her roll around and snort to herself to destress. Once she had done that, she was grand, and her whines weren’t like she needed a busy or anything. She was much more happier during the spin.

I would like to thank everyone again for such a great great day. My legs will deffinetly be stiff in the morning :(.