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  • Paul Fink

Supporting the TWM team for Stride4Stroke

I’m taking part in the Training With Mates (TWM) team in the Stride4Stroke event to help prevent, treat and beat stroke and to raise vital funds and awareness for the Stroke Foundation. One of the things we can do to reduce our risk of stroke, or secondary stroke, is to keep active.

I will try to cover 3.5 kilometres in the event using interval training (running and walking repeatedly). I am improving with my running and I am keen to test myself and obviously take part in joining the great stroke cause.

The TWM Stride4Stroke event began last year when Dan Maitland’s sister, Bec, had a stroke and he wanted to do something to raise stroke awareness and make a difference. Bec was 28 when she had her stroke and has since faced many battles - both mental and physical that many people wouldn’t understand and emphasising the invisible side effects that we are not aware of.

More information about Bec’s story is available here.

Dan is training to be a fireman as well he runs a gym in Cheltenham called Training With Mates and amazingly he and his team raised over $17,000 for Stride4Stroke last year. Phenomenal effort for him and all his team and he was a finalist of the 2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award.

On Saturday 6 November 2021, the incredible TWM Community will be reuniting for the TWM Stride4Stroke fun run, walk or ride in the Kingston and Bayside coastline in Melbourne and I am joining them. The finishing line is located at Peter Scullin Reserve in Mordialloc.

Fingers crossed, I will be walking and running pain-free because this year I had a few injuries. At new year’s time, I was running and I tore my calf muscle in my affected leg. Given my limited sensation in the right leg, it was a very weird feeling. I definitely noticed something, but no idea what it was. Walking was pain-free, so I tried to run again three days later but the uncomfortable feeling came back but, stupidly, I ignored the pain and ran anyway because I was desperate to run. That was a mistake and I only found the injury because of the physical evidence eg. looking my leg.

After consulting my physio, he sent me for a scan. The scan confirmed that I suffered a tear. It was a bit of bad luck but I was ironically glad that I suffered a ‘normal’ injury - e.g. nothing about my stroke. Or maybe the common phrase is I suffered an ‘old man's injury’ :) He was very conservative about my rehab - mainly because of my sensation issues - and rehabbed the leg for 12 weeks. Most people need 4-6 weeks of recovery only for this injury.

Anyway, I copped it on the chin and after 12 weeks I was back running. Happy days! But the next day, trying playing with my son in the backyard, I rolled my ankle and fell pretty hard on my hip. Luckily the ankle was fine and I avoided hitting my head, but straight away I was very swollen and sore in my hip. I still have spasticity in my right leg and arms, therefore - sadly - this stiffness is still there now and it’s affecting my mobility (eg, walking and running) a little bit. But I am running again - and despite the injuries I feel that I am still improving my running and I'm excited to take part in Stride4Stroke this November again and supporting the TWM team.

Thank you in advance.




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