Amazing CRPS patient carries Olympic torch today

One thing that many of us CRPS patients find hard is when we meet or hear about someone much younger than us having to live with the disease. I have spoken to a few teenagers with CRPS online and, oh-my, they are astounding! The positivity and energy they bring to living their lives despite the disease is admirable beyond description. Many of us talk about things we’ve done and inevitably end the story with “…but that was before I had CRPS, of course.” So to think of having even less time before the condition became a part of our daily lives, less time before we had to find out how strong we really could be. Our hearts go out to all of our fellow patients, but something extra goes ‘twang’ in our hearts for our young fellow patients.

George Coppen is one of the people selected to carry the Olympic torch further on its journey around the UK today. He is a shining example of the strength and determination that teenagers amaze us with. He achieves fantastic involvement in life and sports despite the CRPS pain in his legs.

Rather than give in to the pain, George is an inspiration in his involvement in sports, getting involved in any way he can. He referees the occasional basketball game, competes year after year in the World Dwarf Games, having also competed in the National Games held by the Dwarf Sports Association UK (DSAuk) since he was pre-school age, and he is pretty darn good at… wheelchair slaloming. Yep, you read that right! I had trouble even functioning in a wheelchair (pathetic girl-arms was my excuse) and I never even had the courage to try ickle wheelies in it, so … slaloms?… Crikey!

Hats off to George 🙂

He also encourages others, which is what makes me grin all the more. That’s one remarkable young man, for sure.

So today, look out for him in Derby if you’re nearby, and cheer him on from afar if you’re not. Coz there’s a fellow patient out there, carrying the torch despite the pains it will cause him. I hope he has a fab’ day and that gets to grin every time he remembers it. He deserves to be a part of this year’s Olympic events, and I’m sure you’ll join me in cheering him on from here, too. 😀


Tai Chi Glee!

Hiya all,

I’ve just been doing some searches for research into the health benefits of Tai Chi…..Wow, there’s plenty of info’ out there! I’ve got copies of loads of research papers, so now I’ve just got to summarise it for my Tai Chi page. Might take a wee while, though! But it’s a comin’!

It’s still blummin’ cold over here at the mo’, and there’s no space indoors for Tai Chi fancy-dress silliness, so I’ll have to wait for some warmer weather to have a chuckle creating those. Meanwhile, I shall continue to wrap up warm and practice the 88 Form, (a Tai Chi form made up of 88 different moves), out in the car park when I can. None of my neighbours have commented worriedly, yet, but they still could, hehe.

I still practice the main 24 form, of course. That’s the form most commonly practiced worldwide. I love it, can’t wait to get round to learning the beautiful 42 form, though.

I know that it sounds like a funny order to learn them in…24, 88…42, but there is a sensible reason, really. The 42 form is a mixture of the various Tai Chi styles, so the idea of being taught the 88 form first is to make sure that we don’t lose what we’ve already learnt specifically in our own style. In my case, I’m learning Yang Style. Then we can go on and learn different versions later on, and hopefully without mucking up our earlier learning. But, oooh, I can’t wait to get onto the 42!

For those of you unfamiliar with Tai Chi, the 42 form is not just slow moves, there are a few fast ones, too. Tai Chi is linked to Kung Fu, so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all in slow mo’. If you want to see some really fast Tai Chi action then have a movie night-in with Jackie Chan’s ‘Tai Chi Master’. Great fun!

Every move in Tai Chi has a martial arts application. So every placement of a foot, sweep of an arm, angle of a hand, and so on, is specific to what the move represents in fighting terms. Such as blocks, pushes, throws and deflections for example. It helps when learning a move to understand it’s application to see why your wrist shouldn’t be bent, or why your foot only touches the ground with the toes at that moment, and such like.

Tai Chi is a fantastic tool for improving and maintaining health. It can have some pretty major positive effects on health. And aside from all the research currently archived on my laptop, I can also say that from personal experience. 🙂

Obviously, owing to my conditions, I’m a slow-mo’ Tai Chi chick. But I can sure appreciate the fast stuff, and dream of some other dimension where I can do it. 😉

I’ve actually just had a really symptomatic couple of days. So it might seem weird that I can happily natter about Tai Chi, seeing as I found that I couldn’t practice it properly yesterday morning. But the secret of living with CRPS is to keep up the physio’, and the secret of living with dys’ seems to be to shrug my shoulders and try again another day! Next lesson I’ll hopefully be back to ‘normal’ again and be able to retry the slight changes that I was trying to effect today.

My teacher even seems to have got used to my condition, now, too. She said yesterday that she wouldn’t spend time correcting the day’s oddness, coz she knew it was owing to pain and near-fainting symptoms. So she showed me the next move instead, knowing that by next lesson I should be more my usual self again. Finding a good teacher is well worth it, it makes such a difference.

Tai Chi has become a passion of mine, as well as a tool to help me to work around my conditions, so I intend to continue practicing it for maaaany years to come!

Here’s a link to a You Tube demo’ of the 24 form. This video interrupts each move with it’s name, but I thought that if you’re  not familiar with Tai Chi it would give an idea of what constitutes one move…

And if you really fancy it…’s a link to a You Tube demo’ of the 42 form, too….

Big hugs to all you lovely folk, hope you’re having a smooth-running day, x