It's turning out to be a very busy summer!
In my last blog post, I spoke about how I was going to return to blogging every week as I am not currently at University. Well, as some of you may have noticed, my last blog post was actually at the beginning of June! When I finished University for the summer back at the beginning of May, I did wonder how I was going to fill my 4 and a half months off, apart from 'working' for CP Teens UK virtually full time. As it turns out, I needn't have worried!
I suppose I could take off where I left off. I was at a competition on the 7th June in Doncaster and lots of CP Teens were asking 'if I would blog about it?'. So, here it is! It seems such a long time ago now, but as ever there were some fantastic performances. As per usual, I was competing in the Club Throw and RaceRunning. Unfortunately my throwing was rubbish for loads of different reasons, but it was still experience in the bag. However, I couldn't quite believe what happened on the track! I beat my PB (personal best) by a whole 6 seconds, and took first place for the females. Not only that, but my time of 24.7s would actually put me at World Number One for my predicted classification of 'RR2'! My RaceRunning coach, Adam, unfortunately wasn't there, so I phoned him straight after the race. At first, he wasn't answering and I was like "God, answer your phone, World Number One here!", haha. When he did answer, it was like one of those scenes off of the X Factor when somebody gets through to the next round and they phone home! I said that I did it in "24.7s and I came first in the females", and Adam just went "Really?! ... *long pause* wow!".
I then did something crazy. I asked if I could enter the 200m - I've never ran that far in my entire life! As I had never done it before, it didn't occur to me that for the 200m you actually have to run around a bend. As I approached the bend, I was literally like "Oh my, I have to steer, and I'm going to be a 'gonner'!". In the heat of the moment, I managed it. I was in the lead for the first 100m, which made sense from the amazing result in the 100m sprint race. It was in the second 100m in the 200m race where I started to flag behind, which again made sense given that I had never run over 100m! But, another amazing result was about to happen - my 200m time would actually put me at World Number 2 for the 200m for my expected classification. Not bad for my first ever 200m race! And, I made Coach Adam one happy coach!
Last week, I went to Leeds with 2 of my best friends. We went shopping with the intention of buying our dresses for the CP Teens UK Ball. As only girls can, we came back with loads of bags, but not a single ball gown in sight! As ever, a day out wouldn't be complete without some sort of 'Cerebral Palsy incident'! We went to Jack Wills and as luck would have it, the women's wear was upstairs. Usually this wouldn't be an issue as long as I have the arm of somebody else, but we had loads of shopping bags and the staircase was extremely steep and narrow, meaning that we had to go single file yet somehow still hold hands! I was giggling like there was no tomorrow all the way up, Sophie was complaining that her "wrists were bending in directions they have never bent before", and Laura was busily singing 'Hold My Hand' by Jess Glynn - I bet we looked so strange!
The train back was absolutely rammed, and that is probably an understatement. We were all very proud of ourselves for managing to find our way through the train station at rush hour and to the right platform on time - bit of a miracle for the 3 of us! We were stood on the platform when it was announced that "This train will now depart from Platform x (I can't remember the number!)" - er, sorry? As if I can get myself to a totally different platform in like 3 minutes! Sophie & Laura literally dragged me through the station, pushing me through lots of angry commuters. We made it to the platform, phew! And then, you couldn't even make it up - "This train will now depart from Platform 11A", the original platform and the platform we had just come from! Sophie decided that there was only one way we were going to make the 17:11 train out of Leeds - she would have to piggy back me back to Platform 11A! So, they we were, 3 mad women dashing through Leeds station and 1 who would have looked drunk and disorderly to the untrained eye riding on her friend's back!
It was my sister's prom last week, and before she went to the prom, she had a 'pre-prom party' at our house. Her friend, who also happens to be one of my friends, came. Rebecca has Cerebral Palsy and it is really weird as although Rebecca is in Anna's year at school, I actually knew Rebecca before Anna did. I was in Year 11 at school and Rebecca started in Year 7. At school, there was a room where we could go and all the Teaching Assistants hung out in there. So, this is how I met Rebecca and despite the 4 year age gap, we became great friends! Anna then met Rebecca as they were in the same year group and they too became great friends!
My sister & I
Rebecca & I
Rebecca's Mum came up with the best idea ever - as you can probably see in the photo above, she blingged Rebecca's tripod sticks up and made them match her prom dress! I can see a new business taking off here!
Some of you might have noticed some changes to the 'Disability Sport' page. One of CP Teens UK's goals is to purchase a 'fleet' of RaceRunners and to set up a specialised RaceRunning Club, providing both sporting & social opportunities for people with Cerebral Palsy and similar disabilities. Since I took RaceRunning up back in April, my coach, Adam, has really got into the sport from the coaching side of things. Not only does he now coach me in RaceRunning, he coaches Matthew who is also a RaceRunner. I first met Matthew back in May. We had a joint session on Thursday night and it was absolutely fantastic, both from the sport point of view as we could race one another, and from the social point of view. Coach Adam now has his own page off of the 'Disability Sport' page, so if you're interested in sprinting, with or without a RaceRunner, or even Wheelchair Racing, he's your coach!
Coach Adam is going to be involved in the long term goal of the 'CP Teens UK RaceRunning Club' - he's in high demand, haha! We told Matthew about the RaceRunning Club on Thursday evening, and it got a big thumbs up from him!
Tomorrow, CP Teens UK is holding a RaceRunning Taster Day alongside CP Sport at the EIS, Sheffield, so we might have lots of new RaceRunners this time tomorrow!
It's been a busy week for CP Teens UK. On Tuesday, I was at the Casa Hotel, where the CP Teens UK Ball is being held in October. I can honestly say, it is one of the most exciting things I've ever 'took on', but it is extremely stressful at the same time. Some days, I'll wake up and lie in bed thinking "What am I doing?!", but as the famous saying goes, 'I'm sure it'll be alright on the night!'. We started to talk about the 'nitty gritty' - tiny details such as where are the guests going to assemble when they arrive? What about the seating plan? What time will the speeches happen? Can the CP Teens UK opening video be played through the sound system?
In my Event Management module at University next year, I'll be like "Ohhhh please!", haha.
What about the table decorations?!
5ft or 6ft tables?!
It is set to be a fantastic night, and I'd like to personally thank the Casa for everything so far - they are even getting the red carpet out, and lining the front door with very impressive fire lanterns!
The menu for the Ball was released onto the CP Teens UK Facebook & Twitter pages this week, and it got many 'likes' and 'favourites'!
If the menu takes your fancy, there are still some Ball tickets remaining. Email email@example.com
Unfortunately, all tickets must be purchased in advance - no tickets will be sold on the door!
On Wednesday, a lady called Celia who is my Grandma's best friend, and Ashover Flower Club held a Cream Tea for CP Teens UK. It was the hottest day of the year (just above 30 degrees!), and as a lot of you will know, Cerebral Palsy and heat don't really mix well! My Grandma stood up and said a mini speech and I had to stand with her - I was literally like "It's too hot to stand! ... and, you're going to embarrass me!" ... which she did! But, thank you so much to Celia and Ashover Flower Club for chosing CP Teens UK and for serving Cream Teas to the masses in what simply was ridiculous heat!
I put out on the CP Teens UK Chat (chatroom for teenagers & young people with Cerebral Palsy and similar disabilities) that it would be great to have some guest bloggers again. Despite everyone jumping at once and almost fighting to have a go, I didn't recieve one in time for this blog - so, hopefully we'll have one next time!
Anyone can have a go, and you can write about whatever you wish (within reason!). So if you'd like a go, get your piece along with a photo of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org - and, don't think you have to be a teenager or young person with Cerebral Palsy! You can be of any age, you could be a parent or carer, a sibling, a friend, a student studying something to do with CP, a teacher etc.!