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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Woffa

Activities for AKA??

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum. I had my left leg amputated above the knee 6 months ago and am itching to get more active again. I was quite active before the amputation and would be grateful if people would let me know what they get up to, experiences and if there are any specific equipment / set-up requirements that work best for the activities that you do.

I'm interested in mountain biking and would like to try snowboarding and rock climbing. I understand that the best way of finding out if you can do a certain activity is to just have a go, but some advice up front would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Leigh.

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Hi Leigh & welcome to this forum.

I am a lot older than you (47) so my idea of activity / sports could be a lot different to yours.

I am a left above knee for just over two years now. So I have a little bit of what you are feeling and where you want to be at if you known what I mean. :P

Right where to start, - as you are finding out things happen slightly different now so I started slowly.

Hiking, both me and my wife love hiking, we live in Northumberland and we both get out at least once a week doing some sort hike .any walk will do normally about 5 to 7 miles in the winter up to 15 miles in the summer (longer days), but for me its not the distance its about getting out there and having a good day out preferable away in the hills somewhere away from the crowds I have even been over your side a few times (lovely part of the country). :)

Other stuff I regularly go canoeing in both rivers and the sea (more in the warmer months) great fun in the surf, but I wear a water activity leg for this which is great but bloody useless :blush::wub: for any real activity stuff so be warned water legs open up new areas to play in but they are hard work when you have to carry the boat & gear down to the river or down the beach to the sea, but its well worth it.

My amputation was as a result of me on a bicycle v an 18 wheel lorry so I have no real intention of biking again (call me a wuss) however when I was clearing out my garden shed I did ride one round the block just to prove to myself that I could. So it’s more than possible (but to go mountain biking I do think a certain level of fitness/strength would be required but I could be wrong there having never done it)

I used to go hangglidding before my accident but that is now a no go for me (wife’s orders) :o BUT I am really thinking of trying paragliding to that end I started this year with some smaller stuff and found myself drifting into power kiting. Great fun I found out it is really good for the balance and generally getting fit and having fun whilst doing it, I am now into the powerbuggying along the beaches well what can I say, if you are after outdoor fun sport this has got to be it, if you have never tried it, please do you wont regret it.

If we ever get any snow this year I will try snow boarding with my power kites it should be a good laugh even if it doesn’t work quite the way I want it to.

Next"d summer I intend to try kite surfing again it might work or it may not but I will have fun whilst doing it and that to me is what life is all about.

Other stuff:-I Have done absailing and sort of rock climbing, but there was so many restriction put upon me, and so many “helpers” it wasn’t worth it as it wasn’t me doing it if you can understand that. :( :(

This is something that you will come across so many people will automatically think that just because you have lost a leg you can’t do these activities , they don’t mean anything bad by it its just there lack of understanding ( ok getting off the soapbox now). :lol:

Running I used to run about 5 miles each day before my accident, and alought my set up isn’t a sports leg it is possible to run again BUT it really is hard work for me (age thing??) so I don’t .I would much sooner use all my energy doing stuff that I find fun.

I hope this helps in some small way and any???? Please ask & I will do my best to answer …………..take care …………Mick (lak)

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G'day Leigh and welcome to the forum :D

I'm sure you will get lots of replies from the AK's here

Cat

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Welcome Leigh...

I can't help you much with the AK stuff, I'm a BK, but I'm sure that there are plenty here that can....

I'm sure that being a new amputee, you will have loads of questions, and I'm positive that someone here will have an answer for you...

Higgy

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Well Leigh,

I am an AK and also 52. I swim 3 miles a week. Walking is good for me. My knee is a Mauch and I never attemped running. With today's improvements in prosthetics, more mobility, better fit, less pain, Ak's are much more active than back 25-30 years ago. So go for it!

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Hi Mick thanks for the reply, its nice to hear from an AKA that is so active. Your right the countryside over this side of the country is nice and poses a few hilly challenges for myself that I am determined to conquer, can’t run before I can walk though. I’m impressed to hear the distances that you are hiking it gives me a bit of hope, at the minute though those distances seem a million miles away.

Have thought about canoeing myself probably because I thought it would be mainly upper body work. Didn’t think about the water leg issue just naively thought I’d hop into the canoe. :lol:

Running, mountain biking and snowboarding are the activities that I have said to myself I will achieve this year, maybe even golf.

Don’t blame you for not wanting to cycle again, think your experiences would put anyone off.

I’ve started swimming Freddy and am enjoying it, was surprised how easy it was with a limb missing.

Thanks also for the warm welcome Cat and Higgy.

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Hi Leigh-

I am a 35 yr old LAK(since Aug '05) from Arkansas. I do alot of outdoor activities in my daily life. Usually, it's not really a case of "if", just a case of "how." I have found that I can still do alot of things I never dreamed of a year ago. But now, it usually takes some creativity! :D

I race motorcycles cross-country in events called harescrambles. The races are 2+ hours long and run on woods courses that average 6-10 miles per lap. Very rough sport, but I love it!(click on my name for a pic)

I plan to start riding horseback this weekend if all goes well. We've kept horses for the past 10 years, but I've only just been "bitten" by the bug. I ride my dirt bike without my prosthesis and figure I'll do the same thing on horseback.

After reading Mick's post, I think my next "thing" needs to be distance walking. Man, Mick, you sure did set the bar high!! :D

Welcome aboard, Leigh! :D :D

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Hiya Woffa, sorry couldn't resist :D . I'm a below knee and really can't offer much in the way of advice. The Ak's on this forum have my respect for what they have achieved for themselves some of them have already replied to you. Self believe, attitude and a bit of creative thinking are the things that tell me that anything is possible I leave the worrying to my rehad centre and surgeons. I'm waiting to get some crank adaptors before I start mountain biking again as the limb sockets do not allow me to bend my leg enough to use the pedals.

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First off, I was born without my legs from the knees down. Nothing on earth has been a better tool, sport, hobbie than ATV's!!! My parents bought me my first one about 30 years ago when I was 12. We lived on a small farm and 3-wheeler gave me the freedom to travel and explore like never before. At 18, I started racing 3-wheelers and then quads(flattrack and tt). It allowed me to have a exciting sport that I could do very well if you look in my garage at the trophy shelf. I raced ATV's and carts for about 10 years. In 1994, I sold all the race stuff and bought trail friendly quads. Now, my wife and children all have quads that we ride on our 13 acres and trails around our home. I use the quads everyday. I take the dog for runs, feed the fish at the pond. I could go on and on. I wish I could find others, like us to ride with. I have friends that I ride with,but rarely do I find a AMP riding. There are many quads that are easy for us to ride! Many are fully automatic with hand breaks. My Suzuki Z400 has a manual gearshift that I raised up so my small left foot can reach it. My front brake works the rear brake also useing a Beers pro-brake. Oh, I also like to fish and shoot sporting clays. :D

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Hi Leigh,

I'm the same age as you. Lost my leg 3 years ago (left above knee) I still ride my motorbike both on the road and track thanks to the NABD who helped me get a gear changer. In addition I do a lot of working at height as part of my job, its not quite the same as rock climbing (which I used to do) but still uses the same equipment and techniques. Swimming is another good one for keeping fit, it feels a bit strange the first time you get in the water but you soon get used to it (my favourite bit is when you get out and people realise you've only got the one leg, l just tell 'em there was a shark in the last pool I swam in).

My job is fairly physical and I spent 18 months unemployed looking for work and being told that I wouldn't be able to do the job (prior to my amputation I was self employed so I didn't have a gob to go back to) once someone finally gave me the chance I was able to prove that I could still do 90% of the job.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if there is something you want to do then the only person stopping you from doing it is yourself. Get out there and have a go, just don't accept no for an answer.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that if there is something you want to do then the only person stopping you from doing it is yourself. Get out there and have a go, just don't accept no for an answer.

That's good stuff... ;)

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I'm interested in mountain biking and would like to try snowboarding and rock climbing. Leigh.

Ok - so let us know how you get along and post some pics. What's first on the list? B)

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Leigh, congrats on everything you have been involved in....with 13 acres I'll bet you have some mountain bike riding already & when there's snow in Kentucky (you've got it) snowboard. From the areas I've seen - Kentucky has lots of mountains. :)

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