Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


One Arm No Barrier for Ironman Nick Bailey

ONE ARM NO BARRIER FOR IRONMAN NICK BAILEY

Triathlon is a sport with many great stories and ordinary people who are achieving what appears to be the impossible. One of those stories is Nick Bailey who will this weekend line up at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand.

Nick is your everyday Kiwi male, in his fifties and knocking close to 90kg he decided he would train for and race in an Ironman. The big difference is Nick only has one arm.

Nick lost his left arm in an accident when aged 24, coming out second best to a forklift when working in Antarctica. But it wasn’t the lack of an arm that worried Nick most bout taking on Ironman, it was an arthritic knee that required surgery 18 months ago and may yet require replacing.

Bailey is a very familiar face within Manawatu's sporting community; he is owner operator of the Manawatu Action Indoor Sports Centre.

He admits to a tough time in the past year as he balanced training, work and some personal setbacks along the way.

“I guess the hardest part of my journey was the first couple of months. I pretty well had to start with no fitness base at all; I was knocking 90 kilos after a couple of years of little or no activity. Then I had to carry some weight on a pretty bad knee, which despite an operation eighteen months ago may need replacing.

“Once I was through the first couple of months of training and was coping in that aspect reasonably well, the next 8 months or so brought more challenges. Losing my mother in July was a bit of hiccup you might say. She pretty well brought me up since I was 13 year old when I lost my father. This will be a big motivation for me; the poor old girl spent her last months in a dementia unit and carried the first article from the Manawatu Standard around in her stroller everywhere.”

It is not only the memory of his parents and in particular his Mum that Nick will carry with him on Saturday though, he suffered further heartache when losing a good mate.

“I also lost a cycling buddy Doug Mabey in the New Year; he was out on a ride I was supposed to do with him so I have found that particularly hard. The memory of these two people will make the pain easier on the day though I reckon.”

It is with a healthy sense of irony and with Nick’s devilish sense of humour that he talks up his strongest part of the day.

“I have spent most of my training on the first two disciplines and I hate to say that my swimming - if I go straight, could be my strongest part of the day. I don’t swim in circles generally but I am a little worried that when I put my foot down on the swim I could end up in Kinloch!”

Cycling does present its challenges with Nick having a specially built bike and is ready to walk and run the marathon to finish his day – although he won’t have his regular walking companions alongside.

“I’m not sure where I am in my cycling. Before Christmas I would have said around a six and a half hour ride but a couple of crashes and problems with numbness in my hand might slow me down a little. I have had radical changes to the bike and grown a ‘cycling arm’.

“The run walk I have surprised myself from not been able to run to now looking at running a kilometre then walk a kilometre. I pretty much spent most of the training time walking my three dogs, I only have to walk into the house in cycling gear and they go crazy for a walk.”

Nick does get serious though when talking about inspiring others with disabilities who might otherwise be frightened of becoming involved to take up sport, anything that might interest them.

“As a role model I have always tried to use my disability to highlight the positive. My life has been based around sport; I have been working in indoor sports game since 1990. At my age I would like to encourage other people with disabilities and health issue to get into sports. I say use it or lose it, give it a go!”

And he may not be finished once he crosses the line sometime on Saturday afternoon in Taupo.

“Beyond ironman…. hmmmm, I’m not sure. Perhaps a disabled multisport event the length of New Zealand. I’m sure there are more crazy people out there who might want to join me!”

Nick’s race gets underway at 7am on Saturday morning in Taupo.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news