By aebal-leisure, Oct 17 2015 07:24PM
There's been an abundance of new faces and new sessions since our last newsletter but Jack and I have decided to mention these two acheivements in particular. They are very different examples of what aebal can do but they really capture the ethos of the service and how we creatively support people to aim higher and gain a more positive outlook to life.
If you're not aware of Tough Mudder, it's a 12 mile cross country run, scattered with a variety of obstacles. It was the most inclusive and physically ambitious session to date. One of our service users who suffers from back problems and the understandable resulting depression, decided he wanted to raise money for Spinal Research via this sponsored torture!
After some thorough research and some emails, Spinal Research vests were sent through the post and we had organised two tickets to enter the Midlands Tough Mudder in Kettering. It was decided that Jack had the youngest legs and I had the better photography skills so after two months of training and getting the camera ready, the three off us drove down to Kettering.
A great atmosphere and the nerves soon left the guys as they jogged off into the Kettering countryside. I ran to various obstacles, which was also quite tough, to get some action shots and watch them swim, climb, swing and crawl under things. It looked awful! I managed to have a quick chat with them after mile 3. Jack was already quite run down by this point and appeared to have done a lot of swimming as opposed to avoiding the water. I made them both aware they had 9 miles left and then tottered off to the next obstacle to try and document more suffering. To their credit though, 2 and a half hours later they stumbled through the finish line and were rewarded with their Tough Mudder headbands! These head bands warrant worldwide respect and are basically cotton head trophies.
A fantastic achievement for our service user and a long lasting memory for all involved. Jack is still wearing his headband and gradually losing the worldwide respect.... Click here for photos!
We have been supporting Dan for a couple of years now and one of his favourite past times is to head off with his digital SLR (Camera) and get some random creative shots of the way he see's the world. He's always had the talent but I could never persuade him to get his work out there. Over the past 6 months however aebal have supported Dan to go through his best photos and he subsequently created a Flickr portfolio . We recommend you click on that link just there. I noticed his belief in his abilities growing and through a chance meeting with a farm shop owner in the Peak District, we managed to find a location where he could sell his work as limited edition prints! Dan reluctantly parted with some money to get them produced and mounted but as soon as he saw the finished result he had to admit that they looked great! We have now printed 16 pieces which are on display in 'The Old Station Country Store' in the Peak Village They look outstanding and Dan has a dedicated area of the shop, thanks to the shop owner James. Thanks James.
Dan's patience levels, for carefully preparing the photos and mounting them, are not the best however....so it has been decided that I am in charge of manufacturing and Dan (The Talent) is in charge of quality control and allowing me to have access to the occasional glass of blackcurrent. He basically just criticises my celotaping skills and keeps me trapped in a room until the work is done. It's a system that works and my blackcurrent is always a real treat. Dan has already sold 4 of his prints and is looking forward to making some more of his own money through his talent and my celotaping skills.