The Fighter

Nikki Bradley

The Fighter: Hitting high notes for Ewing’s

Nikki Bradley pictured in the Optimal Fitness gym in Letterkenny. Picture: Declan Doherty.

Nikki Bradley pictured in the Optimal Fitness gym in Letterkenny. Picture: Declan Doherty.

LAST week I mentioned that I had planned to begin double sessions on a Wednesday. Well this week I put that plan into action. To say I was tired afterwards would be a slight understatement! It was very rewarding though.

I started with Michael and this involved a lot of planking. We use the TRX equipment in the gym which I like as it supports my legs and takes the pressure off my back.
Planking is hard for me as I don’t have equal use of both legs so it can be difficult to stay up at times. Using the TRX helps with this.

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We use weights all the time during training and I would say this is probably my favourite part. There is something empowering about being able to lift a heavy weight.

I remember when I started with Michael last June. I struggled with everything! To see the progress we have made is great.

I sometimes get slightly ahead of myself and try to lift beyond my abilities which can be funny to watch but it also highlights my eagerness to push myself.
Straight after my session with Michael I took part in Aoife’s class. I was tired at this point but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Training with both Michael and Aoife is always fun.

Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work but we have a laugh along the way which makes it easier. During the class I was using the prowler which can be tough but I channelled my inner Tommy Bowe and got on with it. 

NUTRITION
Nutrition is a key component when maintaining a certain level of fitness. I am lucky in that I actually enjoy healthy food. However, I also have a few bad habits.
A) I have a sweet tooth and B) I like my coffee too much. I was put on a Caoliac diet in 2011 by my GP and when I stick to it I feel great!! In an ideal world I would be someone that doesn’t drink coffee and follows a strict gluten free diet. Oh how great it would be to have will power. If any nutritionists out there feel they could offer advice feel free to get in touch.

SideStix Photo
 
FUNDRAISING
I was approached by a kind Donegal man this week who offered to help me with fundraising. It still delights me when people take the time out to contact me, I hope that feeling never leaves me. I have been having some trouble with my current crutches and will need to replace them in the coming months.

They are great crutches, but I move too fast for them to benefit me properly. I find them heavy and bulky and often feel frustrated as they stop me from moving around as freely as I would like. I did some research a couple of months ago and found Canadian crutches called SideStix. They are extremely lightweight but sturdy, too.
They would be ideal for my active lifestyle. But, they cost 700 dollars, plus 200 dollars for shipping alone. I am considering a small fundraiser to help with this but it feels weird.

I am used to running this campaign to help raise awareness which will in turn hopefully help others. It feels strange to organise something where only I will benefit. Somewhat selfish perhaps? I am not sure yet I will have to think more about this!

Ross Nugent

SINGING
Last week I mentioned my interest in public speaking and how I wanted to feel more comfortable doing so. Well, for the same reasons, I entered a singing competition in Dublin a few weeks ago. I am delighted to have been successful in the first round and will travel to Dublin on Sunday to take to the stage in Swords.

Singing is very important to me, it is something I have always loved to do. It terrifies me though. Speaking on stage is nerve wracking, singing on stage is nerve exploding! I know the only way I will get over these fears is to keep doing them so that is what I plan to do. 

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The singing competition is called The Ross Factor. It is being organised by The Ross Nugent Foundation. A charity very close to my heart.

Ross Nugent died in 2010 after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. His family set up the foundation in his memory. I have been fortunate enough to meet Ross’s dad Don and I am very excited to meet the rest of his amazing family this Sunday.
The work they are doing is fantastic. When I found out about The Ross Factor I automatically began making excuses to myself as to why I shouldn’t take part.
Once I thought of all the good work Don and his family have done for people through the foundation, my decision became simple. Stay tuned for the results!

Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59

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