I’m Gus Mckechnie and I really enjoy sport and outdoor activities, despite the fact that I was born with Cerebral Palsy. My disability is not a barrier to movement; in fact, I’m a ‘Get Outside’ champion for Ordnance Survey, where I work as a Customer Service Adviser.
I want to share my story with you throughout 2018, and will be blogging about the different activities I try and what the benefits are ….. and I’m not only talking about physical health benefits but mental well-being too.
Sport and physical activity has always been an important part of my life. I was told I wouldn’t be walking by the age of 30 and even though I take part in wheelchair sports I’m still on my feet at the age of 42. In fact I’m aiming to finish 40 challenges this year, which I set as a goal when I turned 40.
Over the years, physical activity has helped me with my academic performance. For example, when I took up American Football I went from being in the bottom to the top quarter of students at college in academic performance. From those early days, I went on to play for Great Britain in 1994.
Sport has also helped me deal with many challenges throughout my life; from relieving the trauma of abuse, to coping with the grief of losing my Mother, Father and Brother. I focussed on activity rather than medication to help support my mental health, and completed a number of challenges in their memory, including the New York Marathon five times, a row around the Isle of Wight, and two disability world records on a rowing machine.