Allan has been a member at the club for many years and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2019. Allan co-founded the Positively Parkinson’s Group to help people adjust to life after diagnosis and demonstrate what can be achieved through exercise, a positive mindset and rising to challenges.
Parkinson’s in the UK is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world which is caused by the loss of dopamine producing cells in the brain which controls movement and mood. Currently there is not a cure for Parkinson’s, but it is getting closer, which is why raising funds for Parkinson’s pioneering research is so important, especially for future generations.
Recently Allan completed bikeathon. A non-stop cycle for 24 gruelling hours on a static training bike to raise £2,400 to support those affected by Parkinson's and other neurological conditions.
When speaking to us, Allan explained that Parkinson can be bought on by environment factors and on diagnosis Allan was coming to the end of a career as a fire crew at Heathrow and Gatwick. Parkinson’s is related to the depleting hormone dopamine in the brain. When exercising to 80% of your peak the dopamine is circulated and can therefore can help slow the progress of Parkinson’s. Allan mentioned after a 45-mintue spin class or gym session at the club it can stop tremors for up 2-3 hours. Making the Health Club and fellow members a huge part of his journey.
In 2023 there are is more ambitious fundraising planned called ‘The Big Tri’, this includes swimming around the Isle of Wight in a team relay in July, cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End at Easter and walking up Snowdonia in September. We will be tracking Allan’s Journey throughout the year to help raise awareness, but with Allan we hope that his story is serves as an inspiration but also a support for those friends family, or maybe yourself.
“This a real test to push me outside of my comfort zone. It is all about challenging yourself, working hard physically and mentally in order to demonstrate how powerful the positive conscious side of the brain is. In essence I am working hard to retrain the conscious positive side of my brain to talk to me and say that I can cycle for this amount of time without stopping, rather than listening to the negative sub conscious side of my brain telling me my muscles are tired, and it’s time to stop.”
Allan’s Funding page can be found here, but we will bring more on Allan in the coming months as he prepares for these extraordinary challenges.