Talk about determination! Illness in the family which “knocked us all for six” kept North Wales fitness trainer Lee Philip Evans from completing his swimming challenge for the ME Association in Bala Lake at the end of July – so he’s now going all out for it next Monday (18th September).
He's tough, but not silly! Because it’s now too cold to swim for any length of time in Bala Lake, with the water temperature down to as low as seven degrees, he’s moved his 12-hour swim to a relatively warmer lake at Park In The Past in Hope, a village near Wrexham.
This heritage recreation site in a vast reclaimed quarry will be closed to the public as normal that day. This means that Lee, who will be accompanied by a friend in a safety kayak, can focus on the job in hand.
He put the swim and training for it on hold so he could be with family while they rallied round his grandmother who is getting over a stroke suffered earlier in the summer. The ME recoverer has now returned to his training with a vengeance!
Last week Lee had an hour-long swim in the sea at Barmouth, followed up by an hour and 22 minutes in the 35-acre lake at Park In The Past.
When he was a good deal younger, the 40-year-old was working for a mountain bike trail centre at the time and loving life – but ME led to him spending years in bed or on the sofa. “It was two or three years of hell”, Lee told us earlier this year.
“I became ill after a liver infection and was given every test you could think of. It wasn’t until I was 25 when a specialist physio game me my diagnosis of M.E. I thought ‘Great… fantastic news! I can now work out what to do to make myself better’.”
Adopting a fitness regime which clearly would be inappropriate for many other people with M.E., he found it worked for him!
He went back to the gym to work on his resistance training in order to put on muscle and he worked carefully on his nutrition, upping his daily calorie intake.
Lee has obviously found a route back to health which has worked for him and that’s great! But the ME Association definitely wouldn’t recommend his fitness regime to others whose health could be harmed by it. Please have a look at the gentle health warning issued by our Chairman, Neil Riley. Click on the link just below the following photos.
If you’ve been inspired by Lee’s example and would like to contribute towards his MEA fundraiser, please visit:
Scenes from earlier this summer when Lee was still training in Bala Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Wales.
For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.