26 Miles. 2 Men. 2 Wheelchairs. : £12,578 Raised.
Imagine being told that you’ll never walk again. How do you respond?
For so many, that news would imply that their life is now hindered; that they can no longer do the things that they love. But for Ben Tansley, it was the opposite.
In 2017, Josh’s best friend, Ben aka. Tano, was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him paralysed from the waist down following visiting Josh to meet his daughter India when she was first born. Life could have stopped for Ben at that point but he was determined to begin a new one, grateful that he survived the accident at all. Ben rang Josh and asked if he would complete the Berlin marathon with him; to understand the physical and mental challenges that he and many others face. Josh agreed.
Then began the training. Josh not only wanted to learn how to live and race in a wheelchair, but truly empathise with the community that he was supporting and raising money for. He would use the chair as much as he could: around the house, the office and even commuting to and from work. It opened Josh’s eyes to the accessibility difficulties there are, and how strong-minded people are to face these adversities every day.
‘You realise how unaware society is about the struggles of others and how the smallest changes can make such a big difference to a person’s life’.
Richmond Park was Josh’s training ground, and that is where he met David Weir and was introduced to his incredible academy: The Weir Archer Academy. Here, Josh trained for four months and with children as young as 6. The people within this community impacted Josh – their determination and power (not to mention, the ability to beat Josh on the tracks) was not only humbling, but inspiring.
Alongside the Weir Archer Academy, Josh had to focus on a lot of upper body conditioning and reprogram his body to move in a way that he had never had to do. But although the training was relentless, it was the isolation that came with doing something that others struggled to understand that was the hardest part. At the time, Josh’s business had collapsed, his relationship ended and his mental health was in turmoil. His will to support his friend drove him to stick with the training and push through to complete the Berlin Marathon.
‘If I can do that at rock bottom, what can I do at my best?’
The Berlin Marathon and Ben, was Josh’s saviour at a time that he didn’t even know he needed it. The challenge helped Josh realise his potential within his performance and his mind. Both Josh and Ben completed the marathon and crossed that line together, as two friends and individuals that believed that anything was possible. They raised over £12,000 for the Spinal Injury Association and continue to work with the Charity to this day.
I want to inspire anybody, it doesn’t even have to be someone with a physical disability.The reality is that you all face this adversity at some point in your life, but rather than allowing it to end your life, just believe, like Ben does,that it’s just the beginning.
The best preparation for the future is to live as if there was were none – Albert Einstein
I want to inspire anybody, it doesn’t even have to be someone with a physical disability. The reality is that you all face this adversity at some point in your life, but rather than allowing it to end your life, just believe, like Ben does that it’s just the beginning.