From Near-Death to Peak-Health, My Ironman Journey Begins…

Leyth Hampshire
July 4th 2020

So it begins, the conquest and adventure to complete an Ironman. For those that don’t know an Ironman is considered one of the most gruelling one-day sporting events in the world. You do a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run all within a certain timeframe to finish. I will firstly be completing a 70.3 which is a half Ironman. So this consists of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run. In order to be considered as completed, you must finish this in under 8 hours. I will be competing in the Luxembourg 70.3 Ironman on October 11th 2020. In exactly 100 days.

So why am I doing this?

You may or may not know a bit about how I got here and why this means a lot to me. So let me tell you about what happened…

I’m 24 years old and I live in the UK. Last year, on October 13th 2019, I suffered a ruptured aneurysm in my basilar artery while on a trip in Budapest, which left me in a coma for 7-days. I had a grade 5 subarachnoid haemorrhage, which has a 90% mortality rate. I had to have 4 brain operations in the space of 48 hours to keep me alive and I then spent over a month in a neurological hospital in Budapest, before being flown by air ambulance back to London.

My brain filled with blood and I was moments away from passing to the other side. During the haemorrhage, I suffered a severe stroke in my brains left-hemisphere and woke up with no feeling at all on my right side, from head to toe. I spent 3 months in physical rehabilitation, learning to be able to walk properly again.

Over the last 6 months, I have been training and have regained a lot of mobility on the right side of my body. I still have a foot drop on my right foot and have little feeling in my toes. However, I am continually getting stronger mentally and physically in the rest of my body.

Since I woke up out of a 7-day coma, I knew I was gifted with another opportunity to make a real impact in this world and share my story.

I asked myself, how can I share with the world, that even when life throws you a massive curveball…no matter what, if you set your mind to something you can achieve the impossible, as limitations we set ourselves are only perceptions! I have already come so far and owe that to my strength of mind and determination that I was not going to be left paralysed. I then came up with the idea of completing an Ironman; achieving the absolute gold standard of extreme physical strength and mental performance following a serious brain injury.

I am going to document the journey; my journey from lying in a coma after having a near-death experience to training to peak physical performance and crossing an Ironman finish line.

My first goal in this conquest is to complete a half ironman, as a way to see how my body, mind and soul cope with this incredible feat. I know this is no ordinary adventure — I know huge training, dedication and incredible amounts focus are required.

I am doing this as I want to show the world that even when you are on death’s door and the statistics are completely against you and when the doctors say you may never wake up, let alone move again. That if you set your mind to something and truly believe in yourself with laser focus and hard work that absolutely anything is possible.

I will be documenting this journey the whole way — from my emotions and feelings each week to my training and nutrition. This is more than just an athletic adventure, for me, this is a spiritual journey of self-actualization and individuation. You can follow closely on my Instagram

I appreciate all support and advice from anyone, anywhere. I have got an Ironman coach and a nutritionist helping me ensure I stay at the top of my game on this journey and that my body stays healthy and able to perform.

I hope one day these writings and my journey will inspire others to take a step out of their comfort zone, focus their mind and realise that we are all designed for greatness.

Let’s go! To the next 100 days and my journey to Ironman. We begin!

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