My daughter, Cherry,
she saw somebody with dwarfism who was powerlifting,
and she said to me, “Do you think you could do that,
Daddy?” What motivates me to keep going during the tougher workouts
is the fact that I really want to be able to make my daughter,
Cherry, proud of me. My average workout involves
a lot of pain, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears. It was a lot of hard work. Rich’s workout ethic is unreal. I’ve never seen someone
with so much determination to make it to Tokyo in 2020. Right, then, Cherry,
shall we have a protein shake? Have you set your stall up? Are you going to be the shake lady? What inspired me to
start powerlifting was the fact that I was watching the Paralympics
with my daughter and she saw this lady with dwarfism, and she recognised that
she was like me. She says, “Daddy,
do you think you could do that?” Well, at the time, I’d just come
out of many major surgeries. To be honest, I’d got quite
an addiction to opiate-based pain medications that I’d
been on for years. And I think it was the kick that
I needed to actually do something with my
life that was positive. I just quit all the medications
that I was on while my doctor was on holiday,
went cold turkey, and took up powerlifting. My daddy powerlifts, and he’s good. I think my daddy can make it
into the Paralympics. Having Cherry along with me
on my competitions and training is immensely inspiring to me and motivational, as well,
because she gets to see… Daddy getting stronger, and
something for her to be proud of when daddy competes. I never doubted Rich’s ability to
powerlift when he first came to us. We adapted our training methods
to suit his needs. When Rich first told me he was going
to try powerlifting, I initially was concerned for the effects it could have
on him, physically. Obviously,
it’s not without its risks to even, you know,
the able-bodied individual. But obviously,
with Rich’s health conditions being as they are,
I was sort of concerned. The type of dwarfism that I have is a condition called
diastrophic dwarfism. My lung bones are obviously
affected, and my arms are a lot shorter,
and my fingers, obviously. I think it’s quite a rare condition
compared to most other dwarfisms. And I have complicated joints,
so they don’t actually move in the same way as other
people’s joints do. Growing up with dwarfism as a child, it was quite difficult, in the sense
that you attract a lot of attention from other children,
cos you do stand out. You’re always smaller
than your peers. Cos I had to have an awful
lot of surgeries, I think over 40 as a child, cos I was born with my legs
turned inwards, and I had what they call talipes,
or club feet. So every year, during the summer holidays,
I would go into hospital, have surgeries on both legs
and then, you know, all the kids are on holiday
and stuff, I was sat there with two legs in
plaster casts for the whole summer. So… So that was tough. The first surgeon that I saw, he said I would have to have
my leg amputated. And if my other leg went
the same way, I’d have to have that
amputated, too. I think what kept me going
through my surgeries was the support of my wife, Charlie,
and the love that she has for me. She’s always been there,
from day one. We just met across the pool table,
basically. Our teams were
pitched against each other and… Just went from there,
really, didn’t it? I’m really, really proud of him. It came a bit unexpectedly, but… The way he’s sort of committed
himself to it, it’s quite inspiring to see how
much effort and determination he’s putting into his training. Wow. Look, see.
Oh, it matches, yes. Put that on. The example I’m hoping
to set for Cherry is that anything is possible. Maybe you don’t think you can do,
you can do if you give it a try. The top hold that I’ve held is
110kg. Bearing in mind, I weigh 51kg… On a good day! So, that’s twice body
weight, at least. Did I think I would make it
this far? If you’d asked me six months ago, one day, I’d be holding 110kg
above myself… The answer would definitely be a no. I think the thing that I’m
most proud of so far is, after just five months
of training, I went into the English weightlifting championships,
doing powerlifting on the bench. And I came sixth in the country
in England. So I know for a fact that,
now onwards, it can only get better and better. I think the way that Rich is going, he could definitely reach
the Paralympics. I mean, if, in six months he can
go from never having bench pressed at all to lifting 100kg,
I think that, you know, within the next three
and a bit years, you know, he’s got plenty of scope
for massive improvements. I’m immensely proud of him for
his achievements and his attitude and his determination. I think the motivation for me,
personally, is doing something that makes not
only myself proud, and particularly my daughter
and family proud, but also, hopefully, maybe inspire
other people who maybe think they can’t do something,
just to give something a go. Even if I don’t make it to the
Paralympics, the journey along the way will be a lot further than where
I would have got if I had not tried. Oh, dizzy, dizzy, dizzy!

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