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  • Kelda Wood prepares for her 1st Triathlon with her Duratec.

Kelda Wood prepares for her 1st Triathlon with her Duratec.

Image – Kelda Wood.

From Shropshire Live…

Since sustaining an irreparable leg injury in 2002, Kelda Wood MBE has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, become the first adaptive female to row solo across the Atlantic to raise awareness for her charity Climbing Out and she was the first adaptive woman to reach the summit of Mount Aconcagua – the highest mountain in South America.

Her next challenge is to complete a series of triathlons this year, despite not being able to run! Kelda plans to document her journey overcoming more barriers like this on her new platform ‘Creating Momentum’ to help inspire others. She wants people to use Creating Momentum as a place to share stories and information that will help motivate others to take on and overcome life’s physical and mental challenges. Kelda was listed on the New Year’s Honour List 2021 to receive an MBE for her work with the charity she founded – Climbing Out, which helps people who have been through mental or physical trauma to rebuild confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

On the same day she received the email from the Cabinet Office, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer and had to pause her training to have a mastectomy. Kelda said, “Setbacks like that are part of life. It is all about taking them on board and figuring out how to move forward. The diagnosis hasn’t stopped me taking on the triathlon challenge, it just made me even more determined to succeed in taking part. Creating Momentum is about facing life’s hurdles, finding solutions and achieving something you didn’t think possible.

As I always say, ‘It’s not about saying I can’t, it’s about saying, how can I?’ UK Triathlons have provided Kelda with support and guidance to aid her training. Kelda said, “I have always wanted to compete in triathlons, but I thought I couldn’t because of my leg injury. I can’t run, I can’t swim very well, and I can’t use a standard bike. But then I realised I wasn’t practising what I preach – I wasn’t finding a solution to my challenge and asking, ‘how can I?’ “I wanted to find a way to adapt so I could compete in standard triathlons. I approached several triathlon organisers, and they have given me the go ahead to take part non-competitively.

I’m learning how to swim in a new way and Bicycles by Design in Ironbridge have created a bespoke bike for me – I’m very grateful for their incredible support. “Spokz provided me with a racing wheelchair that I intended to use for the running part of the races. Unfortunately, I faced another setback as it hasn’t been workable for me on hills, and I can’t increase training on my arms as it causes swelling where I had my mastectomy. This has been another ‘how can I?’ moment, and even if I have to walk or shuffle my way through that bit of the race, that’s what I’ll do! I’m very grateful to Spokz for giving me the opportunity to try the chair.”

The new bicycle comes from leading manufacturer, Duratec. Peter Bird from Bicycles By Design commented, “It’s amazing to be working with Kelda as she trains and competes in a number of triathlons across the season. She is an inspirational individual who demonstrates the benefits of cycling and wider sports and how they can change your life. Working with Duratec, who Bicycles By Design partners with, we have designed a unique and bespoke bicycle for Kelda that fulfils her sporting needs”. Steve Dent from Spokz adds, “It has been a pleasure to link up with Kelda and support her in her triathlon challenges.

As a disabled person myself I am fully aware of the need to adapt to many situations. The events that Kelda will be taking part in will hopefully show others with physical limitations that it is possible to take part in many different events, you just need the drive and determination to push the barriers.” Kelda adds, “I’m not trying to get an upper hand by using adaptive equipment, I’m showing that it’s all about finding solutions to overcome life’s obstacles. I hope to create some momentum which will inspire and motivate others to take on their own challenges head on.” Kelda is taking part in the AJ Bell World Triathlon in Leeds this June, Always Aim High Events’ Snowman triathlon in July and UK Triathlon’s Shropshire event in September.

Follow Kelda’s journey and stories from other inspirational people on Creating Momentum – on Facebook @Momentum4Life and on Twitter @Momentum_4_Life.

Read the full article via Shropshire Live at: https://www.shropshirelive.com/sport/2021/06/03/kelda-wood-mbe-to-take-on-triathlon-challenge-as-part-of-new-project/?fbclid=IwAR37lllw43BfcirRDf-uLLH-oqtETT5q4-ATcU2GT5mbgKAnXmnOtg8b56o

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