Monthly Archives: February 2014

March 22nd Fight Night

Dear avid fight fans,

The Bank Account is at last open and ready for business! You have the choice of paying for your tickets (£25 per head), either by bank transfer or cheque:

Transfer – Russell Dawkins Back on Track sort code 600530 account number 23500328 please fill in your name, so I know who the payment has come from! By separate email, please forward your address.

Cheques – payable to Russell Dawkins Back on Track, post with a SAE to RDBOT, Hogarth Leisure Ltd Airedale Ave, Chiswick, W4 2NW.

In both cases I will then send the tickets to the address provided or, if you indicate, I will leave them in an envelope for collection at either the Hogarth Health Club or the Park Club.

Preparation is going well, I’ve sold 300 tickets myself and overall we are nearing 800! The fighters are becoming accustomed to the sensation of leather being rapidly applied to the parts of the face that poke out from behind the head-guard – in my case most of my hooter. Fitness levels are increasing, as are the knackered-ness levels caused by early mornings and lots of fizz. It’s going to be a great night, we’ve got Adrian Chiles MC-ing, World Champion boxers Johnny Nelson and Richie Woodhall in attendance, as well as a number of other celebrities, who are promising to attend.

I’ll send a link to some more stuff soon about all the fighters.


Welcome home to W4

Hi Russ,
We’ve been following your steady progress, smiling at the humour and banter of the good days and shedding the odd tear at low days but always amazed at your resilience and determination.  It’s clear that it will take a huge amount of heart and soul to rebuild yours and your beautiful family’s lives – attributes that you have by the bucket load.

If anyone can make it you can – you have already proved to all of us and to yourself what can be achieved and I expect you will go on to fulfil new goals and achievements. It will be a long hard climb to the tops of these mountains but the view from the top as we all know is worth it however we get there.

Hope to see you at the Park Club Boxing event.

best wishes

Mark & Kate Pritchard


Last night I went to my work place, the first time in almost 9 months.

My lab manager, Nev, picked me up from home and drove me in.

I wanted to ‘facilitate’ in an optometry peer discussion evening.
Twenty professional staff were there to earn continuing education points, an annual requirement these days.
I was, to be honest, a little nervous about going in, but knew it would be easier surrounded by my loyal staff, and without the public on the premises.

To my dismay, I could do very little in my consulting room of 15 years. Most instruments were out of reach, desk tops were either too high, or had legs that got in the way of my chair, and my lack of core muscular use rendered me liable to fall into the lap of any potential patient – awkward at best…

On the plus side, I chaired the discussion fairly confidently ( aware that my voice is weak ) and engaged everyone in the talk pretty successfully, as was my facilitator’s obligation.

All my staff there were a delight. I don’t think I’ve been kissed so much since my wedding day.
I’d like to thank them all for making it easier for me.
And for the kisses.

As is my wont, I tried to get as many as possible to come for a drink afterwards. About half did, and stayed for a couple of hours.
We had a lot of fun, perhaps something that’s been missing a little since my unscheduled spine injury.
Mitul and Jas drove me home to Chiswick too, and unpacked me the other end.

So good and bad – I can still be a positive force at work via my experience and personality, but currently in terms of being able to ‘practice’ I’m very limited, until room equipment and furniture is replaced.
Lots to think about.


My buddy, Martin, took me to sunny Carshalton for a driving assessment yesterday.
He reserved the whole day for me basically, and it took a whole day!

I was interviewed, my reactions were measured, my mobility assessed, my eyesight checked, you name it.

I got into an adapted car about an hour later. You steer with your left hand holding onto a knob fixed to the steering wheel, and accelerate/ brake with a handle on the right side.
Trust me, it’s hardly modern engineering at its best,more something your metalwork teacher might have knocked up in his lunchtime.
There was a little ‘track’, some juctions, and some cones.
I had to negotiate all the above and reverse park too between two other cars. That last bit I did, expecting to wreck at least one of them…
However, I ‘passed’ with flying colours, it would seem.
They’ve obviously had some bad drivers there before me!
I’ve never cared about cars, or been in any way macho about driving. It didn’t thrill me to drive, but it’s a thing I need to do to buy me freedom, give me independence and enable me to reduce my parasite status.
It’ll enable me to give my girls lifts, and empower me to contribute.
I’m not obliged to have lessons before I hit the roads, which surprises me, but there you go.

As far as actually getting a car is concerned, that’s far from straightforward.
The Government Motability scheme is in disarray – as the millions that are claiming to be disabled are all being reassessed. I’ve joined the back of the queue.
It may be many months before I get something, and may have to buy a car myself and have it adapted, only to sell it again once I’ve qualified for a Government sponsored vehicle.
Going back to work isn’t really an option until I can get there under my own steam, as it were.

Last night I went to watch the boxers train again – they’re all looking a lot fitter than before – and no wonder, Lee and Ali are properly beasting them!
Wish I was fighting … Tho not from a wheelchair.

Then we went out for dinner, the bad acoustics there really bringing home my lack of voice volume. I could only really be heard by someone sitting next to me. It makes me feel socially inadequate, frankly.

I can’t say I’m enjoying being disabled.

A message.

Hey superstar!

Here’s the first deal – you are allowed one day per month in bed for the entire day. Any more than that and my jealousy would be unbearable. Here’s the second deal – if you have all day laying in bed – do you think that maybe you could let me know you are finally free for me to give you a call?? J

You are going through difficult transition two. Coming home into what you had before yet will never access in that way again. Every day is going to be a day of courage. You are going to have to take the courage pill and get out there and deal with whatever happens. You will drive again and your confidence in the chair can only get better. Turn your head off when you have to. You used to turn that head off every time you competed, took calculated risk in a paddle, on your bike, on your skis. Your confidence was shaken but you will have to package the uncertainty away and turn off the switch now and then like you used to. You are doing great !