Nick Ruane

This is my story (so far)…

When I was three I had a major accident that triggered a stroke and left me with left hemiplegia and then epilepsy. I have no memory of the accident. When I went to hospital, doctors had never seen an accident like mine. I have been studied by the neurological medical community ever since.

My parents tried hard to give me as normal upbringing as any other child but school was tough. I was bullied throughout my early schooling life. Truth be told it left me with a negative self image, low self esteem and a lack of confidence were all results of this experience for me. I didn’t flourish academically until I went to university. I now have four degrees, in Politics, International Relations, Business and Teaching and am currently working towards a Masters in Political Science focusing on Disability Issues.

As a proud member of the disabled community, it is my dream is to raise funds to help other disabled individuals to traverse their own barriers and overcome the psychological hurdles that hindered my early years. With this in mind, I plan to establish a charitable trust that will provide financial backing to achieve these goals.

The weight – What was that all about?

All through high school I was overweight; I was the ‘big guy’ who was unhappy with his life. I was unpopular at school and lonely and like many others before me, turned to food for comfort. I also started smoking while at school. I was smoking thirty a day at one stage and before long I had high cholesterol, a serious weight problem and a big chip on my shoulder.

In 2001 I had a huge wake up call, prompted by a sick spell that left me in bed for four days and disenchanted with what I had become, I quit smoking, took up running and shed 40 kilo’s. For the first time in years I was beginning to feel proud of myself. Running was changing my life. It gave me self esteem, my confidence was growing. Within a few years I had attained the physical fitness required to consider competing in a triathlon. My only barrier was an intense fear of the water but it just had to be done. I learned to swim with just one arm. Within four years I completed my first triathlon!

Good question – Why the Ironman?

For me it’s obvious, the Ironman is the biggest single day test of endurance on the planet. In my life so far I have encountered people who have said I can’t do this or that, so for me the Ironman is about facing and beating the biggest challenge there is to face. Everything else after that will be easy. As a physically challenged (PC) athlete to complete Ironman will have special meaning, the Ironman is a hallowed event in the able-bodied sporting community, for a PC athlete to complete an Ironman is very special.

What’s ahead for me?

Now that I have completed the Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, my training changes. I am now focusing on sprint distance, in preparation for selection to the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

Horsing Around

I have a relationship with RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) based upon riding with RDA as a child, I am very proud to continue that relationship with RDA by fundraising for RDA Wellington in the lead up to Ironman 2010. Link to RDA Wellington ...