Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dad's Iron Will Helps Him Rise to an Epic Challenge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dad's Iron Will Helps Him Rise to an Epic Challenge

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol Reporter

ADAD has overcome years of pain to defy medical expertise and set himself an epic solo endurance challenge.

Married father of two Jason Roberts, will take on the ambitious 7Days - 7Irons Challenge, which will see him attempt seven ironman distance triathlons in seven consecutive days while travelling the full length of the UK, from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Just 10 years ago, Jason suffered prolapsed discs in his back and was in so much pain he was unable to complete simple tasks such as walking, driving, or even going upstairs to bed.

Jason, 40, from Tynemouth, said: "At only 29, I had two prolapsed discs in my back, I was in constant pain, in and out of hospital on strong morphine, and had to sleep on the floor downstairs as I just couldn't manage the stairs."

A double decompression discectomy in 2004 followed by six weeks recovery helped the pain, but Jason was advised to avoid strenuous exercise.

He said: "I was the typical couch potato, I smoked heavily, drank a lot, ate too much and didn't do one bit of exercise. I was happy that the doctors advised me not to exercise, it suited my lifestyle perfectly."

Five years after the operation, Jason's worst fears returned when he started experiencing back pain again.

After an MRI scan revealed a further prolapsed disc, he was advised another operation would be necessary and consultants confirmed that he would never be able to be active.

Jason, a sales executive for TFM Radio, said: "I was gutted. Something just clicked inside me and I knew I had to find another way."

The brave dad refused the operation in January 2010, stopped smoking, starting eating well, cut down on alcohol and starting running and cycling on the advice of a physiotherapist.

Just three months later, he completed his first triathlon.

"Of course I still experienced pain," he said. "But, I found it was more likely to come when I didn't exercise, so I found strength in movement and kept pushing myself on.

"Completing that first triathlon helped me believe I could do anything I put my mind to. …

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