6. Running Free

Sat at the front of the cramped briefing room alongside the other would-be athletes, I could feel the tension in the room rising in anticipation of the opening address. “Welcome to the High-Performance Training Centre for Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sprint kayak programme.” None of us yet knew what to expect from the day’s… Continue Reading


5. From the Zoo to the Jungle

A member of staff at the spinal unit remarked that being discharged from hospital was like ‘going from the zoo the jungle’. She explained that, in hospital, you are fed, cared for and supported 24/7. However, in the jungle, you’ve got to learn to look after yourself. After the events of the last few weeks,… Continue Reading


4. Crash Land

‘Crash Land’ has been undoubtedly the hardest blog to write of the series so far. It has taken months to feel strong enough mentally to re-visit, and to start coming to terms with the events which unfolded during my last months of rehabilitation. Just as things were beginning to look up, and as my discharge… Continue Reading


‘My Darren’ – Mum

A little while ago, I asked my Mum to write a blog about the events of August 6th from her perspective. It is only since looking back at the first hours/weeks of my accident that I have come to realise how wrapped up in ‘self-preservation mode’ I truly had been at the time. I had… Continue Reading


3. Taking Back Control

Today was the day. Today marked the end of my sixth week on bed rest. Thank God. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d quite managed it, but then again, I hadn’t really had much of a choice. Never before in my life had I wished away days quite like I had these past six weeks.… Continue Reading


2. Dreaming of Tomorrow

Minutes passed like hours. Hours passed like days. Days, well they never seemed to end. I wondered, would this week pass quicker than the last? It was enough in itself coming to terms with the physical impact of the accident, but for now, the biggest challenge I faced was mental. Nothing in my life could… Continue Reading


1. Hitting Rock Bottom

Just let me shut my eyes. Please just let me shut my eyes, and when I wake up none of this will have happened. I was so desperate. I was so scared. I wanted it to not be true, but I knew instantly what was wrong. As I lay in the dirt, tangled in debris,… Continue Reading