James Rose - The Double Amputee Climber - SGO Ethos

SGO has and will always help inspire people, to give them the kick they need to get going and live their life.

We can all support and encourage each other, but most importantly, we can better ourselves and challenge our own personal difficulties.

Life can be harder for some people, an unplanned event can drastically change their lives. However, like James Rose, they don't have to sit and take it. 

 

Read on for our interview with James where he talks about his injuries and his future plans.

 

SGO - Hi James, can tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?

My name is James rose I’m 33 years old and I grew up in the North East (of England) in a town called Middlesbrough. Back in 2009 while serving my first tour of Afghanistan I triggered a pressure plate IED resulting in me losing both legs above the knee, a broken pelvis and tail bone and mass internal damage. I was so badly injured that I died and I was brought back to life and the doctors feared the the worst. 

 

SGO - From your injuries to starting training, how long did it take, and why did you decide to start?

After my injury in 09 I was in a dark place for years, I had no motivation, no outlook on life at all. This was right up until 2014 where my wife introduced me to rowing. That changed my life I became active, confident and outgoing. I was then selected for the GB PARA Rowing SQUAD. I applied for the 2018 Invictus games with hope I would be selected after disappointment in previous years. This time I was successful. I competed in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. I finished the games bringing home Bronze and Silver medals respectively. 

 

SGO - Apart from the Invictus Games what other accomplishments have you achieved? 

After the Games I felt I could do anything! So me and an Invictus games team member got together and decided to climb Kilimanjaro, after I made a silly comment about Mount Everest (which I'm obsessed with). The plan was to climb Kilimanjaro completely unaided. Also to my knowledge, I was to become the first double above knee amputee to climb it completely unaided. I’ve seen guys do it but have had help either by being carried or pushed up in specially adapted chairs. I wanted to completely push the boundaries and my own limits and do it alone. That I did. I have also summited Snowdon, Helvellyn,  Sharps Edge (Blencathra) and many others including Catbells

 

SGO - On to your mindset, tell the readers what goes through your head when you are climbing towards the Summit.

As I approach the summit all that is going through my head is just get there ignore the pain, head down and crack on. I tend not to talk to the guys too much as it distracts me and I lose concentration, I’m tired. All I want to do is get up and run there but that is impossible, it’s always 'so close but yet so far'. I know once I get to the summit that it’s 'job done', but then I think “I have to get down!" The descent in a way is harder, just because in my head all I want to do is finish it, but thats not going to happen fast. As time goes on I’m getting more tired resulting in more stops, which in turn means it takes longer to get down. It’s only when I’m at the bottom sat near my car I know it’s job done and I can reflect on what I’ve just accomplished. 

 

SGO - How do you relate to SGO Ethos of Face Your Mountain?

I can relate massively to SGO. 'Face Your Mountain' says to me 'face your fears' and that all comes down to mindset. You need a strong mindset if you want to overcome the toughest challenges but not just challenges, anything in life.
When I set out on my journey in 2014 it was purely to better my mindset. I couldn’t be bothered to train, or get up early and train but I knew it had to be done so I could become the strongest version of myself. It’s you against you and your mind. I like to show people in my situation or anyone that’s struggling with motivation, mental health etc, that with the right mindset you can become unstoppable!

SGO - Looking back on your achievements, what is the one thing that you have learned about yourself that you would never have found out if it wasn’t for your injury?

I have learned an awful lot about myself since my injury one of them being that anything is possible. Before my injury I would say that  I was just coasting along in a comfortable little bubble (like most), now I live out of that bubble and put myself through torture. Wether that’s in fitness or climbing mountains. The lead up to any of them has a massive impact on my mental health, anxiety attacks especially. However, I know once the job is done I feel on top of the world. If it wasn’t for my injuries I wouldn’t of been selected to represent GB in rowing, I wouldn’t of been selected to be a part of UK team to compete at the Invictus Games, and I certainly wouldn’t of conquered Kilimanjaro and numerous other mountains. Having no legs or being disabled doesn’t mean your life stops there for me it’s only just started! 

SGO - What are your future plans?

My future plans are to Climb Mount Toubkal the highest mountain North Africa in the Atlas Mountains in June next year.  And to just continue what I do and try to inspire others and to show that anything is possible with the the right mindset. 

 

What a guy!

We will be working with James and following his journey, a long with supporting him on his Mt Toubkal expedition. Also, if you haven't heard of Mt Toubkal, then google it. Do the research and realise how much this man has achieved and is willing to achieve to help inspire people and better himself.

Changing the stigma with disabilities one mountain at a time.

Dis-abled? Dis-abled to do what exactly?

Thank you James, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

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