Giv­ing it your 110%

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ADVENTURE - – Ming teoh

AARON Perry has been rid­ing ever since he can re­mem­ber. “My dad bought me my first moun­tain bike when I was six and since then, I have lived to ride,” he en­thused.

He started road rac­ing at the age of 13, and was well on his way to pro­fes­sional rac­ing. But his dreams were dashed when he was di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes as the age of 16.

“I thought I would have to give it all up,” he said.

Then, three years ago, things took a turn for the bet­ter when he dis­cov­ered Team Novo Nordisk. The team CEO Phil Suther­land emailed him.

“They found me through my moun­tain bik­ing back­ground and I thought it was a good op­por­tu­nity as I’ve never let my di­a­betes get in the way in the past,” he ex­plained. “It gave me hope that if other di­a­bet­ics were com­pet­ing to such a high level, then maybe I could do the same, and I started rid­ing again.”

Perry was of­fered a place on the team and took the op­por­tu­nity to sign up with them.

“It was the best thing I could ever have done. My di­a­betes is un­der con­trol. I’m feel­ing healthy again, and I love rid­ing and rac­ing again,” said the 28- year- old.

When asked about the ob­sta­cles he faces as a cy­clist with di­a­betes, he said: “As a Type 1 di­a­betic, I try to be very aware of my body. In ev­ery sport, ath­letes know their body in­side out. I see it as an advan- tage be­cause I know my body well and use that knowl­edge to en­hance my per­for­mance on the bike.”

“Team Novo Nordisk’s slo­gan ‘ to in­spire, ed­u­cate and em­power peo­ple af­fected by di­a­betes’ helps di­a­betic cy­clists to em­brace their con­di­tion and not see it as some­thing that holds them back,” he added.

Perry, who was in Malaysia for the first time, to at­tend a med­i­cal congress on en­docrinol­ogy re­cently, said that he likes “any­thing out­doors”.

“I grew up as a moun­tain biker and it in­volved a lot of cross- train­ing, which in­cluded road cy­cling and en­durance train­ing. It was re­ally a dream come true for me to be able to pur­sue a pro­fes­sional con­tract in cy­cling,” he said.

The New Zealan­der grew up in Ro­torua. “Some of the best moun­tain bike trails are just a few min­utes from my doorstep and they are spec­tac­u­lar.”

Al­though he had to re­tire from pro­fes­sional cy­cling af­ter a ma­jor ac­ci­dent a year ago, he is get­ting into cy­cling again, but just for fun and not com­pet­i­tively yet at the mo­ment.

“My goal in life is to be suc­cess­ful at what­ever I put my hand to, and to give ev­ery­thing my 110%,” he said en­thu­si­as­ti­cally.

His en­cour­age­ment to peo­ple with di­a­betes is: “Don’t let it stop you do­ing what­ever you were do­ing be­fore, and be sure to keep as ac­tive as you can.”

Even di­a­bet­ics can do cy­cling at the high­est lev­els.

Aaron Perry over­came the chal­lenges of di­a­betes to be­come a pro­fes­sional cy­clist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.