After years of fighting cancer it was time to close some chapters of my life. Not the good ones but the ones where I could not find my spirit and energy. In 1995, 1998 and 2001, I had to face cancer and won the fight but with it, I paid the ultimate price. They needed to amputate my right leg in three places. Despite what has happened in the past, I am now 35 years old, married, have a beautiful little girl and working on my own sports company. After 20 years of battling I have finally been given the all clear. I am cancer free and can live and function independently. This story is about me and my latest challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain on one leg, World Record and Ninja Warrior.
BEN NEVIS: In 2015, I came up with the idea to climb the Ben Nevis mountain in UK to close some chapters for good. But I did not want to climb for hours just for fun; I wanted to raise awareness at the same time. There are a lot of people with a handicap who do NOT have the flame to try something out of their comfort zone and I want to inspire them. I also wanted to challenge the general perception of handicapped people, I want to change their mind-set to see that we do are capable of things that are deemed impossible 👌
The day of the climb, I was nervous, very nervous. We started early in the morning to give us maximum amount of daylight, so when we were getting prepared, it was still dark. It was really cold and I did not eat a lot because of the nerves. The first hour, everything went ok.. but after a couple of hours I needed to rest more and more. As tough as it was, I had to keep saying to myself don’t stop but I was still loving every minute. After 4 hours we were close to the summit but because of health problems, my father needed to return back home. It was certainly a bitter pill to swallow and I couldn’t help but get a little emotional. As fantastic as my team were, he was my rock for inspiration and motivation. I thought from the start he was going to be there with me at the summit. But no, he needed to return because the climb was tough on him too. After a couple words of wisdom, he had me feeling energised and I was ready to carry on without him.
The weather went crazy the last couple hours. It started with wind, then rain and then storm, and rain again. It was relentless. After hours of struggle, I finally reached the summit, I had done it! Unfortunately, I was only able to enjoy it for just 10 minutes. For a person with my handicap, the descent was the most dangerous part of the climb. With not much time to spare, I had a special stone from one of my team members with a date on it. I placed the stone on the summit to leave my mark and as a reminder for what I had accomplished. When my daughter gets older, she will return to the summit and collect my stone. I want to show here what I did and why I climbed the Ben in a total of 6 hours up and 3 hours down. Every step I needed to take felt like a massive lunge and triceps press. Every muscle in my body did his job but it was the most intense walk I ever did. Looking back, the World Record attempt was easy compared to ‘The Ben’.
I am proud of what I have achieved, not only for myself but also the fact that we raised a lot of awareness for some fantastic organisations. I am already working on new goals and plans for 2017. I will be competing at the Dutch ninja warrior show and planning to compete at the 2018 Great Wall of China marathon, you will be hearing from me very soon!
WORLD RECORD: After 8 months of waiting my world record attempt has been approved by Guinness Book of World Records. For a long time I thought I will not succeed to get it approved because it’s just too complicated. Its not the race thats difficult but its the evidence check and communication with GBWR that’s complicated and it took me more then 8 months to get it done. But we did it and from now on I am “The fastest 5km on crutches (one leg, male)” I did the 5k in a time of 38.50 the previous record was 44.17 done by Sivananda Rajan Anda (Malaysia) March 8, 2015. I have no idea how long my record hold but that’s the great thing about records. I challenge everybody to try it, but remember this! a record is only official when its approved by GBWR. I am also a proud owner of the Dutch record “The fastest 5km on crutches (one leg, male)” and incredibly proud. Thank you Guinness book of world Record voor approving my record attempt. See the video of my attempt.
you tube video of attempt <——- click link to watch him break the record 👌
NINJA WARRIOR: A couple of weeks ago I saw an advertisement on the tv for the Dutch Ninja Warrior Netherlands. I do not follow the program, but I was certainly aware of other athletes with one leg and their participation in the program in America. I was keen to sign up but I had doubts. I spoke to the Dutch OCR Family about Ninja Warrior and their participation. I was envious but I still couldn’t find the courage to sign up. On the call they said; “Mike, do you want to join?” . I replied “Can I?”… fear and doubt hit me but it was mixed with excitement. “Yes! Of course you can!” “Hi Michael Robbert you are speaking with Talpa from the Ninja Warrior show. I’m calling you because we have heard your story from Team Family. Would you like to attempt the Ninja parcours? After more than a half hour spent on the phone, I decided to go for it. However, I agreed with one condition, I wanted to leave a statement with my participation. ‘Let your disabilities not be an obstacle. Dare to step out of your comfort zone’.
In the weeks that followed, Talpa created a promotional video that will be broadcast prior to my attempt. I have seen it and it is pretty cool. It’s a huge thrill and definitely something to tick off the bucket list. First and foremost though, is my mission to show you that although there may be obstacles, with hard work there are no limits.
If Someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it? Say yes, then learn how to do it later. – Richard Branson
I have been trying to find sports that are suitable for me for a long time. I eventually found this in obstacle running and Crossfit. For those who are unaware of obstacle running; it involves persuading a bunch of idiots to crawl through mud and clammer over obstacles on their day off. Yep, I am one of those idiots, the one legged version. I was recently invited to audition for the first series of the Dutch version of ‘Ninja Warrior’. This is a huge compliment for me as my obstacle abilities have been recognised. It will make me more determined than ever to succeed. And Crossfit? That is the second best thing that ever happend to me. I love the power, challenge and competition as an adaptive crossfitter.
Since my participation in obstacle course racing and Crossfit, I have committed myself to raising awareness for cancer research and independency after revalidation.
His amazing inspirational video of Michael working out click link below to watch, I highly recommend it ✔️
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list of Michael’s amazing achievements
- Strong Viking obstacle runs
- Ninja Warrior 2017
- World Record 5KM
- Beklimming Ben Nevis
- Mud Masters obstacle runs
- Men of Steel obstacle runs
- Break-Out Run obstacle runs
- Mud and Water Challenge
- Tough Dog Challenge
- Spartan race Super USA
- Klokgebouwloop, Landgraaf Trappen Marathon en de TT-run Assen
Kind regards ! Michael Robbert Brans
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