Today sees the start of a new feature to the EndlessTrax blog. Friday’s Focus. Each week (or so) I will be posting interviews and sharing articles on people who are making a difference. Whether it’s by running awareness campaigns, fundraising, or anything else that helps to raise the profile of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).
This weeks focus is an interview with Rob Cobb, who is a proud member of the AS community, and is doing his bit to help to raise awareness, and funds for the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS). Everybody meet Rob:
Thank you for taking the time out of your studies to answer some questions. Life must be pretty hectic balancing your studies with your training schedule at the moment. But before we come onto that, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
“Ok, well I recently turned 21, I am currently in my second year of studying Psychology at Loughborough University and will be working with Autistic children at Great Ormond Street Hospital next year for part of my degree. I was diagnosed with AS 8 years ago, aged 13, and I have had a somewhat eventful time with my experiences of AS (haha).”
At the moment you’re training for a charity run to raise money (and awareness) for NASS. What event are you competing in? And why did you choose to do that one particularly? What was your motivation for doing it?
“Yes, I am competing in the ‘Run Eton 10k’ at Dorney Lake, Windsor, on April 5th. One day I just decided that I wasn’t doing enough for NASS as I hadn’t done a fundraiser for a while, so I just picked something that sounded like a huge target and stuck with it. And since then I have done my best to raise awareness and funds for it and NASS.”
AS has affected you quite seriously in the past. Even to the point that you needed both of your hips replaced by the age of 18. How are those now? And how are they effecting your training?
“Yeah I had my first done at 17 and the second the following year. They are working perfectly now (touch wood) and have caused me no problems at all, despite having a pretty intense training schedule, so I am delighted!”
Have you had to adapt how you’re managing your AS because of the training? Or is it business as usual?
“I have slightly I think because I’m pushing my body quite hard, but it’s kept me even more active than normal and I’m stretching even more now, but it is certainly a nice break from studying all day as well. Win – win!!”
So when you’re not studying, training, or raising awareness of AS, what do you do in your spare time to relax? Assuming you have any time left that is.
“In my spare time I love watching sports; I’m a huge Arsenal fan, I love watching England play rugby, I also watch Moto GP and F1, although none of them are particularly relaxing (haha)! I normally love socialising with friends but I have been quite busy recently so that has been toned down slightly.”
Lastly, do you have a final message, or words of wisdom that you’d like to pass onto everyone reading?
“Finally I would just like to say, even though it is horribly cliché, never give up!!! It works for me on a daily basis! And I would like to say thank you to everyone at NASS (including yourself) for all the incredible work that you do!!”
Feel free to ask Rob any questions in the comments section below.