Alongside the Mastering Mountains team, we are thrilled to announce this year’s Mastering Mountains grant recipient, David Kyle, a father of four from Upper Hutt.
David’s mindset and objective are inspirational. At Mastering Mountains, the goal is to enable people with MS and functional neurological disorder to get outdoors, achieve their goals and experience positive, life-long change. They were impressed with David’s determination to develop the skills, strength and stamina needed to complete the challenging 20 km Karapoti Classic mountain bike race and to continue cycling with friends and family long into the future.
Cycling has been a big part of David’s life. David, who keeps busy raising four kids under the age of eight with his wife Mikola, works for a German med-tech company and was diagnosed with MS two years ago. Before his diagnosis, David did a large amount of road cycling and mountain biking, including long-distance races. Additionally, David regularly participated in group cycling and mountain biking with friends; it was an essential community.
However, David’s MS symptoms interfere with his ability to get out and participate in his cycling community. Leg weakness and difficulties with heat management make it hard to get out on his bike – and he finds the limitations frustrating. David explains: “It’s impossible to keep up with my MTB mates on a long climb when we go out for a ride, where my left leg basically becomes a dead weight.”
More significantly, David’s eldest loves cycling, and David’s MS limits his ability to participate in the sport with him. “My 8-year-old is also a keen mountain biker, and I hope I can keep riding with him as he gets older and faster.” The Mastering Mountains team believes there is tremendous value in being able to enjoy the outdoors with family. For this reason, we are committed to helping secure this future for David and his family.
Mastering Mountains will pay for nine months of weekly training sessions with a specialist coach. They believe that the mental skills and symptom-management strategies David will learn, in addition to the physical training, will enable him to achieve his goal and enjoy cycling long into the future. Mastering Mountains are also contributing to the costs of an electric mountain bike, empowering him to keep up with his mates during those long ascents in the hills above Upper Hutt.
MitoQ, Mastering Mountains generous partner, has also given David a nine-month supply of MitoQ Pure, providing him with more energy and speeding his recovery after training. Mastering Mountains will also supply David with up to $500 of gear from Macpac, their preferred outdoor supplier.
We are all excited about David’s mission to complete the Karapoti Classic and how this will inspire the wider community. His determination to push back on his MS through rehabilitation and lifestyle is exemplary. David wants to be in control of his MS “rather than the other way around” and to address “people’s stigma and lack of knowledge around MS – [to show that people with MS] can still be active and push through symptoms to achieve physical goals.”
Original article attributes to Mastering Mountains: https://www.masteringmountains.org.nz/stories/david-kyle-2022-grant-recipient