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Mick has been having daily physio and cryotherapy sessions on his leg after a muscle tear forced him to take a break from his John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge.
Now he says he’s ready to set off again for the second half of his trek and push on towards a new £100,000 target for his own charity, Leave The Light On.
“I had the injury seen by Everton’s physio team at Finch Farm, they really looked after me, and they told me to stay off my feet for a week, but I’ve just been gagging to get back out onto the walk,” he says.
“I’ve been trying my best to be patient but I’m not a very patient man, I hate all the sitting down and waiting around – I’m itching to get back out there.”
After setting off from Scotland in below freezing temperatures on December 11, in just his trademark Everton blue swimming trunks and scarf, Mick made it as far as Ormskirk.
He was driven to Liverpool for the FA Cup derby match and was given a hero’s welcome from both sets of fans but then injury struck.
“My calf had been getting more and more swollen for about a week and a half before that, and I’d been massaging it myself and getting massages on it, but I didn’t think for one minute it was just going to go on me completely,” he says.
“I’ve never had an injury like that before, that stops me from doing what I want to do. I had a shoulder problem when I was training for my Channel swim years ago, but I could still do a bit. This totally stopped me in my tracks.”
When the Blues physios diagnosed his muscle tear, Mick started on an intensive programme of treatment involving stretching, icing, compression and cryotherapy.
He was also able to take an extended rest break thanks to the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool city centre.
“Being in Liverpool has been amazing,” he says. “I had Liverpool get me on the pitch, Everton got me on the pitch, the Radio City tower turned Blue for Speedo Mick and the Hilton had me in there and were treating me like a star for three days.
“Team Speedo even managed to sneak my missus Rachel into the hotel without telling me which was the best surprise. I opened my hotel room door and there she was! I haven’t seen her for a month and she’s my favourite face on the planet so I miss her very much. Even though she had to go back to London the next day it was such a boost to be able to see her.”
On Friday, Mick plans to head back to Ormskirk where his challenge was suddenly stopped, then walk the 13 miles to Liverpool to ease himself gently back into things.
“That’ll be my test for myself to see if my leg’s going to be OK and I can carry on,” he explains. “I’ve only got a bit of stuff in my bag anyway but I’m going to have to lighten that even more to take the weight off my muscle.
“Hopefully I’ll get to Liverpool, 13 miles will do me for the first day back and then I can just see how things go.”
Mick’s already smashed his original target of £50,000 for Leave The Light On – supporting community projects and creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Now he’s got his sights set on £100k. “That would be phenomenal,” he adds. “Pretty much everything that’s happened to me over the past four weeks has been unbelievable and the generosity I’ve been shown has been incredible.
“It’s been like a tornado for me but it’s been the most amazing experience. I feel like the luckiest man on the planet because I get to see everyone’s best bits, all their generosity and their understanding, every day of the week. I get to see the best of everybody on a daily basis and you don’t normally get that.
“For some reason Speedo Mick, and what I’m trying to do, just draws this positivity out of people. I think the energy that comes out of me just gives people a bit of a lift which is great.
“So ist’s been a fantastic journey – as much as it’s been painful, it’s been beautiful as well.”
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