We met Tom in 2014, when he took part in cycle ride we'd organised alongside another IBD friend of the project Chris Cummins. Many more miles have been covered by foot and by cycle since then and it gives us the pleasure to share this video of a talk he recently held for Say Yes More
How time has flown since August 31st 2014, when we joined forces with lead designer at YaddaBristol and founder of Bristol streetwear brand WaveGang Chris 'Colouryum' Cummins. Chris a fellow IBD sufferer, a young guy who has battled several years with Colitis. Between us we organised a group of cyclists to ride a gruelling 136.5 miles (Yes the 0.5 does matter!). One of those cyclists was Thomas Hough, a guy I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting previously, but he became someone over the last year and half I have followed through social media and have had the chance to meet a couple of times.
He like myself and many reading this is a 'Crohnie', diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2011, the severity of his illness lead to him having to undergo surgery, to control his symptoms. Despite having a condition that tries to dictate how you live your life, Tom's never give up attitude, put him on a path to try and conquer as many challenges as he set himself. A very active and fit fellow before his diagnosis, he set about focussing on what he wanted to achieve. As an incredibly keen cyclist and runner, he has used these as his catalyst to show Crohn's disease who is boss. In 2013 he clocked up nearly 700 miles 6 rides as well as completing the 3 Peaks challenge, (Climbing the highest mountain in Scotland, England and Wales within 24hrs). The great rides continued on into 2014 when he crushed 3 rides totalling 1,326 miles, including the famous 'Lands End to John O'Groats' (1000miles) and the GCASFM Bristol2Brixton ride.
Despite the challenge of managing an erratic illness his dedication to training and managing to motivate himself is testament to his mental strength and focus on showing Crohn's he is in control.
In 2015/2016 came the next adventure, the biggest challenge so far, 6 marathons in 12 months. Now I'll be honest I struggle to run to the post office, so the thought of running just one marathon makes my legs fold up underneath me. For Tom, his "Say yes!" attitude and wanting to put his current state of good health to good use was all the motivation he needed, as well as his dedication to spread the awareness of IBD wherever he goes. As the video above has explained, it wasn't plain sailing, but having passion for the sport, having the goal put in front of him, Tom knew he had to battle through. His latest two marathons in Barcelona and London were preceded by a casual trip up Mount Kilimanjaro!! No, he isn't crazy, he just has a will and desire to take control of an adverse condition, know his bodies limits and help others in the process.
It's a pleasure to have his support and we support him in the rest of his adventures, what possibly could be next on his challenge radar??
To keep up to date with Tom's adventures keep a watchful eye on his website and blog.