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RT @SueBrownSB: 20 of the most excruciating pains. Can't help noticing how many are #MSK related @fmauk @UKGoutSociety https://t.co/cAYLYPb

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Annie's Wigg inspiring solo inline speed skating at the Le Mans 24h Roller in France

Annie Wigg, who lives with fibromyalgia will take part in a challenging event skating race and she shares with us her inspiring story: ‘’In February 2012 I was involved in a bad crash whilst training with my team (inline speed skating) and did quite a bit of damage including: severe whiplash, widespread soft tissue damage, a torn facet joint, 2 subluxated ribs, and 1 dislocated rib which was also fractured. From this trauma I developed Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However I wasn't officially diagnosed with it until 2014 due to malpractice from my hospital and local doctors surgery.

I have been on skates since I was 1 1/2 years old and racing since I was 10 (2006). I started racing internationally in 2014 with the Le Mans 24hour being my first event abroad. Skating is pretty much the only thing that helps me get away from the hell of my FM. Sometimes it can bring on a serious flare-up however for the most part it actually helps me with both the pain and the mental onslaught that I deal with 24/7. I've been skating my whole life and it is now a huge part of who I am, I can't let FM take that away from me so I continue to skate as best I can. I'm not as fast as I was before the accident but I'm slowly making progress and pulling myself back. 

The Le Mans 24hr Roller is an international event where teams of 12, 10, 6, duo and solo can compete to see who can skate the most laps in the 24hr period. It starts at 4pm and runs through the night to the following afternoon. You get teams from all over the world and it is the biggest endurance event of the season, apart from maybe the Berlin Marathon. We race on the Bugatti Circuit (each lap is 4.185km) complete with left and right-hand turn bends and a tough uphill towards the Dunlop tower. This will be my 4th year racing at Le Mans 24hr Roller and my 2nd year racing in the solo category. Last year (after racing my first solo) I found out that I was not only the youngest British skater every to compete in the solo category, possible the youngest of any nationality - yet to be confirmed, but I was also the first British Woman ever to race solo at the event. This was such an amazing thing to find out, to be the first female and to do it with FM made it that much more special. Unfortunately I had a crash about 8hrs in to the event and had to be taken to the medical centre in an ambulance (mild concussion and 2 torn ligaments) but after a few hours sleep I got up and continued to race until the end. I'm very stubborn and when I decide that I want to do something I will do it. It hurt and was definitely a struggle, I was pretty much carried over the finish line but I completed it which is all I cared about. I refuse to let my FM dictate what I am capable of, especially when it comes to my skating. 

This year I have set the goal of doing 50 laps. I've learnt to manage my FM and control it to a level where I can have some sort of a normal life, I still have unbearable flare-ups and all the symptoms that come with the illness but I'm lucky enough to be able to skate which is why I wanted to use this opportunity to raise money (and awareness) for FM. It helps prove to people, and myself that just because someone has FM doesn't necessarily mean that they are some fragile little doll that can't do anything, we are far tougher than anyone realises.

The event is tough, especially racing solo where mental toughness becomes crucial but all FM sufferers know that we have a lot of that. Even so I enjoy every minute of it, it's a chance to push yourself whilst doing what you love and surrounded by other skaters from around the world. There's a real group spirit and comradery between everyone. The Le Mans 24hr really is a unique experience.’’

Website of the event: http://www.24rollers.com/

Donate to Annie’s Go Fund Me Page: https://www.gofundme.com/fibromyalgia24solo

 

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