I’m Russell Watts and I live at Lake Taupo, New Zealand. I'm a 48 year old, who has been married to my wife for 26 happy years. We have two lovely adult children.
I worked as a Chartered Accountant until I had a serious motorcycle accident in 2009, which left me with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and some left side physical injuries. A year later, I began suffering strange tingling/weakness on my left side, which eventually resulted in a diagnosis of MS. As a consequence, I felt that my life had been wrecked by injury and now chronic illness.
After deep soul searching, I came to a place where I decided to make the ‘most from a bad situation’. I was determined that I would not allow a ‘glass ceiling’ of limitation come over my life to rob me of my future prospects. My decision was to overcome poor health and injury, by taking on a positive character, seeking to make the most of any opportunities, and to make positive lifestyle changes (a healthy diet, daily aerobic exercise, good sleep and stress avoidance, reinforced with MS treatment medication) that would enable me to maximise my potential.
My MS/TBI life has not been entirely easy, but some amazing opportunities have come my way, mainly in the sporting arena. Last year, I represented NZ in para-triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon, gaining credible fourth places at three World Championship events. I’ve had the honour of being the NZ Team flag bearer at the Triathlon World Championship opening ceremony in Canada. I have been awarded the 2014 Taupo District “+40 years Sportsperson of the Year Award”, and have successfully competed in many other running and cycle events.
Apart from sport (swim, bike running), I also enjoy trout fishing, hiking, and being outdoors. Over the summer, I enjoy sailing my small 'phase II' yacht (vastly smaller and less sophisticated than the Oceans of Hope yacht) in the large lake next to my home.