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August 2012

Paul’s Blog – Welcome

By My story No Comments

Hello and welcome Enhance supporters and blog readers.

I thought I had better begin my Enhance the UK blog posts by introducing myself and telling you a little about me and what you can expect from my blog’s.

So, my name is Paul Nicol and I am lucky enough to sit on the board of Trustees for Enhance the UK. I was born in 1978, making me the ripe age of 34 at the time of writing this post. I am completely blind and have been for around 7 years. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful wife who has given me the most amazing daughter who is now two and a half years old.

Jennie first approached me when she was planning to incorporate Enhance the UK and asked if I would come onboard as a trustee. Jennie described her vision for Enhance, what she thought could be achieved and why it was important to set the charity up. This struck a chord with me, primarily due to my personal situation with blindness; I knew that my background in I.T would mean that I could help Enhance from a technical perspective as well.

From a personal perspective, I like to think of myself as a genuine, nice guy who enjoys meeting new people and also likes a challenge. When I began to lose my sight, I started looking for some kind of activity/hobby that I could do. What actually transpired was that I enjoyed trying new weird and wonderful activities. I started trying things like Sphereing, Tandem Skydives, aerobatic flights and more.

Earlier this year, I started my own business, it was an incredible step for me to take, but an opportunity that I knew would not come up again. I now run my own business called iCAN experiences. iCAN experiences is a gift experience provider that is aimed squarely at people with disabilities. It’s a completely unique idea and something that is sorely lacking from the industry. My goal is quite simple, I want to help more disabled people get out there and try new, fun and sometimes exciting activities!

From my blog you can expect to read regular posts on my journey on taking iCAN experiences forward, gaining an insight to the challenges we are faced with and how these are overcome. You will learn a little about me personally and from time to time I may add a little in about Enhance, however, if you want to know about Enhance, it’s definitely worth following Jennie as she will tell you things as they happen!

For now, I will leave it there, but do check back to read my regular posts.

If you’re interested in seeing what iCAN experiences is all about, please do pop along to the website at

Look after yourselves,


Run-ing; the act of a person, animal, or thing that runs

By Disability, Lifestyle One Comment

Just to be clear on the above Post Title….I am the….PERSON ha!
So the end of last week i went up to 5 and a half miles on Sunday, which didnt feel too bad, but again it was very hot. Which i shouldn’t really complain about considering our typical English climate. The rest of last week also went well and my lovely new trainners worked a treat!!!
I had been told to get new trainners and im glad i took the advice, because no more blisters yay! I went to ‘Runners Need’ during the week and told them i needed new trainners as i was taking part in a half marathon. Just to set the scene, it was during the day and I dashed out of work, so was wearing black jeans and a tightish top. When i got in the shop, the woman said she would help and put some shoes on me, then she got me on the treadmill…which was in the middle of the shop, FUN! She set the pace quite high, buuuttt the benifit was, i got really good running shoes, even if i did arrive back at the office with a slightly sweaty forehead.

Im finding it hard to fit in running sessions this week, but i shall persist and am doing a 5K park run in St. Albans on Saturday, which should be good as i dont really train with other people. Dont want to freak out on race day! Also the picture is our lovely border collie, who runs with me and is a great running partner 🙂 A few more people have donated this week…..THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!!
If you havent please visit my page..

Olympic Celebrations!

By Disability, Lifestyle No Comments

To round off what had been an immense two weeks of sport and celebration, I went to Hyde Park on Sunday for the BT London Live concert with Blur headlining.

Supporting them were Bombay Bicycle Club, New Order, and The Specials… The Specials were fab, and with the sun shining brightly over London, they got the party atmosphere well and truly warmed up! I just found that everyone in the park was buzzing and up for a fantastic time – I’ve been to other outside concerts, and of course every one is excited but Sunday had a different feel to it.  I really think this was the culmination of Olympic fever that had seeped its way into all of us (even the negative moaners who couldn’t wait for the Olympics to fail..!) ;  finally we had enjoyed two weeks of positivity , happiness, and best of all – remembering why Britain is so great! We were all proud to be British again and had taken ownership of the Union Jack in the way that other nations are keen to show off their flag.

Anyway, back to the concert…. the huge screen on stage was showing some of the last events of the Olympics – and we all got to cheer as we won another Gold in the Boxing.  Again, fab to feel that energy and so different to me screaming at people to win on the TV in my own living room! Also, 80k people singing the National Anthem was pretty special.

Being a wheelchair user, I always have to sit on the disabled platform which sometimes annoys me as I can’t go with a group of friends to a concert and often feel a bit conspicuous as its a colder atmosphere and if you want to dance, you feel a bit of a prat! However, at this concert, we sat next to two guys from London who I immediately clicked with – they truly made the day more memorable as we had such a laugh! (and them getting me drunk helped 😉  ). They knew some others up on the platform, so for the first time it felt like I was part of a group up there.  When Blur rocked Hyde Park with Parklife (couldn’t have been more apt eh?!), we all danced round together and I couldnt have cared less about anyone watching.

I will stay in touch with those guys and look forward to more nights out with them…. am also on the promise of them getting me tickets to the Emirates stadium… Apparently I will have to change my allegiance from Chelsea to Arsenal though….. we will see, but sure i can pretend for a day!!

New 10k Personal Best

By Disability No Comments

Time to cut down?


I think they say you should start to cut down the happy juice in the build up to a marathon, but I’m not a believer of this. The way I look at it is at 20 miles in it’s going to hurt a lot and I’m not going to be thinking “I should have had 1 less pint”, I’m going to start thinking “Im just over 6 miles away from a pint”. I for one know that Mo Farah breaths by this ethos. I also know from a lovely lady and trusted source (Ellie Goulding) that Mo only has Sundays off to rest and just runs 11 miles…… I know!

Anyway the good news is I’ve taken inspiration from Mr Mo and tried to up my anti in the 10k. My previous PB was last week at 52mins 36secs, well I smashed that time today with a 48.50 and ran my last kilometer in 3 minutes. So my target is to be under 45minutes by the end of September.

Marathon training wise I will also start to run 15k’s in the beginning of September and then 20ks by November, which is just shy of the first land mark – A Half Marathon.

So far so good then, I just hope now the nights are recognizably longer, my motivation stays focussed on that pint when I’ve run just over 26 miles….

My Facebook rant!

By Disability, Lifestyle One Comment


My Facebook rant!

This is the first bog I have ever written and I felt this was a good place to start. I recently put up a face book status on my personal facebook that went something like this:

Massive RANT: Why have the Olympics closing ceremony? The paralympics are on next week so why are they being treated differently? Why is it only being shown on C4 and not the BBC, why is everyone talking about the Olympics like it is over WHEN IT IS NOT!!

I received more feedback than I think I ever have before on a ‘statues’ regarding disability and equality, and believe me I post things on twitter and Facebook about these issues all the time.

I understand that channel four put in a higher bid than the BBC but come on, the bid that the BBC put in must have been an all-time low one. My issue with it being shown on C4 is that the advert, and I do like the wording ‘’Thanks’ for the warm up’. How ever it looks like one of C4’s typical documentaries regarding disability and nothing at all like the amazing build up we have had for the ‘NORMAL’ Olympics and one BBC commentator called it!

My question is in this day and age should it still be a ‘them and us’ affair? Should we be holding two separate events, or at the very least should we not be showing the Paralympics on the BBC and having one big closing ceremony?

And we haven’t even touched the subject of the deaf Olympics yet! More ranting to come I feel ;-)!

Blog 1 of ‘Coxy vrs Foxy’ aka The Brighton Marathon 2013

By Lifestyle, My story One Comment

Juice 107.2

Right here we go then, a blog in the build up to The Brighton Marathon 2013. You can see in my Bio bit that Im taking on my co-presenter Foxy in what will be her 2nd Brighton marathon and my first ever marathon.

So over the coming months and weeks I’l keep you updated on how the preperation is coming along right up until the actual event. It seems a few others are getting on the marathon band waggon and wil lbe blogging as well, so firstly good luck to you, but not heaps of luck just enough so you finish. We might have a little internal competiton happening. Although I’m not competitive, I just don’t like losing…

Training thus far: I’ve run 10k several times with a Personal Best of 52minutes and 36 seconds. Mr Mo Farah won gold in about 26 minutes, so if I get twice as first I’ll be entering the Rio Olympics in 4 years. Anyway after his antics recently, he’s my hero. I’m going to run this in honour of Mo.

That’s my intro then…

Of course I’m running for Enhance. Basically because I get a free kit out of it…


Cool Runnings

By Disability, Lifestyle No Comments

I wanted my title to be slightly ironic, as the training that i did today was in no way ‘Cool’ it was very very hot!

Ive decided to take part in a half marathon in October on behalf of ‘Enhance the UK’, why? Because i think that Enhance is a fantastic charity that stands for amazing values. So during the next 9 weeks i am going to be updating you with how im getting on, and hopefully adding in a few funny photos!

I have never ‘blogged’ before, but i am very excited about it. I was supposed to create a blog at Uni when i was studying Journalism, but being a typical student i nevered bothered (in all reality i didnt have enough time – i was studying too much…….)


So i have set myself a training plan , whereby i built and add a few miles each week. I’ll be training 4 times a week, with short runs during the week and a long run on Sundays. This week i did 30 mins on Tuesday, 45 mins on Wednesday, 30 mins on Saturday and 4 miles today (in the blistering heat!) – in total about 11 miles. I also cycle about 35 week, so hopefully this should help and not hinder.

In all honesty, the only day i found difficullt was Saturday, and this wasnt due to copious anounts of alcohol, i wish! I think i was just tired. I was very nervous about running today because i found yesterday hard, but it wasnt too bad. I could have probably washed the dishes with the amount of sweat i produced, but it went well.

I am very tired this evening and am happy ive got a rest day tomorrow, for my legs to rest a bit. I’ll be blogging every Sunday with an update of how im getting on, so in the meantime please visit my JustGiving page and donate @ .


Peace Out Everyone…have a fab week! C x