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dans le noir - in the dark

  • Thank you.     29 April 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    On behalf of Mark I want to thank everyone that supported him on this page and over the months of training. He is a true inspiration and it's been great to see everyone get behind him and for him to exceed his fundraising goal thanks to some very generous people and companies.

    So, thank you to each and everyone of you for your support and if you want to keep track of Mark's next challenge (Swim, Taupo and 10km have been mentioned but no pressure Mark) the best place to keep an eye on what he might decide to do is the Dempsey Wood Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/dempseywoodnz).

    Thank you and please continue to support The Neurological Foundation and all the great research they do.

    Jared

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  • The Swim was swam now to get to the next target!     15 April 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Here are a few words from Mark but before then, I want to ask a favour.

    Mark had a great swim, coming in at a tad over 1 hour to cross the line. He would have beat the 60min mark had it not been for the loud and emotional welcome he got from the crowd as he left the water. The sight of his son supporting him physically and the sound of the crowd supporting him vocally was really emotional.

    Thank you for your support but I have one more thing to ask. While you have given generously we want to get the word out and see if we can get Mark over $150K. Just a few months ago $100K seemed like a stretch but with each passing day the donations have grown and we are now hoping for $150,000. Can we do it? Maybe. Would Mark give up this close to the line? I doubt it, so nor should we.

    Please share his story on social media, around the office or reach out to your media contacts and lets give this a final push before this page closes in two weeks. LET'S DO THIS!!!

    Now here is Mark.

    One week after the event, time to reflect.

    Sixty five weeks of training and I finally gave my body a weeks rest, which was long over due. For the past two months I was nursing a few injuries which were hindering my swimming a little.

    The morning of the event there was approx. 140,000 butterflies flying around in my stomach. Amazingly the butterflies disappeared once I hit the water.

    The worse thing about the event was standing out in the rain and cold listening to the safety meeting. It was pretty damn cold. It was definitely warmer in the water.

    The best thing about the swim was crossing the line. It was a huge relief to cross the line and still feel like I could do a lot more. I couldn’t ask for better swimming conditions.

    It was great to hear so many supporters braving the rain and cold. It illustrated the level of support I received through out this journey. The support was greatly appreciated, it provided the motivation to keep on going. I didn’t want to let any one down.

    Would I do it again? The answer is a definite yes. I enjoyed the training and the sense of achievement I got for breaking through the barriers. Just one barrier left to break and that is to get my head around swimming the rough.

    Once again thanks to all those donated to the Neurological Foundation. It must feel good knowing that you have assisted a large population of Kiwis by doing so.

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  • It's all on for tomorrow!     5 April 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    The count down is on! At 8am tomorrow (Saturday 6th) Mark eases into the cold #Waitamata Harbour in the shadow of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. He'll stand there with several hundred other people as they focus their eyes on the north shore, the bridge supports and the supporter boats as they plan the swim in front of them.

    However, for Mark things will be different... he wont see the flags flying or the boats swaying in the breeze. He wont see the other swimmers dressed in weird and wonderful costumes. He wont see the bridge in all it's dank and dark glory.

    Mark will stand in the water and in the dark. Mark will not see the faces of the supporters there to cheer him on. However, he will hear them, he will hear the event announcer and the horns from the boats. He will hear the waves as he stands there in the dark.

    Mark will hear the cheering and Mark will know that he has raised over $135,000 for Neurological Foundation of NZ. Mark will know that even though he struggled to get into the water he is still a braver man than me with more determination than most. He is already a winner.

    We need all the voices we can get there to support him. If you can't make it then visit #GiveALittle and search for #DansLeNoir, donate and support him that way.

    Mark may be standing there in his wet-suit but he wont be there alone.

    https://youtu.be/vDFDtiwxM9w

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  • The final countdown     1 April 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    With a big storm front coming in from the west we have a right to be concerned for Mark but the outlook for Saturday is with a high of 20°C and low of 12 the previous night and partly cloudy with light southeasterlies. That sounds good right?

    Training has been peaked and now Mark is focused on the mental training. While we get to imagine what it's like swimming across the harbour without any vision and a body that wants to give up he does not have that luxury. Mark is a tough man but he also very smart. He knows this is pushing his physical limits and is something most of us will never attempt. His strengths will win out on the day and he will tough this swim out, I know it.

    The plan for Saturday is to get as many LOUD supporters there as possible. It will be crowded and noisy so Mark's supporters need to be louder and more numerous so that he hears us. Some of his mates from Dempsey Wood will be there and if you introduce yourself to them at the Buoy Cafe they might shout you a coffee!

    Speaking of the team at DW. They have been Awesome! Just last week they had a surprise fundraising breakfast and have donated $11,500 to the cause!

    We really hope you can make it to Westhaven (under the bridge) from 8am to support Mark is in this epic challenge!

    Now, here are a few words from Mark...

    Sunday 31/03/19

    Swim 40 * 50m (2000m)

    Finished training on a positive. Reduced my pool time for the 2km by one minute and twenty seconds.

    This is my last diary entry. As next Saturday is event day and I’ll be chilling out for the week leading up to Saturday.

    On behalf of the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, thank you to the companies and individuals that donated. It is greatly appreciated and the funds will assist immensely in the research of neurological diseases that affect twenty per cent of New Zealanders.

    I would like to give special thanks to the following;

    Scott and his Pioneer cycling team for their contribution that they made to this fund raising endeavour.

    Dempsey Wood staff for their support in the raffles and the push up challenge. Many people were pushed out of their comfort zone.

    Dempsey Wood management for the charity auction and the surprise breakfast we had last week. Cheque books with a little alcohol is a great combination for fund raising events.

    My family for the weekly trips to the local pools and sacrificing their weekend for me.

    Steven and Christian for getting me into the sea. I still have very fond memories of that June swim and the bitter cold.

    Finally we come to Jared for his commentary and his energy for maintain the give a little page. Also for the pushing himself out of his comfort zone and doing the push up challenge and raising $1400.

    Now it’s all up to me to complete the swim on Saturday 6th April, no pressure at all.

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  • Week Sixty Four - One more week to go!     25 March 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Sixty Four

    Monday 18/03/19

    Day off

    Went to a seminar where I heard a simple statement. “The secret to success is your mind set”

    Therefore, choppy water is not a problem. Now it is the can do attitude.

    Tuesday 19/03/19

    72 min cross trainer

    Wednesday 20/03/19

    Day off

    The body was asking for a rest

    Thursday 21/03/19

    60 min cross trainer, 18 min indoor rower

    Friday 22/03/19

    71 min indoor row

    Saturday 23/03/19

    101 min cross trainer

    Sunday 24/03/19

    61 min cross trainer

    I copt an injury at the Beam Rock swim and aggravated it slightly at last weeks swim. Therefore, I played safe this weekend and had a rest from swimming to let the injury heal little.

    Wahoo, only one more training week left, can’t wait to event day. It has been a long haul.

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  • Week Sixty Three - Training Update     18 March 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week sixty three and just a few weeks from the big day. While there has been some big movement on the fundraising the reality of the sea swim is setting in for Mark and he needs our help and encouragement to get him prepared and across the line. Remember, the swim is on April 6 at Westhaven Marina from 8am. It would be great to see as many people as possible there to support him before, during and after. Thank you for your support to date and please share so more people have the opportunity to hear about this great man and his efforts for an amazing cause.

    On a side note Mark has been deeply touched by the events last week in Christchurch and wanted me to share this.

    "We are a country with many cultures and beliefs. However, we are all one, we are all Kiwis.

    My deepest sympathies go out to all families that were affected by the weekend events. Please stay strong."

    Week Sixty Three - Training Update

    Monday 11/03/19

    Day off

    Tuesday 12/03/19

    80 min cross trainer

    Wednesday 13/03/19

    81 min indoor rower

    Thursday 14/03/19

    91 min cross trainer

    Friday 15/03/19

    40 min indoor rower

    Saturday 16/03/19

    Swim 26 x 50m (1300m), 30 min cross trainer

    Sunday 17/03/19

    Sea swim at Maraetai

    What a disaster. I still haven’t got my head around swimming in the rough. Only two training weeks left and I’m afraid I won’t achieve the distance due to my inability of overcoming this issue.

    Lets pray for calm waters on event day.

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  • Week 62 - training update     11 March 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Sixty Two - three weeks til the big day

    Monday 04/03/19

    Day off

    Tuesday 05/03/19

    71 min cross trainer

    Wednesday 06/03/19

    Weights, 69 min cross trainer, 11 min indoor rower

    A little hard tonight, was ready to quit the cross trainer at the 35 min mark.

    Thursday 07/03/19

    90 min cross trainer

    Friday 08/03/19

    60 min indoor row

    Saturday 09/03/19

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    Good effort today. For some reason I was swimming straighter and carved ten minutes off my time.

    Sunday 10/03/19

    Sea swim at Maraetai approx. 2.7km

    My effort yesterday may have drained me a little, as I required a few breathers. However, the positive was swimming a distance that I haven’t done for a very long time.

    Thanks Rosanne for calling me a young man. My children like to remind me that I’m an old man. Who needs enemies.

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  • Week 61 - training in the chop     4 March 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Sixty One

    Monday 25/02/19

    Day off

    Tuesday 26/02/19

    Weights, 60 min cross trainer

    Wednesday 27/02/19

    70 min cross trainer, 20 min indoor rower

    Thursday 28/02/19

    90 min cross trainer

    Another first. First time in completing a continuous 1.5 hour session on the cross trainer.

    Friday 01/03/19

    52 min indoor row

    Saturday 02/03/19

    Sea swim at Maraetai

    A swim of four quarters completed with a low energy reserve. It was just one of those days.

    First quarter was down the beach swimming into the chop. I absolutely hate swimming in the chop and had to stop five times to get my breath and get my head around the chop.

    Second quarter back up the beach, no rests this time and a little quicker.

    Third quarter back down the beach into the chop. Much better than the first time, a little faster and slowly getting my head around the chop. Only two stops this time.

    Fourth quarter, no problems swimming back up the beach.

    The positive of this swim, I didn’t give up because of the chop, I managed to push through.

    Sunday 03/03/19

    Weights, 40 min cross trainer

    A light work out today, body was feeling a little tired.

    Only four training weekends left to the main event.

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  • Week 60, Training update... the date is getting close     25 February 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Sixty

    Monday 18/02/19

    62 min cross trainer

    Tuesday 19/02/19

    Day off

    Wednesday 20/02/19

    66 min cross trainer, 24 min indoor rower

    Thursday 21/02/19

    Day off due to treatment.

    Every six weeks I go to Auckland Hospital to have an infusion of a drug called Infleximab. This drug is not a cure for my condition but a prevention. Basically the drug acts like a cricket bat and blocks the nasty cells that cause the inflammation.

    Friday 22/02/19

    75 min cross trainer, 22 min indoor rower

    Saturday 23/02/19

    82 min cross trainer, 12 min indoor rower

    Sunday 24/02/19

    Swim 48 x 50m (2400m)

    I was reminded of the reason for not joining a swim club when I was a teenager. The water was bloody cold,.

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  • Week 59... Tether or tap? Maybe both     18 February 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Fifty Nine

    Monday 11/02/19

    Day off

    Tuesday 12/02/19

    60 min cross trainer

    First step in improving mental toughness. I hate the cross trainer with a passion as every part of my body hurts when using this machine. The goal before the harbour crossing swim is to do 1.5hrs continuously on the cross trainer at the highest resistance level.

    Wednesday 13/02/19

    60 min cross trainer, 10 min indoor rower

    A real test for mental fitness today. One hour on the cross trainer without any music. No entertainment except for my own thoughts, as you can imagine I was ready to quit after 10 minutes. My thoughts were not very interesting.

    Thursday 14/02/19

    62 min cross trainer, 26 min indoor rower

    Friday 15/02/19

    Day off

    Saturday 16/02/19

    Sea swim at Maraetai approx. 80 min swim

    Trialed a new guiding system. We think we have a winner using a combination of a tether and tapping. This system of guidance mostly relies on me to correct direction myself. We also believe this method improved my swim speed as I was swimming a lot straighter.

    Sunday 17/02/19

    68 min cross trainer, 23 min indoor rower

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  • Week 58 and a reality check     12 February 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark had a bit of a reality check in the harbor this week. With it being the height of summer you'd have thought that the weather would play nice but mother-nature had something else on her mind.

    The Bean Rock swim event was in it's ninth year and conditions this year proved to be the worst in its short history with high winds, choppy seas and all manner of pleasure craft creating wash and wake on the water. When you are sighted it would be hard enough but when you rely on a system of navigation and patterns along with communication that breaks down in these conditions then things not only get uncomfortable, they get dangerous.

    Mark learnt some good lessons over the weekend, ones that will help him reach for his goal in just a few short weeks from now.

    Week Fifty Eight

    Monday 04/02/19

    Day off

    Tuesday 05/02/19

    Day off

    Two days off due to a small muscle injury. Hence, no push ups completed this week.

    Wednesday 06/02/19

    52 min cross trainer, weights, 38 min indoor rower

    Thursday 07/02/18

    30 min cross trainer, 28 min indoor rower

    Training tonight was a little light to a late start in the evening.

    Friday 08/02/19

    69 min indoor rower

    Saturday 09/02/19

    Beam Rock Swim

    This swim commences from Mission Bay beach and goes out the beam rock light house and return to the Mission Bay beach. I entered the half swim is a length of 1.6km.

    Today was the ninth year that this event has been staged and it was the worst conditions the event has ever experienced. The wind was 24 knots (about 45kph) and coming in hard from the east. The waves were huge and it was like swimming in a washing machine.

    I hated every second of this swim and felt very uncomfortable. In the end I pulled out after swimming only 600m. I couldn’t get any decent stroke pattern going and in some cases I couldn’t lift my arm out of the wave action.

    To make matters worse, my support swimmer was finding it very difficult to guide me in these conditions. Often he would lose me in the waves or he would go to tap me on the legs and the waves would whip my legs away. My support swimmer said it was energy zapping. Once I pulled out of the swim, my support swimmer continued on with the rest of the swim. However, his comment it the end of the swim was that the swim "was about survival".

    To give an indication of the conditions, the winner of the full 3.2 km distance completed the swim in a time of 43 minutes. Four minutes slower than previous years.

    So some valuable lessons were learnt from this experience. Firstly, I need to have a substantial breakfast. Cornflakes and fruit is just not enough. Secondly, I need to work on my mental toughness. Thirdly, me and my support swimmer need to practice other methods of guiding in rough conditions. Therefore, the event was not entirely a waste of time.

    Sunday 10/02/19

    46 min cross trainer, 37 min indoor rower

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  • A LIGHTHOUSE IN THE DARK: MARK TAYLOR’S SWIM FOR A CAUSE     7 February 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Here's an article from the Neurological Foundation about our hero Mark! Check it out and please share his story!

    A LIGHTHOUSE IN THE DARK: MARK TAYLOR’S SWIM FOR A CAUSE

    Meet the man overcoming physical odds swimming across the Auckland Harbour in April 2019.

    Sixteen years ago, Mark Taylor, now 46, was diagnosed with a degenerative disease called Neuro Sarcoidosis, which caused him to lose his eyesight, the use of both of his legs, and the strength in his right arm. This neurological disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, and in rare cases like Mark’s, affects the brain and spinal cord. While he has since regained some mobility, in lieu of all the obstacles Mark faces daily however, he will be swimming in the 2019 Auckland Harbour Crossing on Saturday 6 April, as a fundraising event for neurological research.

    “It would be great to assist in the learning of neurological diseases and hopefully to prevent others from suffering disabilities,” says Mark, on his Give-A-Little page. To date Mark has raised over $94,000 for the advancement of neurological research, which will be donated to the Neurological Foundation. Mark’s original goal was to raise $100,000 before the swim in April, but he has now set the goal even higher, with an aim to reach $150,000 by April.

    In February of 2003, at the age of 29, Mark noticed his first symptom of Neuro Sarcoidosis while chopping wood with his brother. He went to rub sweat out of his right eye and noticed he couldn’t see out of his left. He waited until the following morning to see if it would clear up but unfortunately, it didn’t, instead, the pain he had been feeling for months behind his eyes had got worse.

    After being sent to the Auckland Hospital and running through a series of tests, the consultants diagnosed him with Optic Neuritis, swelling of the optic nerve which is a common symptom in Multiple Sclerosis. Within 8 months of being diagnosed with Optic Neuritis, Mark had suffered 8 more attacks like the one in February, and in October of that year, he completely lost the sight in his left eye. His health started to deteriorate more after that, three years after he lost the sight in his left eye, he lost sight in his right; then three years later, at the age of 35, he became completely paralyzed and was admitted to a rehabilitation facility where he needed to learn to walk again. It wasn’t until 6 years after his initial visit to the Auckland Hospital that Taylor was officially diagnosed with a rare form of Neuro Sarcoidosis that affects 1 in 80 million people that have the disease.

    Following the challenge he set himself to not leave hospital in a wheelchair, Mark and his family continued to set him goals which would challenge him, and not allow his condition to win. For Mark the ‘Swim the Bridge’ event is more than just a personal challenge, it is the chance to support the Foundation that funded the research into the medication that is currently allowing him to complete this challenge. Mark says when he was first diagnosed, "the medication [he] is currently on wasn’t even thought of yet" and looking back, he shares, "without the medication, my story would be a very different one than the one we see today".

    When asked how this challenge came about, he told us of how he liked to give himself challenges to keep active, such as his first challenge of not leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, which he accomplished. After completing challenge after challenge, he and his family set, he decided, that swimming would be the next challenge. He wasn’t too strong of a swimmer, to begin with, and he had never swum more than 400 metres in his life, plus now with his condition, he had a few new obstacles to overcome. But it wasn’t until his place of employment, Dempsey Wood, got hold of this news that it became a swim for a cause. Mark shared with us that during a Christmas BBQ last summer at work, it was announced to the entire world, he was doing the Harbour Crossing swim. That is when he decided it might as well be for something worthwhile, and the Neurological Foundation seemed like a natural fit.

    Mark has been preparing for this swim since the beginning of 2018. “When I first hopped in the pool, the first thing I noticed was the water was over my head. I couldn’t tread water anymore and developed a fear of drowning” he told us. But, after a couple weeks of training, Mark gained more confidence in learning to swim in a pool and the initial fear of drowning disappeared. After that, he went from being able to swim 400 metres to 3 kilometres in 10 weeks and decided he was ready for his first ocean swim.

    In April of 2018, Mark started training in the ocean, which again surprised him with a few complications. He started out in just his swim trunks, which provided little support where the waves were concerned, and he couldn’t get his bearings. With the help of a wetsuit though, he was able to get the proper floatation he needed to bob up and down and tread water easier. His final ocean swim totalled 2.6 kilometres of continuous swimming, and his confidence soared. He knew he could now complete the Harbour ‘Swim the Bridge'.

    Surprisingly, the one thing Mark mentions that is the most daunting thing about the swim is not the fact he cannot see or the fact he is partially paralyzed, but that it is so isolating. “There is so much noise [out in the ocean] that you lose your hearing” Taylor mentions, which is completely isolating to him as he relies heavily on his hearing due to his blindness. But, this doesn’t deter him from completing the swim. But, this doesn’t deter him from completing the swim. Along with the help of two support swimmers, his brother-in-law and his eldest daughters, Taylor is determined to complete this challenge he has given himself.

    The ‘Swim the Bridge’ event will be the first time ever people can swim under the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. “In addition to running and cycling over ‘the coat hanger’ at other major recreational sporting events, swimmers will be able to get a different view of the bridge, from the water”, reports New Zealand Ocean Swims Series. Two distances are offered for the swim: the 1km that starts from Northcote Point, and the 2km double-crossing distance starting at the city side at Harbour Bridge Park.

    One in five New Zealanders are affected by neurological disorders in their lifetimes, and every dollar raised assists the world-class brain research into these disorders. It is only through this type of research that more information will become available to doctors and healthcare professionals to benefit more people and families like Mark’s to diagnose and treat those living with a neurological disorder.

    If you would like to support Mark in his fundraising journey please visit,

    givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dans-le-noir to donate. If you are unable to show your support monetarily, we’d love to see you at the Auckland Harbour Bridge on 6 April 2019 cheering Mark on with the team from the Neurological Foundation.

    Good luck, Mark!

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  • Week 57 - 400 days in....     4 February 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    At the tail end of week 57 of Mark's journey how about we all take a moment to appreciate the incredible nature of his journey and put it perspective with what you have achieved over the past 57 weeks. 57 Weeks is 399 days. That means that today is day 400 of a training regime that was supposed to last a lot less.

    400 days! think about that and then donate or share Mark's powerful story.

    Week Fifty Seven

    Monday 28/01/19

    69 min indoor row

    Tuesday 29/01/19

    96 push ups,

    Wednesday 30/01/19

    96 push ups, 46 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Thursday 31/01/19

    92 push ups, 40min cross trainer,

    Friday 01/02/19

    Go out for dinner or do a work out, which one should I do? Well the dinner won hands down.

    Saturday 02/02/19

    30 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 30 min cross trainer, 31 min indoor rower

    Sunday 03/02/19

    Swim 88 x 25m (2200m)

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  • Week 56 of Marks Training regime     29 January 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark is really back into the swing of things now with only a few weeks til he hits the water at the culmination of his training. Unfortunately the fundraising seems to have stagnated tantalizingly close to the $100k goal. I know there are a few pledges outstanding so have confidence he'll get there but we need you, the people that have supported him from the beginning to do something now. Please, spread the word, tell friends, family, colleagues, clients, customers and all your media contacts about this great man doing a great thing.

    Mark missed out on the top 10 fundraising efforts on Give A Little last year by just a few hundred dollars. How about we do one last push to get him over the line?

    Week Fifty Six

    Monday 21/01/19

    99 push ups, 71 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 22/01/19

    Day off

    Wednesday 23/01/19

    94 push ups, 41 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 24/01/19

    91 push ups, 43 min cross trainer, weights, 40 min indoor rower

    Friday 25/01/19

    99 push ups,

    Saturday 26/01/19

    Sea swim 90 min

    Apple watch was a little out with its distance measurement. According we swam 4.17km. However, the distance was closer to 2.7km to 3km

    Sunday 27/01/19

    Sea swim 51 min 1.8km

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  • Weak 55 - Training Update     21 January 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Fifty Five

    Monday 14/01/19

    70 push ups, 56 min indoor row

    Tuesday 15/01/19

    97 push ups, 55 min cross trainer, weights, 20 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 16/01/19

    100 push ups, 51 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Thursday 17/01/19

    87 push ups, 62 min indoor row

    Friday 18/01/19

    Day off

    Saturday 19/01/19

    42 min cross trainer, weights, 43 min indoor row

    Sunday 20/01/19

    Swim 106 x 25m (2650m)

    First time in a long time swimming this distance. Definitely felt I worked hard after this session.

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  • Week 54 Training Update     14 January 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Week 54

    Monday 07/01/19

    40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    What a joy training in the heat again.

    Tuesday 08/01/19

    91 push ups, 54 min indoor row

    Wednesday 09/01/19

    92 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Thursday 10/01/19

    Day off

    Friday 11/01/19

    92 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, 40 min indoor rower

    Saturday 12/01/19

    30 min indoor rower, sea swim 1917m

    This swim was a massive confidence booster. In the swimming it has taking 84 min to swim the 2km. Today's swim we swam the distance above in 52 min. Which means I should be able the 2km Harbour bridge swim under the 70 min limit.

    Sunday 13/01/19

    43 min cross trainer, 31 min indoor rower

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  • Mark, the media darling     11 January 2019
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Happy New Year! Mark is still training hard even while the rest of us put on weight over the break. He also took a bit of time to sit down for an interview with the NZ Herald! If you missed it, have a look at https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12184630

    Mark is still aiming high and needs more donations for him to reach his goal! How can you help in 2019?

    "A Kiwi father who lost the use of his legs, his sight and the strength in his right arm is swimming across the Waitemata Harbour to raise $150,000 towards research of his condition.

    Mark Taylor, 46, lives with a degenerative disease called neurosarcoidosis — a condition he was diagnosed with 16 years ago.

    "I was out chopping wood with my brother when I went to rub sweat from my eye and realised I couldn't see out of the right eye," Taylor told the Herald.

    Sadly, the father-of-three's vision didn't get clearer. Instead, the pain he had been feeling behind his eyes for months got worse.

    After being admitted to Auckland City Hospital in early 2002 he was diagnosed with optic neuritis — swelling of the optic nerve — a similar symptom in MS.

    Later that year, he lost complete sight in his left eye and three years after that his vision was impaired in the other. By the age of 35 he became partially paralysed and entered a rehabilitation facility to learn to walk again.

    The next year he was diagnosed with a rare form of neurosarcoidosis that affects one in 80 million. Struggling to walk and relying on a wheelchair took a toll on his social and professional life and he had to deal with discrimination daily. Yet he refuses to let his condition define him.

    "It's my eldest daughter who keeps me exercising, she's a fitness freak," he said.

    On top of a 100km indoor rowing challenge and eight hours of continuous exercise, which he has already conquered, he plans to swim 1km on April 6 under the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

    "I mentioned it to my boss and he announced it to the whole company, so now I'm locked in. I thought if I'm going to do it let's make it worthwhile," he said.

    Helping prevent others from suffering neurological disabilities by raising money for research was his motivation. His Givealittle page has already raised nearly $100,000.

    The Neurological Foundation, which Taylor's money will go towards, has funded world-class New Zealand scientists and clinicians to conduct research and further education.

    This has led to ground-breaking discoveries in their search for treatments and cures for the more than 1100 neurological disorders affecting one in five New Zealanders over their lifetime."

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  • Week Fifty Training Update!     17 December 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    With the last update before the summer break Mark wanted everyone to know that he wont be letting up! This year has been fantastic and with over $100,000 pledged (those that have still not paid then please get cracking!) it's been incredible to see the support for this effort and the great cause.

    Marks swim is in a few months and he still needs the motivation so please share this fundraiser, talk to your mates, your colleagues, your company and your family and lets keep Mark on track.

    While the big donations from corporate donors are hugely welcome and really do help, the small donations given from the heart keep Mark focused on the people that are supporting him. So if you think a small donation is not worth the effort then you're wrong. Every little bit helps Mark and his cause.

    Week Fifty

    Monday 10/12/18

    94 push ups, 55 crunches, 80 min indoor row

    Tuesday 11/12/18

    94 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 40 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 12/12/18

    100 push ups, 55 crunches, 52 min indoor row

    Thursday 13/12/18

    87 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 40 min indoor rower

    Friday 14/12/18

    Day off

    Saturday 15/12/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m)

    Sunday 16/12/18

    40 min cross trainer, 41 min indoor rower, 22 min cross trainer

    Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for your support!

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  • Week 48 and 49 training update!     12 December 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    With 2 weeks til Christmas lets see if we can push Mark over $100K! There are still a few pledges outstanding so its time to make this Christmas one to remember for Mark and the Neurological foundation!

    Week Forty Eight

    Monday 26/11/18

    100 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 40 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 27/11/18

    89 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer, 35 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 28/11/18

    92 push ups, 55 crunches, weights, 61 min indoor row

    Thursday 29/11/18

    40 min cross trainer, 33 min indoor row

    Friday 30/11/18

    93 push ups, 55 crunches, 52 min indoor rower

    Saturday 01/12/18

    40 min cross trainer, 33 min indoor rower, 19 min cross trainer

    Sunday 02/12/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m), 30 min indoor rower

    Much better this week, no longer have that head ache. I have decided to concentrate on on improving my speed in the water. Therefore, the next couple of weeks you may see some drop off in my swim distance.

    Week Forty Nine

    Monday 03/12/18

    83 push ups, 55 crunches, 78 min indoor row

    Tuesday 04/12/18

    92 push ups, 55 crunches, 48 min cross trainer, weights, 35 min indoor row

    Wednesday 05/12/18

    94 push ups, 55 crunches, 60 min indoor row

    Thursday 06/12/18

    95 push ups, 55 crunches

    Friday 07/12/18

    100 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower, 55 crunches

    Saturday 08/12/18

    40 min cross trainer, 40 min indoor rower, 32 min cross trainer

    Sunday 09/12/18

    40 min cross trainer, 40 min indoor rower, 31 min cross trainer

    No taxi driver this weekend. Hence, no swimming. This is one of my biggest frustrations due to my disabilities which is the loss of my independence. No longer can I just get into a vehicle and travel to where ever I please.

    However, how is this for being mad. So after my Sunday work out which was close to a two hour session, I decided to wash two cars. At the end of this effort I was pretty legless.

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  • Training Update for weeks 46/47     26 November 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Two weeks of updates here. Mark has been suffering from extreme pain for most of these two weeks but still keeps his great sense of humor and training regime up. #awesomeAttitude

    Week Forty Six

    Monday 12/11/18

    96 push ups, 55 crunches

    Tuesday 13/11/18

    90 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 14/11/18

    93 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 156 bpm, 33 min indoor rower average heart rate 127 bpm

    Thursday 15/11/18

    90 push ups, 55 crunches

    Friday 16/11/18

    100 push ups, weights, 78 min indoor rower

    Saturday 17/11/18

    56 min cross trainer, 45 min indoor rower

    Sunday 17/11/18

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    Week Forty Seven

    Monday 19/11/18

    82 push ups, 55 crunches, 80 min indoor row

    Tuesday 20/11/18

    100 push ups, 55 crunches

    Wednesday 21/11/18

    98 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 158 bpm, 30 min indoor row average heart rate 136 bpm, 55 crunches

    Thursday 22/11/18

    99 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower, 55 crunches

    Friday 23/11/18

    92 push ups, 55 crunches, 56 min indoor row

    Saturday 24/11/18

    40 min cross trainer, weights, 46 min indoor row

    Sunday 25/11/18

    Day off, no swim today as my taxi drivers were unavailable.

    The last days have not been pleasant living with a continuous headache. First time this has happened for over a year now. It has made training challenging because at the end of the day all you want to do is to sleep.

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  • Week 45 - Training Update - Mark breaks the 100 push up milestone and fundraising nudges $100K     12 November 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Forty Five

    Monday 05/11/18

    96 push ups, 55 crunches, 60 min indoor rower average heart rate 116 bpm

    Tuesday 06/11/18

    96 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 07/11/18

    100 push ups, 55 crunches, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 127 bpm

    At last, I have proven that 100 is not a mythical figure. It has only taken three months. The goal now is to consistently complete 100 push ups on a daily basis.

    Wednesday 08/11/18

    91 push ups, 55 crunches

    Thursday 09/11/18

    91 push ups, 55 crunchest rate 121 bpm

    Saturday 10/11/18

    58 min cross trainer, 44 min indoor rower

    Sunday 11/11/18

    Swim 64 x 25m (1600m), 60 min indoor row

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  • Week Forty Four - Motivate me!     5 November 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Forty Four

    Monday 29/10/18

    87 push ups, 50 crunches

    Tuesday 30/10/18

    94 push ups, 50 crunches, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 147 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 131 bpm

    Wednesday 31/10/18

    85 push ups, 50 crunches

    Thursday 01/11/18

    85 push ups, 43 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 120 bpm

    Friday 02/11/18

    76 push ups, 30 min cross trainer

    One of those days when you just go through the motions. No energy or motivation to do a work out.

    Saturday 03/11/18

    47 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 41 min indoor rower average heart rate 126 bpm

    Sunday 04/11/18

    Swim 88 x 25m (2200m)

    After two weeks off back into the pool. Again I’m amazed how quick it is to loose condition. Even though I completed 2.2km, it was hard going.

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  • Week 42 and 43 and Happy Birthday to Mark!     29 October 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Forty Two

    Monday 15/10/18

    84 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 139 bpm

    Tuesday 16/10/18

    82 push ups, 60 min cross trainer average heart rate 149 bpm

    Wednesday 17/10/18

    91 push ups,

    Happy birthday Mark, another year and a good one. A little prayer for the sarcoid to maintain it’s good behavior.

    Thursday 18/10/18

    84 push ups

    Friday 19/10/18

    73 push ups, 40 min indoor rower

    The next two days I rested from exercise due to an muscle injury which is causing a little grief.

    Week Forty Three

    Monday 22/10/18

    Day off

    Tuesday 23/10/18

    76 push ups, day off due to that persistent muscle injury.

    Wednesday 24/10/18

    Day off due to the muscle injury. However, feeling much better. I’ll be back into it tomorrow.

    Thursday 25/10/18

    82 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 151 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 134 bpm

    Tonight was hard work, it is amazing how quick you can loose condition.

    Friday 26/10/18

    83 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm

    Saturday 27/10/18

    40 min cross trainer, 35 min indoor rower

    Sunday 28/10/18

    Day off, no swimming today due to the muscle injury still being a little stiff. Play sensible and give the injury a chance to heal. Hopefully next weekend be back into the pool.

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  • Week Forty One!!!!     15 October 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Monday 08/10/18

    72 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 148 bpm, 30 min cross trainer average heart rate 133 bpm

    Tuesday 09/10/18

    84 push ups, weights, indoor rower 33 min

    Wednesday 10/10/18

    Day off, feeling drained

    Thursday 11/10/18

    77 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 160 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 139 bpm

    Best ever effort on the cross trainer, usually I burn off 1500 – 1700kj. Tonight set a new record of 1860kj.

    Friday 12/10/18

    88 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Saturday 13/10/18

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    Confident that I can complete within the required time frame. Also I should be a little quicker with the wet-suit and with no lane ropes to fight with.

    Sunday 14/210/18

    67 min indoor row

    On a fund raising note, thank you everyone for your donations. We are now 2/3 of the way to the $100,000 target and that is amazing! We also have several thousand dollars pledged from the recent Demspey Wood Auction that is to come in and also from Scott's cycling sponsorship. #gettingThere!

    Speaking of the Dempsey Wood Auction... I found a picture of Mark and Carolyn that night and given the huge support that Carolyn gives Mark (see an earlier update for his own words on that) it's great that they both got to hear the kind words and get the support from the generous people that were there that night. Looking good Mark!

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  • Week 39 and the Big 40!     8 October 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Nine

    Monday 24/09/18

    74 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 154 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 139 bpm

    Tuesday 25/09/18

    79 push ups,

    Wednesday 26/09/18

    70 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 144 bpm, weights, 30 min cross trainer average heart rate 133 bpm

    Thursday 27/09/18

    83 push ups, 80 min indoor rower

    Friday 28/09/18

    70 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 139 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm

    Saturday 29/09/18

    Day off

    Sunday 30/09/18

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    Week Forty

    Monday 01/10/18

    51 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 02/10/18

    83 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 151 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average rate 139 bpm

    Wednesday 03/10/18

    76 push ups,

    Thursday 04/10/18

    70 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 150 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 137 bpm

    Friday 05/10/18

    77 push ups, weights, 75 min indoor row

    Saturday 06/10/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Sunday 07/10/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m)

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  • A personal note from Mark     26 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    It’s not all about me at all.

    Yes the sarcoid has a huge impact physically, mentally, socially and professionally but the largest impact is on my family.

    My children have grown up with a Dad that can not do the simple things that we all take for granted. Like reading stories, bush walks, kicking the ball around, back yard cricket or simply going to Saturday morning sports.

    I have never seen my son or my daughters at their first school ball. However, this does not phase my children, Dad is Dad and my disabilities is the norm and life marches on. My children are great and I love them for that.

    My wife Carolyn is amazing and is my rock. From sharing duties with your spouse to all of a sudden having to shoulder a lot more responsibility. Carolyn’s work load has doubled as you can imagine looking after four children. Full time taxi driver, sporting coach, tutor, therapist chief cook, chief handy man, cleaner and all those other duties that make a family purr along. Without Carolyn I couldn’t imagine what life would be like.

    I don’t say this enough but I love my children and Carolyn dearly and I apologise for those times that I vent my frustrations. I must remember that Carolyn and my children have the same level of frustrations as me.

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  • Week 38 - Dear Diary     25 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Eight

    Monday 17/09/18

    76 push ups

    Tuesday 18/09/18

    83 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm

    Wednesday 19/09/18

    70 push ups, 51 min indoor rower average heart rate 117 bpm,

    Three 4:00 am starts in a row and I’m feeling knackered. However, I managed to push through a session on the rower. As they say, something is better than nothing.

    Thursday 20/09/18

    80 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 127 bpm

    Friday 21/09/18

    76 push ups, weights, 78 min indoor row

    Saturday 22/09/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor row average heart rate 132 bpm, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 138 bpm

    Sunday 23/09/18

    Day off, I was feeling a bit rough

    On Saturday evening DW had a black tie event to celebrate their 25th birthday. At this event DW held an auction with the funds raised being contributed to this fund raising endeavor.

    I would like to give my thanks from the deepest regions of my heart to the following;

    Conal Dempsey, Managing Director of DW, what a great guy and mate.

    To all those people donated items to be auctioned off.

    For those who were drunk enough to purchase, especially that person who is going car racing with Conal. We should have chucked some Hail Marys with that package.

    A big thanks to all those people who have donated to date, it is just awesome.

    This proves there is still some good bastards left in the world.

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  • Week 37 - Training Diary     17 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    This week there was great news for the fundraising efforts. Mark's boss and good friend at Dempsey Wood, Scott Garrett, has arranged for close to $20,000 in donations through sponsoring a bike ride later this year. Arranging this number of sponsors is an amazing effort in organisation, thanks Scott! Scott also dug deep into his own pockets last month when he sponsored one of the more "big boned" colleagues of Marks during the push-up challenge.

    By donating $1 for each of the 701 push-ups he did over the 28 days, it provided motivation and inspiration.

    It's great to see the support Mark's colleagues, clients and suppliers are giving him. While $20K is a lot of money, the support of people that give $2 means a lot to Mark too as he continues his training for this challenge. Give what you can and encourage others to do the same so we can get Mark across the line!

    #beLikeScott

    Week Thirty Seven

    Monday 10/09/18

    40 min indoor rower average heart rate 127 bpm

    Had a late start today, so I reduced the training time to forty minutes. Tried something different this time. Interval training on the rower by completing 100 fast strokes, 50 slow strokes, 50 fast strokes, 50 slow strokes and repeating this pattern for the 40 min duration.

    Tuesday 11/09/18

    80 push ups, . 40 min cross trainer, weights,30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 12/09/18

    73 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 129 bpm

    Thursday 13/09/18

    51 push ups

    Friday 14/09/18

    63 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 147 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 133 bpm

    Saturday 15/09/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m)

    Sunday 16/09/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 140 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 144 bpm

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  • Training - Week 36     10 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Six

    Monday 03/09/18

    71 push ups, weights, 65 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 04/09/18

    Pink concert. Wow! It was pretty dam awesome.

    Wednesday 05/09/18

    64 push ups, 46 min indoor rower average heart rate 129 bpm

    Thursday 06/09/18

    64 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 149 bpm, weights, 30 min cross trainer average heart rate 136 bpm

    Friday 07/09/18

    50 push ups

    Saturday 08/09/18

    63 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 152 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 138 bpm, 30 min cross trainer average heart rate 152 bpm

    Sunday 09/09/18

    Swim 70 x 25m (1750m)

    From next week I’m starting to ramp up the fitness levels. This weeks swim was a struggle and swim stroke was looking really ugly.

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  • How does neuro sarcoidosis affect Mark physically?     7 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Most of us can't pronounce it and to be honest are too embarrassed to ask. We are even more wary of asking what it is and how it affects someone like Mark. From what I've heard it does affect everyone differently and that is one of the reasons it is so difficult to diagnose. Mark knows this and being the open guy he is he's put together some of the ways that neuro sarcoidosis affects him physically.

    If you want to know a little more then read below but remember, Mark is more than his condition, he is a father, a husband, a colleague and a friend. He has a wonderfully weird sense of humor and honor and is an inspiration as well as being smart and he probably has more hair than me.

    This is how Mark describes the physical effects of neuro sarcoidosis on him.

    • 100% sight loss

    • Muscle weakness in the legs, lower abdominals, lower back. No longer able to do squats, sit ups or kneel upright. Due to the muscle weakness I can no longer get off the ground to a standing position without assistance.

    • Spastic muscles. This means extremely stiff nuscles. Basically, it is the muscle stiffness that keeps me in a upright position when standing.

    • Very poor balance. My son at the age of two could easily tackle me. No longer go for walks in a stiff breeze. I would blow away like a plastic bag.

    • No ankle, knee or hip movement. This makes walking on inclines or declines near impossible.

    • Bladder and bowel issues. It is a bugger to plan trips around toilet stops.

    • Occasional headaches that last for days on end. Pain killers such as Panadol and neurofen don’t even touch the sides.

    • Burning sensation in my feet. This usually occurs on a daily basis.

    • Muscle spasms in my legs and right arm.

    • Electric shocks through my body. This usually occurs when I move from a sitting position to a standing position.

    • Muscle cramps in the calf and abdominal muscles.

    • Fatigue

    • No sense of smell or taste

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  • Week 34 and 35!      3 September 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Four

    Monday 20/08/18

    63 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 148 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 136 bpm

    Tuesday 21/08/18

    70 push ups,

    Wednesday 22/08/18

    50 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 153 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 136 bpm

    Thursday 23/08/18

    56 push ups, 60 min indoor rower average heart rate 116 bpm

    Friday 24/08/18

    69 push ups, weights, 60 min indoor rower average heart rate 125 bpm

    Saturday 25/08/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 137 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 127 bpm, 24 min cross trainer average heart rate 140 bpm

    Sunday 26/08/18

    Swim 90 x 25m (2250m)

    Week Thirty Five

    Monday 27/08/18

    58 push ups, 72 min indoor row average heart rate 119 bpm

    Tuesday 28/08/18

    64 push ups,

    Wednesday 29/08/18

    67 push ups, weights, 25min indoor rower average heart rate 121 bpm

    Thursday 30/08/19

    72 push ups,

    Friday 31/08/18

    63 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 151 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 136 bpm

    Saturday 01/09/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 20 min cross trainer

    Sunday 02/09/18

    45 min indoor rower

    This week I have taken it a lot easier than previous weeks, was feeling tired. The body is telling me to have a small rest. However, be back into it next week, can’t afford to let the fitness to drop off too much.

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  • Week Thirty Three - Training Update     21 August 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Three

    Monday 13/08/18

    60 push ups

    Tuesday 14/08/18

    64 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 144 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 135 bpm

    Wednesday 15/08/18

    64 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 144 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 129 bpm

    Thursday 16/08/18

    67 push ups, 61 min indoor rower average heart rate 121 bpm

    Friday 17/08/18

    49 push ups,

    Saturday 18/08/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 152 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 139 bpm, 40 min cross trainer 144 bpm

    Sunday 19/08/18

    Day off

    Push up challenge is all over rover. Didn’t manage to prove that 100 is not a myth. However, as a personal challenge I’m going to continue to see if I can reach that mythical figure.

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  • Week 32 Update     14 August 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty Two

    Monday 06/08/18

    61 push ups, 81 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 07/08/18

    63 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 150 bpm

    Wednesday 08/08/18

    62 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 121 bpm

    Thursday 09/08/18

    63 push ups,

    Friday 10/08/18

    57 push ups, 77 min indoor rower average heart rate 110 bpm

    Saturday 11/08/18

    25 min cross trainer average heart rate 134 bpm, weights, 48 min indoor rower average heart rate 114 bpm

    Sunday 12/08/18

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    End of the third week of the push up challenge. I’ve hit a brick wall. Next week being the last of the push up challenge, I’ll endeavor to push through this wall to squeeze a little more improvement.

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  • Training Update - Week 31     7 August 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    1 in 38,383,800

    That is the chance of winning Division 1 and Powerball in lotto.

    1 in 80,000,000

    That is the chance of someone being attacked by the very rare form of neuro sarcoi dosis that Mark has.

    1 in 80 million. Think about it. We all think about what we would do if we won lotto but we are twice as likely to win lotto than to go through what Mark and his whanau are going through every day for the past 8 years.

    8 years. Think about it. Think about what you would do if you had never seen your youngest child. If you had never seen their smile at Christmas time or watched them ride their bike the first time. This is some of what Mark has missed.

    Please give generously to Mark and his swim so that maybe one day the great people at #theNeurologicalFoundation may be able to make this (and other) extremely rare diseases a thing of the past.

    https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dans-le-noir #greatPeople

    Mark broke it down for me over the weekend like this... he's a Quantity Surveyor so I trust his numbers!

    How rare is neuro sarcoi dosis?

    Generally sarcoi dosis attacks the lungs but sarcoid can attack any organ in the body. The probability of contracting sarcoidosis is 250 in 1 million.

    10% of patients that are diagnosed with sarcoidosis are also are diagnosed with neuro sarcoidosis. Therefore, the probability of contracting neuro sarcoidosis is 25 in 1 million.

    5% of people diagnosed with neuro sarcoidosis their spinal chord is agffected. That makes the probability 1.25 people in 1 million. That is my situation.

    1% of people diagnosed with neuro sarcoi dosis have no other organs involved. That is also my situation. Therefore, making the probability of the sarcoid that is attacking myself is 0.0125 in 1 million.

    I definitely won the wrong lotto prize.

    Anyway.. here's what I did this week. How many press ups have you done?

    Week Thirty One

    Monday 30/07/18

    47 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 145 bpm

    Tuesday 31/07/18

    50 push ups, 40 min cross trainer, weights, 30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 01/08/18

    52 push ups, 77 min indoor rower average heart rate 110 bpm

    Thursday 02/08/18

    54 push ups,

    Friday 03/08/18

    54 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 152 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 136 bpm

    Saturday 04/08/18

    60 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 155 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm, 30 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 15 min indoor rower average heart rate 126 bpm

    Sunday 05/08/18

    Swim 74 x 25m (1850m)

    Push up challenge two weeks down, two to go. 100% improvement. Lets see if I can prove that 100push ups is not a myth.

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  • Week "Hurty" (first week of Mark's push-up challenge)     30 July 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Thirty (Hurty)

    Monday 23/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 144 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 130 bpm, 30 push ups

    Tuesday 24/07/18

    60 min indoor rower average heart rate 108 bpm, 35 push ups

    Started the workout late in the evening. Therefore, an easy one while listening to an audio book. Good book though.

    Wednesday 25/07/18

    43 push ups

    Thursday 26/07/18

    44 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 153 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 143 bpm

    Friday 27/07/18

    44 push ups

    Saturday 28/07/18

    45 push ups, 40 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 133 bpm, 20 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 15 min indoor rower average heart rate 126 bpm

    Sunday 29/07/18

    Swim 64 x 25m (1600m)

    First week of the push up challenge done and dusted. The body soreness has now gone and I can concentrate on improving my number of push ups. The first week wasn’t too bad, I had a 50% improvement.

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  • Week 29 - time for you to step up to Mark's Challenge!     23 July 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    While Mark is training I am usually enjoying a nice beer or some good food. This week though he has laid down a challenge that I thought I was strong enough to ignore. I'm not.

    So, for the next four weeks me and a lot of others from Dempsey Wood are taking Marks Push-Up Challenge (more details later in this update).

    Some are doing it for bragging rights, some for fun. Some are doing it to improve their fitness and some are doing it to join in. My motivation is money. For every push-up I do this month, I am earning cash for this great cause. My starting point is quite low so I think the pledgers have a low expectation of what I will achieve (and how much they will pay) so that in itself is also motivation.

    What's your motivation?

    Week Twenty Nine

    Monday 16/07/18

    Day off

    Tuesday 17/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 142 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Wednesday 18/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 122 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm

    Thursday 19/07/18

    60 min indoor row average heart rate 121 bpm

    Friday 20/07/18

    Day off

    Saturday 21/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 136 bpm, 20 min cross trainer average heart rate 144bpm, 15 min indoor rower average heart rate 129 bpm

    Sunday 22/07/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m)

    Tomorrow is the commencement of Dempsey Wood’s push up challenge. The guys at DW are providing great support. This challenge is to assist my strength training and also in maintaining my motivation.

    This challenge is for a four week period. There will be a King and Queen for the most improved and the highest number of push ups completed.

    Why don’t you join in too and create a new personal best.

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  • Week 28 and Mark has a challenge for all of us     16 July 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Twenty Eight and Marks heart is racing! He also has a challenge for us.

    As a spectator to his efforts I am in awe of what he is doing and how his efforts are rewarding him.

    Mark is a true inspiration. How does he inspire you?

    Monday 09/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 124 bpm, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Tuesday 10/07/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 11/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 145 bpm, weights, 30 min inddor rower average heart rate 131 bpm

    Thursday 12/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 150 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 141 bpm

    In terms of getting my heart rate up, this was the best rowing session I’ve ever had. Don’t know if this is due to my fitness level or being tired.

    Friday 13/07/18

    90 min indoor row

    Saturday 14/07/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 20 min cross trainer, 15 min indoor rower

    Sunday 15/07/18

    Swim 64 x 25m (1600m)

    How about a challenge

    8.5 months until the event. Enough time to gain fitness and swim endurance to complete the Harbour Crossing. So how about giving this challenge a go with me.

    If a 46 year old blind drunk and legless man can swim 3km, anyone can.

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  • Week 27     9 July 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Twenty Seven

    Its the middle of the winter and the last thing I want to think about is swimming in the harbour! It's a good thing that Mark is stronger and more resilient than me!

    Monday 02/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 133 bpm

    Short work out tonight, felt a bit knocked.

    Tuesday 03/07/18

    65 min indoor rower average heart rate 125 bpm

    Getting soft, the garage was like a fridge. Opted to do the rower so I could stay warm by wearing a light weight jumper.

    Wednesday 04/07/18

    Day off

    Thursday 05/04/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 149 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 135 bpm

    Friday 06/07/18

    Day off

    Saturday 7/07/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 135 bpm, 20 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm

    Sunday 08/07/18

    90 min indoor rower average heart rate 118 bpm

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  • Week 26 - Back in the pool after fighting off an infection     2 July 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Twenty six

    Monday 25/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Didn’t record heart rates as my heart rate monitor was providing funny results.

    Tuesday 26/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 139 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 123 bpm, weights

    Wednesday 27/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 147 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 132 bpm, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Small milestone achieved this week. Pushing through the highest resistance level for 40 min on the cross trainer. Don’t be fooled thinking that I have strength in my legs. This achievement has been reached due to the fact that I rely on upper body strength. If I rely on leg strength alone, I would be a long way off reaching this milestone.

    Thursday 28/06/18

    Another massage today.

    Friday 29/06/18

    Day off

    Saturday 30/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, weights, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 133 bpm, 20 min cross trainer average heart rate 150 bpm

    Sunday 01/07/18

    Swim 80 x 25m (2000m)

    Six weeks off pool training, two weeks off from any type of swim training and I have definitely lost some swim fitness.

    Pool swim training is a little harder than the sea swims due to my legs being lower in the water and creating drag. The wet-suit definitely makes life easier by providing better flotation.

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  • Week Twenty Five - Good News/Bad News     25 June 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Twenty Five threw up a wild card with the swim being postponed until April 2019. As anyone that has been focused on peaking for something like this knows you have it in your head and are aiming for the finish line and when it moves in such a way there is a period of adjustment.

    Make is taking it in his stride though and see's a silver lining in that it is another six months to raise some money for the Foundation.

    You may have seen recently that the Neurological Foundation has an appeal to your "Supramarginal Gyrus" (the part of the brain associated with kindness and generosity) running and its quite a good campaign (see http://brain.org.nz or keep an eye out on the Television). Help them out if you can directly or maybe consider giving a little more to Mark and this campaign. With an extra six months he is going to need a lot of support to keep motivated.

    Monday 18/06/18

    30 min cross trainer average heart rate 146 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 135 bpm.

    Tuesday 19/06/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 20/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 134 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 130 bpm, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Thursday 21/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, weights

    Friday 22/06/18

    Day off

    Another infection to fight off

    Saturday 23/06/18

    40 min cross trainer average heart rate 143 bpm, 30 min indoor rower average heart rate 133 bpm, weights

    Sunday 24/06/18

    55 min indoor rower average heart rate 99 bpm

    Easy row while listening to an audio book

    What a bad month for being under the weather. Hence, the lack of swimming training. Hopefully, next week I can get back into the pool and start building up the endurance and work on the technique and possibly improve my swim speed.

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  • Important News! Marks Swim has been Delayed so we're extending the Campaign!     25 June 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    A bit of news over the weekend that has Mark in two minds.

    His Harbour Crossing Swim has been postponed til later in the summer, April 6 (https://oceanswim.co.nz/events/harbour-crossing-auckland/). So while its going to be warmer water and he has a longer to train in the ocean, his mental preparation has been focused on November so now he needs to re-calibrate and get into a proper head-space for the new timeline. It also means that his companion swimmer is not able to make it so he's on the look out for another.

    So, give him a shout out and help him stay the course as we all get behind him!

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  • Week 24 Training update     19 June 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    While Mark says this week was an easy week, I still sweat at the thought of it.

    Week Twenty Four

    Monday 11/06/18

    Enforced day off, power was off until 11:00 pm. Didn’t want to go to bed all hot and sweetie.

    Tuesday 12/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 13/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 14/06/18

    Day off

    Friday 15/06/18

    90 min cross trainer

    Saturday 16/06/18

    60 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Sunday 17/06/18

    Day off

    An easy one this week.

    Get back to the pool next week and concentrate on improving my technique and speed. At the moment my swimming speed is on the slow side.

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  • Week 21-23 - Time to catch up with Mark     12 June 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark is going swimmingly but these updates seem to be lagging a little behind him.

    So here it is! 3 weeks of updates in one! And have a look at Mark in the short montage video, this is him after a recent 2.6km ocean swim.

    Week Twenty One

    Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 21 – 23/05/18

    Day off with training. Recovering from the infection. Third type of anti biotic to try and kill the bug. Hopefully, third time lucky. It’s a bastard being immune suppressed.

    Thursday 24/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Friday 25/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Saturday 26/05/18

    Sea swim at Maraetai approx. 1.8km – 2km

    Third time lucky. Wow, what a confidence booster, at least 500% improvement from my two previous sea swims.

    We swam from the boat ramp down to the point and back again. Then swam out to the buoy which is approx. 300m out from shore.

    The only time we stopped swimming was when we had to change direction and go back to where we started from. However, I did stop swimming within the first 20m to catch my breath due to the water being so bloody cold.

    We also have nailed the navigation. With a little fine tuning we will have the navigation well and truly sorted.

    Thanks Steven and Christian for braving the cold, that was a well deserved beer. I think Christian definitely deserves that massage after todays effort.

    Sunday 27/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Week Twenty Two

    Monday 28/05/18

    46 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 29/05/18

    40 min indoor rower, 20 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 30/05/18

    Day off

    Thursday 31/05/18

    43 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Friday 01/06/18

    63 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Saturday 02/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Sunday 03/06/18

    2 hr indoor rower

    Was going to have another ocean swim. However, due to the stormy conditions we canceled this weeks swim. Better be safe than sorry.

    Week Twenty Three

    Monday 04/06/18

    33 min indoor row

    Tuesday 05/06/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 06/06/18

    Day off

    Thursday 07/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor row

    Friday 08/06/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Saturday 09/06/18

    Sea swim at Maraetai approx. 2.6km non stop

    What an awesome day, sun is out, lots of families at the park and plenty of boats out on the water but OMG the water was bloddy cold.

    Our faces went numb within seconds of starting to swim. The water was so cold I had a little outboard motor going for the length of the swim. My legs wouldn’t stop spasming. It was so weird because it the end of the swim it took some time to gain some strength in my legs to be able to walk again.

    This is the first time I’ve swam a long distance without stopping. Even though I have swam longer distances in the pool. However, when I’m swimming in the pool, I need to stop at each end, stand up, turn around and check that I’m in the middle of the lane before resuming swimming again.

    We swam two laps of a rectangular loop of dimensions of 500m x 150m. We could’ve swam close to the 3km mark. However, I think we were being conservative with our distance guesstimates.

    Funny I didn’t know that I was swimming a loop. I thought I was swimming a straight line.

    This is our last sea swim for a while, it is getting a little too cold. A big thanks to Christian and Steven for their time and their bravery to swim in these artic conditions Without your help I will still be stressing about the navigation and whether this challenge of swimming the harbour crossing is actually achievable.

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  • Week Nineteen Training Update - you have to read this one!     30 May 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Nineteen

    Monday 07/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 08/05/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 09/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Thursday 10/05/18

    Massage tonight. You think a massage is to be relaxing. However, the massage found every tight muscle in my body, so the next day I felt very tender. However, Saturday the muscles were very relaxed. It is definitely worth getting a good massage from an expert.

    Friday 11/05/18

    28 min cross trainer, 22 min indoor rower.

    Tonights workout was very hard to get through, I basically was very lethargic.

    Reason being I have contracted an infection. Good news though, I got on to it quickly and managed to knock it on it’s head early. Learnt my lesson from the last infection when I had to spend three days in hospital.

    Unfortunately the drug that I’m on for keeping the sarcoid at bay is also a very strong immune suppressant. Therefore, I’m open to infections more so than the average bear.

    Sorry guys no swimming this weekend, I need to recover a little from the infection before commencing again.

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  • Week Eighteen = #GoodVibes     30 May 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    There is a some good in this world! Read Mark's training diary for Week Eighteen (sorry for the delay again!) and have a look at the video of Mark drawing out the winner of the "Nina Bakes A Cake" raffle the #greatPeople at Dempsey Wood put on.

    Monday 30/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Tuesday 01/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 50 crunches, 50 push ups

    Wednesday 02/05/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Thursday 03/05/18

    60 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Friday 04/05/18

    Day off

    Like to share a story that proves there is still good people in this world.

    My family consists of my wife, three daughters, a son and myself. This Friday we had only had two children. Therefore, we decided to treat them to Denny's for dinner.

    At a neighbouring table at Denny's a elderly gentleman was dinning alone. As my family were progressing through our meals, the gentleman had finished his meal, got up and left the restaurant. Not once did our family have a conversation with this gentleman. Any how we finished our meal and went up to pay the bill to find out that two thirds of our bill had already been paid by this elderly gentleman.

    Isn’t that a cool story?

    Saturday 05/05/18

    Swim 134 x 25m (3350m)

    Sunday 07/05/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m), 35min indoor rower

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  • Week 17! This is going great (except for the bruises, bumps and a run in with a lane marker)     11 May 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Sorry for the delay on this weeks update! Rest assured though that Mark is not being so slack with his training :)

    Week Seventeen

    Monday 23/04/18

    46 min indoor row

    An easy work out today due to the weekends big effort.

    Tuesday 24/04/18

    40 min cross trainer

    Wednesday 25/04/18

    Swim 120 x 25m (3000m)

    Thursday 26/04/18

    Day off, went to the Comedy Festival. Much more enjoyable than slogging it out on the cross trainer.

    Friday 27/04/18

    Day off

    Saturday 28/04/18

    120 min indoor rower while listening to an audio book

    Sunday 29/04/18

    40 min indoor rower

    Almost four months of training and this week I eased off slightly to give the body a little rest. Especially to give the cuts and bruises a chance to heal.

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  • Week 16     23 April 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Sixteen

    Monday 16/04/18

    60 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 17/04/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 18/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    So tired tonight. My cross trainer was my worse effort ever. Average heart was 126 bpm, usually around 145 – 150 bpm.

    Thursday 19/04/18

    90 min indoor rower

    You may think this workout is hard. The actual truth is the workout was sort of a rest period. While rowing I listen to an audio book and my average heart rate was only 102 bpm. Due to last nights effort, I thought it was sensible to ease off tonight.

    Friday 20/04/18

    30 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Saturday 21/04/18

    Swim 104 x 25m (2600m)

    Sunday 22/04/18

    Swim 138 x 25m (3450m)

    Who said swimming was a non contact sport. My arms are getting brutalized from the plastic floaties of the lane ropes. I’ll post a photo of the bruising one day, eventually the bruising is quite impressive.

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  • Week Fifteen (this time)     16 April 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week fifteen

    Monday 09/04/18

    80 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 10/04/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 11/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 12/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Friday 13/04/18

    Day off

    Saturday 14/04/18

    Swim 122 x 25m (3050m)

    Sunday 15/04/18

    80min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Was planning another swim to concentrate on stroke technique. However it never worked out that way. One of my frustrations of loosing my independence is having to rely on others.

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  • Week 14 - Are you ready to go back into the water?     10 April 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Fourteen

    Monday 02/04/18

    Day off

    Tuesday 03/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 04/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 05/04/18

    64 min indoor rower

    Friday 06/04/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Saturday 07/04/18

    80 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Sunday 08/04/18

    Swim 100 x 25m (2500m)

    Lesson learnt today, don’t train on an empty fuel tank. It was a major effort to get through the 2.5k today.

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  • Week 13 and Mark has lost his shorts!     3 April 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Don't panic! It's a good thing. Read on to find out more about his first ocean swim and what happened to his shorts. If you have any suggestions on how he could navigate in the ocean please let us know

    Week Thirteen

    Monday 26/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Tuesday 27/03/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 28/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 29/03/18

    66 min indoor rower

    Friday 30/03/18

    Sea swim, 40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    First sea swim. Quietly I was freaking out. It took me an age to sych myself up to take the plunge into the water due the chill factor and the unknown. However, the cold water was not the issue. The water soon warmed up once I got swimming.

    The problem is the navigation. We need to find a method that’s suit myself and my support swimmers, especially since I can’t hear anything due to the waves and wind. When swimming I naturally bear off to the right. Therefore, Annalise swam on my right side. However, this wasn’t working as Annalise was severely being beaten up by my arms. So Annalise swam behind me and tapped my legs when I had to swim to the left. Unfortunately this was proven difficult due to my legs being to far under water and Annalise had to dive under to find them. This worked well for myself but not so well for Annalise.

    Saturday 30/03/18

    80 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Sunday 1/04/18

    Swim 100 x 25m (2500m)

    I had limited time in the pool this morning due to Easter Sunday festivities. However, I swam 2.5 km in approx. 1 hr 15 min. Therefore, I was on track to complete the 3km swim in 1 hr 30 min, which is a 25min time improvement from my first 3km swim. Next week I will confirm this by completing a 3km time trial.to confirm this.

    It could be the new slick swimming shorts I started wearing. Note, I lost the board shorts.

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  • Week 12 Training Update     27 March 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Mark has completed 12 weeks of training!

    On top of that the donation total is sitting around $16,400.

    This sounds a lot and it is (unless you're trying to get a home deposit together or raise $100 for an awesome cause doing great research) but Mark is not one to quit so nor will wee.

    So, spread the word, share Mark's story and see if you can help get him over the finish line!

    Monday 19/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Tuesday 20/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 21/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 40 min indoor rower

    Thursday 22/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Friday 23/03/18

    Day off

    Saturday 24/03/18

    Swim 60 x 50m (3000m(

    OMG the pool was like dodgems today. So many swimmers in the lane, suppose it was good for training for crashing into bodies on the vent day.

    Sunday 25/03/18

    Swim 46 x 50m (2300m)

    Spent time working on my stroke. Like everything else practice will make it perfect. However, perfection is a long way off.

    PS. Nina, one of the Dempsey Wood resident bakers is raffling a custom cake for the cause. Let us know if you have any other great idea's to raise some money for Mark!

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  • Week Eleven - Mark loses his board shorts      20 March 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark has a Question. Read through his update for Week Eleven and get in touch if you know the answer. PS, I also got him in front of the camera but we got photo bombed by cicada's and a nice sea breeze down at mission bay so sorry about the sound quality! After all the effort it took I had to use it!

    *Week Eleven*

    Monday 12/03/18

    61 min indoor rower

    Just an easy row tonight after the weekends effort. Usually my average heart rate is between 125 and 135 BPM, tonight my average rate was 109 BPM.

    Tuesday 13/03/18

    40min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    No rest for the wicked, back into it. Average heart rate for the 40min cross trainer was 152 beats per minute. I usually train in the range of 142 – 152 bpm.

    Wednesday 14/03/18

    Today was my first session with a swim coach. I would like say thanks to Andrew from Boost Coaching for his time and advice.

    So the first advice is to lose the board shorts. This is going to be a worry as we don’t want any further people going blind.

    The remaining advice regards to my stroke. When I master this new technique I could improve my time as much as 20%. Look out fish, there could be a new breed entering the waters.

    Thursday 15/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Friday 16/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Saturday 17/03/18

    Swim 60 x 50m (3000km)

    Question for the experts. When I swim I don’t use my legs. So, why at the end of each swim my legs feel like they have just completed a marathon run?

    Sunday 18/03/18

    Body is screaming out for a rest. So, a day off to recover a little.

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  • Week Ten Update - boom! we just hit the first milestone!     13 March 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Ten weeks into this challenge Mark has already raised $10,000 thanks to people like you. People that care about what he is trying to achieve and believe he can make a difference. Whether you have donated on behalf of your organisation or sacrificed a few lunches to give him your money, it really is appreciated. Thank you!

    Week Ten

    Monday 05/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Tuesday 06/03/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 07/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 08/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Friday 09/03/18

    67 min indoor rower, 80 crunches, 80 push ups

    Saturday 10/03/18

    Swim 120 x 25m (3000m)

    18 to 120 laps within ten weeks providing confidence that I now can complete the Harbour crossing swim. Now I need to concentrate on getting stronger and faster.

    Sunday 11/03/18

    Swim 28 x 25m, 30 x 50m (2200m)

    This swim was real tough, the body was a bit tired from yesterdays effort.

    Now, Mark is a little shy so it hard to get pictures of him, but here is a picture I took at the team building event last year with Rae making sure Mark doesn't aim the bow at the people around him. By the way, Marks scores on both the Archery and the Clay-bird shooting were better than mine! He really is an inspiration on what can be achieved when you set your mind to something.

    Go on... set your mind to helping him reach $100K and donate now!

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  • Week 9, Mark finds the zen of swimming     5 March 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Less than 10 weeks ago Mark started training for something many of us "able bodied" people would never consider.

    With his strength of character and will-power he's pushing his broken body to the limit. Here is his diary for the last week... have a ready and please donate, every dollar helps the foundation do great work.

    *** Week Nine ***

    Monday 26/02/18

    35 min cross trainer, 35 min indoor rower, weights

    Tuesday 27/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 28/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min rower, weights

    Thursday 01/03/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 80 crunches, 80 push ups

    Friday 02/03/18

    75 min indoor rower

    Saturday 03/03/18

    Swim 72 x 25m (1800m)

    After a couple of sessions in the 50m pool, the 25m pool was so easy. I even thought the pool was shorter than 25m. Even confirmed with the Life Guard the length of the pool.

    Sunday 04/03/18

    Swim 100 x 25m (2500m)

    It is amazing the power of the mind. I’m so determined to complete this endeavour that within nine weeks I have improved significantly. From barely swimming 400m to falling short of the 2.9km swim distance by 400m. I’m so stoked.

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  • Week 8, what did you do this week?     1 March 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    So this week was the biggest yet for fundraising with over $4000 being donated! A huge thanks to some of the organisations that Mark works with in his job as Quantity Surveyor at Dempsey Wood (that is another story!).

    The Hugh Green Group donated $1500 and Gibbons came in with $1000! Its also good to see some $500 donations from the likes of Ground Structures, Crang Civil and CLL. #awesome.

    However, $4000 a week is not going to get Mark to his $100,000 target! What else can you do to help?

    Today, some of his colleagues are eating sushi for him. It's our way of removing some of the fish that might get in the way of his swim and also raise a couple of hundred for the cause.

    Someone else has offered to donate a whole weeks wages! If we can make that work then it will awesome.

    Anyway, here is Mark's training diary for last week... prepare to be impressed... aside from last Thursday... no one noticed you napping Mark ;)

    Week Eight

    Monday 19/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Why do I complete crunches and push ups? Basically strengthening what core muscles I have remaining. With the neuro sarcoi dosis, I have lost strength in my lower abdominal and back muscles. No longer able to complete a proper sit up or kneel and hold myself vertically. I need as much strength in the remaining core muscles to keep my legs a float while swimming, or else they just sink.

    Tuesday 20/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    Wednesday 21/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 22/02/18

    Day off

    Sitting at my desk working hard of course and feeling awfully relaxed. Curious of what my heart rate is at this particular time. Utilising my apple watch, I measured my heart rate at 44 bpm. I must have been sleeping at my desk. Quiet now, we don’t want the boss to find out.

    Friday 23/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Saturday 24/02/18

    Swim 32 x 50m (1600m)

    Found today hard, energy levels must have been low. My legs were sinking a lot today. Maybe its time to look at some flotation device to prevent my legs from sinking. When the legs sink, it definitely makes it a lot harder.

    Sunday 25/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 60 min indoor rower

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  • Week 7 and it was a stormer!     21 February 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Week Seven is where Mark shows us how to work smart. Not smart as in find a shortcut or look for the easy way to do things but smart as in finding the best way to reach his goals.

    His condition means that he is not able to do what most of us take for granted so he plans ahead and thinks through how to make his exercises work for him. He looks how to build on his strengths and compensate for his weaknesses.

    If you have not donated yet then please do. If you have donated then maybe consider how inspirational this man is and what a great cause he is fighting for. It might be time to top up you donation.

    Week Seven

    Monday 12/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower

    I don’t have the strength in my legs or the ability to attack the cross trainer with speed. Therefore, I get my heart rate up by selecting the hardest resistance level that I can push out for a period time. I complete the cross trainer first as this accelerates my heart rate. So when I get on the rower my heart rate is already at a certain level. As for the cross trainer, I don’t have the strength in my legs to provide a powerful leg drive on the rower. Therefore, all power on the rower is generated by the upper body.

    Tuesday 13/01/18

    Day off

    Wednesday 14/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Thursday 15/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Friday 16/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Saturday 17/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 60 min indoor rower

    Sunday 18/02/18

    Swim 30 x 50m (1500m)

    Last week was no fluke, completed the same distance this week. However, first time training in a 50m pool. It was definitely harder, not as many breaks.

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  • Week 6 Training Diary     15 February 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    While the rest of us were moving as little as possible to bask in the 100% humidity that pressed down on Auckland recently, Mark kept up his training regime and is doing us proud.

    He asks the question though.... what is your fitness level? Maybe its time to take some inspiration from him and just start.

    Read through to see the milestone he achieved last week.

    Week Six

    Monday 05/02/18

    35 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Tuesday 06/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Wednesday 07/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Thursday 08/02/18

    Day off

    Resting heart rate is 48. I measure my resting heart rate because it is the only way to guide my fitness level. If you google resting heart rate and fitness levels, there are many charts that relate your age and resting heart rate to fitness levels.

    What is your fitness level?

    Friday 09/02/1840 min cross trainer, 15 min rower, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Saturday 10/02/18

    Swim 60 x 25m (1500m)

    A change in the game plan. I was going concentrate on minimising the time to complete the 1km. However, I thought at would be better at this stage to improve my endurance and get some distance into my arms.

    Another small milestone, I have now swam half the distance of the harbour crossing. The swim was much better as I was more relaxed in the water.

    Sunday 11/02/18

    40 min cross trainer, 40 min indoor row, weights

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  • A Day in the Gym     7 February 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark asked me to mix together a few of the videos he has of himself in the gym.

    Imagine what it's like working out how to use new gym equipment and not being able to see the levers etc. Imagine needing to tie yourself into the seat of the rowing machine.

    Mark is doing a great job in the gym but this is five weeks into his training so he has built a mind-map of where things are and what needs to happen, very much like he has done so for every other aspect of his life.

    The ocean swim will be a huge challenge but that will be the culmination of some many other challenges.

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  • Week Five Training Update     5 February 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Mark lost his wedding ring this week but his daughter was there to save him. It might pay to leave that on shore in November I think!

    You have to hand it to Mark. While the rest of us are enjoying a cold beer or doing 'Dryuary' he is out there doing it hard. What an awesome bloke!

    Week Five

    Monday 29/01/18

    27 min cross trainer, 35 min indoor rower, swim 40 x 25m (1000m)

    First time completing two swims consecutively. The body isn’t use to it and found the swim very hard. In fact I felt that my strokes were rather on the rough side.

    Tuesday 30/01/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 60 crunches, 60 push ups

    These work outs are so hard to do in the heat that we are experiencing this summer.

    Wednesday 31/01/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 01/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 70 crunches, 70 push ups

    Challenge! Build up to complete a solid 30 min aerobic exercise at 80% of your maximum heart rate, a minimum of three times per week . Exercise can be what ever you like. After four weeks of this, do you notice any change?

    To calculate what your heart rate should be use the following formulae;

    (220 – your age) x 0.8

    All the best and reap the benefits.

    Friday 02/02/18

    Day off

    Saturday 03/02/18

    Swim 40 x 25m (1000 x 25m)

    Side stepping crashing waves, boats, sharks and mermaids still sounds very daunting. I’m still not 100% confident as I still have that fear of sinking, especially when the body gets tired. However, I feel the fear will disappear once I have a few miles in the arms.

    Oh yeah, I was a single man for about five minutes. My wedding ring slipped off in the pool. Luckily I felt the ring slide off my finger and was able to instruct my daughter the rings approximate location. One dive and my daughter retrieved the ring and I stopped feeling sh**.

    Sunday 03/02/18

    60 min cross trainer, 50 min indoor rower, weights

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  • An update from Chiquita     1 February 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Chiquita, who works alongside and will be swimming with Mark, sent this out to the Company early today and it's well worth sharing...

    Happy New Year! The first month of 2018 is done and dusted and OH Boy did it fly by!

    Let’s jog our memories and remember last year’s staff Christmas function. Do you recall Conal announcing Mark Taylor tackling the Auckland Harbour Crossing? - A mammoth 3-kilometer open water swim!

    Go Mark!

    For those of you who may not know Mark, this journey to triumph will follow a slightly different process and challenges. 16 years ago, Mark became a person who has Neurosarcoidosis. A rare neurological disorder causing visual impairment and near paraplegia. To read Marks full story see givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dans-le-noir

    OK - Now imagine swimming in the dark – immersed in deep open water with no orientation of which direction is land or further out to sea. You’re dodging speedboats, fighting sharks, swimming circles and luring mermaids, all the while intaking rogue waves into your lungs and pulling yourself through the water with only upper body strength.

    Welcome to swimming with Mark 101.

    You can check out all his training and progress on givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dans-le-noir/updates, perhaps even a mermaid or two?? Let’s support him in gaining almighty strength and watching his streamline swim technique develop.

    The swim will be going down in November. Mark will be facing the icy, chilly, winter water throughout the duration of his training leading up to the event. So, if you see him around he won’t say no to you shouting him a hot flat white in exchange of a decent yarn.

    It will be a huge accomplishment physically, mentally and emotionally for Mark. However, his awesomeness doesn’t stop here! He is making sure that all efforts will also go in changing the lives of others who suffer from neurological disorders. How may you ask?

    A “givealittle” page has been set up to receive online donations for an independent body and charitable trust called The Neurological Foundation. An extraordinary foundation set out to strive in alleviating suffering from diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system through researching and educating. Funds raised ensures our country’s top neuroscientists can continue leading-edge research into neurological disorders.

    With all this research, hopefully one-day diagnosing a condition like Marks is less of a painful experience and more so a smooth and rapid process for others undergoing diagnosis, treatment and even better finding a cure!

    Here’s where Mark needs your help. You can also join the journey by going the extra mile and donating towards this cause through https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dans-le-noir

    Please also share Marks story with your friends and family.

    PS. Dans le Noir means "in the dark", something Mark has been for 16 years. Let's support him and raise some money for research that will help him and others like him.

    Regards

    Chiquita Poulgrain

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  • Week Four Training Update     31 January 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor

    Want to join in with me while I build up my strength for this challenge? I am four weeks into the training so you wont be too far behind!

    *Week Four*

    Monday 22/01/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights, 60 crunches, 60 push ups

    Tuesday 23/01/1840 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 60 crunches, 60 push ups

    Wednesday 24/01/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, weights

    Thursday 25/01/18

    40 min cross trainer, 30 min indoor rower, 60 crunches, 60 push ups

    Friday 26/01/18

    Day off

    Saturday 27/01/18

    Day off

    Sunday 28/01/18

    Swim 42 x 25m (1050m)

    Last week the 1000m was approx. one hour. This week I managed to reduced the time to 45 minutes. Lots of improvement required, need to get down to at least 30 minutes for the 1km distance.

    Check out the video from 2 weeks ago!

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  • Hot and Sweety     25 January 2018
    Posted by: Mark Taylor
    Main image

    Week four on the cross trainer, just past the half way mark of a 40 min session.

    "Hot and Sweety" describes me perfectly.. good looks and sweet personality.

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