From the operating table to the treadmill | Action Medical Research

From the operating table to the treadmill

Meet Dave Waterman. The 46-year-old Company Director from Colchester is preparing himself for three long-distance challenges for Action this year. They include: the Virgin London Marathon, Trek The Night: South Downs Way and the Essex 100. Not bad for a man who was lying in a hospital bed eighteen months ago following major back surgery! We spoke with Dave to find out more about his motivation and how juggling his training, full time job and young family’s working out.

Dave Waterman, 46, is taking on the Virgin London Marathon, Trek The Night: South Downs Way & the Essex 100!


You’ve certainly set yourself some tall challenges for 2018. Have you always been an active person?

Yes, I suppose I have really. I’m a keen cyclist and have always enjoyed keeping fit and setting myself challenges. I’ve actually completed Action’s Essex100 cycling event twice before and that was how I first got introduced to the charity back in 2015. I was due to ride it again last year but had to defer because of my back.


Tell us a bit more about your injury.

Well, when I was 19 I was involved in a motorcycle crash and had been suffering with a bad back ever since. But more recently the pain had just been getting progressively worse;  long distance car journeys were excruciating. It got to the stage where I couldn’t sit down to watch my youngest daughter’s nativity play and that’s when I knew something had to be done. It turns out I had three worn discs at the base of my spine which were restricting the nerves in my legs and my 4th vertebrae was pushed forward.


That sounds painful! How long were you in hospital for?

I was in there for five days and was only discharged once the physiotherapist was satisfied I had sufficient mobility, including taking the stairs.


And are you completely pain free now? 

The operation hasn’t completely relieved all of the symptoms - I still experience a degree of pain during long distances – but I am really pleased with my recovery and feel the operation was worth it to restore my health.


So you’re taking on a marathon, a 40 mile trek and a 101 mile bike ride! How’s training going?

Training is hard! It takes a lot of time and it has been a massive sacrifice on mine and my family's time. But it is all worth it. I also have the support of a fabulous personal trainer called Nathan.


Why do you want to support Action?

Like a lot of people, I hadn’t actually heard of the charity before stumbling across it through my love for cycling. At my first Action event – which was the Essex100 - I found the whole team extremely supportive and very well organised and wanted to find out more. As a father of three (Kester,9, Anya, 7 and Arlo,5) it’s very sobering to think about all the work Action does to raise funds for  research into various childhood illnesses and conditions. For me, being able to have fun running and cycling while raising money for a great cause is a win-win!


What would you say to anyone who is thinking of taking on a physical challenge for Action in 2018?

Be positive, make it fun but be realistic with the limits on what your body can withstand and the sacrifice of time it will take to do it properly. Make small goals along the way so that you can be encouraged by your own achievements.


Dave Waterman hopes to raise £3000 for his three challenges. You can find out more here

Help us spread the word