An older man with multiple sclerosis achieves his goal of “rowing” the circumference of the world on an indoor rowing machine.
A pensioner living with Multiple Sclerosis has completed a 20 year long odyssey – rowing the circumference of the world without even getting his feet wet.
Using an indoor rowing machine Keith Atkinson has “travelled” 24,901.5 miles since setting himself the challenge in 1996.
The 78-year-old, who often uses a wheelchair, began the feat as a means to keep fit following his medical retirement as head teacher of Tuxford School.
Mr Atkinson, of Newark Road, Southwell, said: “The biggest payoff was I just felt good.”
Since starting the challenge the Nottingham Rowing Club president has “travelled” more than 5,000 metres a day – even while on holiday.
He said: “Holidays have been a challenge.
“But hotels as far apart as Blackpool and Boston, Massachusetts have machines and my wife Celia and I have been on P&O Cruises, for the past 12 years, so I have rowed over a million metres on the Atlantic, Baltic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Black Sea, Red Sea, Bosphorus and Suez Canal without getting my feet wet.”
Mr Atkinson has also rowed on cruise ships alongside leaping dolphins and while watching boats from Spanish rowing clubs train on the water near a Barcelona harbour.
During the last two decades Mr Atkinson’s indoor rowing has also won him two bronze medals at the Charles River Has-Beens World Championships, in Boston, Massachusetts, in both 1999 and 2000.
The yoga fan has had a long love affair with rowing – having joined the Nottingham Rowing Club in 1954 before becoming president in 1977.