Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle: Full cycle

Published

 on 

PHUKET: While a certain Mr Armstrong may have brought shame to the world of cycling following recent revelations to a certain Ms Oprah, a certain Mr Mason will be doing just the opposite by using his bicycle to help raise funds for needy children.

Tomorrow James Mason will leave Tiger Muay Thai camp in Chalong (one of his main sponsors) and cycle 890 kilometers to Rainbow House, a home for disabled or abandoned children, in Bangkok.

This is no mean feat for even the most accomplished athlete but the challenge becomes even more incredible when you consider that 18 months ago James Mason could not even mount a bicycle let alone ride it.

At that time he weighed 235 kilos and had been given five years to live by a doctor in the UK. James opted to lose the weight the hard way by joining Tiger Muay Thai and MMA to literally slug it out.

In an interview he gave to the Phuket Gazette in 2011 he was happy to announce that he had already shed ten kilos.

Fast forward to 2013 and 29-year-old James is now relatively svelte, weighs in at 99 kilos and is about to lose another few during his nine day ride to the capital.

In a recent Gazette interview at his home in the plush Little Hill Resort, jogging distance from the camp, he shrugged off any notions that this was a tough undertaking and spoke of his earlier weight loss challenge: “The hardest thing for me was hearing the comments, both here and back home, about my appearance from those who did not know what I was going through. I just blocked them out and persevered”.

If losing 138 kilos in 18 months wasn’t hard enough, James has also been beset by other medical problems.

Four months after arriving in Thailand his leg became infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria called Necrotizing fasciitis, which is fatal in 40 per cent of cases. He was hospitalized for over two weeks and surgery was able to save his leg. It should be mentioned at this point that in the same leg he has no anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a hindrance for an athlete.

When another of his sponsors, Phuket Pro Nutrition, joked that, given the amount of cycling he was doing anyway, he should consider riding to Bangkok he took it as a challenge.

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Many would have given up. I think of those less fortunate than me that have no arms and legs who still compete at an Olympic level,” says James.

Having succeeded in losing over half of his body weight, he now inspires other people to do the same including local DJ Tom ‘The Tank’ Somsanuk – a work in progress.

James believes that being in Thailand has made all this possible so he is now ready to give something back. The charity he has chosen, called ‘For Life’, helps disabled or abandoned children in Thailand and supports four day-care centers, a residential home for up to 50 children and a project that works with 600 children in rural communities.

James’ goal is to raise over 100,000 baht for the charity.

He set a departure date for January 29 and started training five hours a day. But, a few days before Christmas, which he celebrated back home in the UK, James caught Dengue Fever, another potentially life threatening mosquito-borne disease.

Through sheer will power and stamina he was able to recover in three weeks and is now fighting fit and ready to roll.

He aims to cycle the 890 kilometers to Nonthaburi in nine days with stopovers roughly 100 kms apart except for the last 205 km leg from Hua Hin which he will do in one day.

His nutritionist, from Phuket Pro Nutrition, will be monitoring him from a support vehicle and other supporters will ride with him some of the way.

And, in case you were wondering how James will be returning to Phuket he will be flying back after a well-deserved rest.

The Phuket Gazette is James’s main media sponsor and will update readers on his progress both online and on PGTV’s weekly TV show ‘Phuket Today’ on TrueVisions channels 99 and 58. Other sponsors include: TKO Bike Rentals; 02 Beach Club and Lotus Medical International.

You can follow James’ progress on Twitter (@masonweightloss), Facebook or on his blog: weightlossthailand.com. Donations can be made at justgiving.com/jamesmasonbikeathon.

— Marc Mulloy

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok6 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World6 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Travel6 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand7 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime7 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime8 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime9 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video10 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World10 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand11 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending