PULSE Racing is always looking for new athletes who are curious about using FES and want to take on the challenge together. At the moment there are three fanatical athletes, Mohammed Ackloufi, Peter van Burk and Jet Pieters-Fuld. There is also a remote athlete being coached, namely Remco Rozendaal.
My name is Mohammed Ackloufi, I come from Almere, and I am one of the athletes at PULSE Racing. I had an accident in 2002 that left me with a spinal cord injury at level TH7/8. From the belly button down I don’t feel anything anymore, only sometimes I can feel the warmth of my phone on my leg. The only movement I experience is my spasms. Long ago, these were sometimes so strong that I could stand on my legs.
In addition, I have always been a fan of sports. Before the accident, I was running every day because I couldn’t sleep otherwise. I was also an avid kickboxer, skier and rower. Sport is important to me because it is good for the brain and motivation.
After I ended up in a wheelchair, I participated in the Paralympic Games with rowing and skiing. It was intense to train for this, but that made it fat to do. I have participated in rowing at European and World Championships and I even won gold at the World Championships. In the future I don’t plan to participate in the Paralympic games anymore, because now I like to exercise only for fun.
During the period of the Paralympic Games I also came into contact with electrostimulation. After I started as a test subject at Rik Berkelmans’ company, I also started using FES bicycles in the Reade rehabilitation center. Because I really liked FES cycling, I have further developed this to train my muscles and become more fit. In 2018 I came into contact with PULSE Racing through Reade’s therapists. I like being at PULSE Racing because they are nice students and nice guys who guide me well in FES. It is very educational and good for my body. My goal is to keep working on my muscles for better blood flow. I am mainly at PULSE Racing for the health benefits I get from it. I have always trained for myself and PULSE Racing contributes well to this with the right guidance. I hope in the future to continue to train my legs well and to keep my condition up.
Peter van Bruk
I really enjoy working with PULSE Racing and have a lot of fun doing it! I am Peter, born and raised in Amsterdam, 31 years old. Before my spinal cord injury I was extremely active in sports, about 6 times a week. I trained a lot for triathlons. After participating in half a triathlon (2019) I would go for a full in 2020. I also practiced squash, tennis, golf, Frisbee, go-karting and very avid beachball. I had even created a sport called The Game.
In June 2020, I suffered a spinal cord injury at the level of my sternum (thoracic 4-5) after a dive in the IJ River. I almost lost all of my sensation below the lesion, moving there is completely impossible, except for spasms and the use of electrostimulation. Since my spinal cord injury, I can no longer do the sports I used to do. I’ve been trying out the remaining options for a while now.
Seated skiing, wheelchair tennis, handbiking (am participating in handbike challenge 2022), swimming, seated water skiing and of course bicycle electrostimulation at PULSE Racing are a few examples that have worked out well.
Towards the end of my rehabilitation I had to wait a long time for facilities that would allow me to work again and I was looking for day care. When I came across PULSE Racing via via, I was immediately enthusiastic.
The health benefits of this form of electrostimulation are important to me, but above all I like the fact that I can really work up a sweat again. This is a lot harder with arm movements alone.
We have already achieved that I can cycle a lot longer on leg power and my PR on the Cybathlon distance is getting faster by leaps and bounds. It now stands at 5:08 over the 1200 meters.
It would be really cool to win the Cybathlon with PULSE Racing, should I be chosen as an athlete, but my main goal is to get fitter.
I am having a lot of fun training with PULSE Racing, it is a very nice team and I want to thank you for everything!
Hi, I am Jet Pieters-Fuld, 39 years old, and I was born in Naarden Vesting. From the age of 6 until the age of 20 I have been riding horses. Until I was 11 years old I went to the riding school and after that I became more and more fanatic in the competition sport. From the age of 15 I concentrated on eventing. This is a combination of dressage, jumping and a cross. Very versatile and requires a lot of fitness. In the year before I got my spinal cord injury I trained about 10 hours a day. Of which 2 hours went to fitness and 1.5 to 2 hours to cycling. It was more than worth it, I love the feeling after a day of training and from the age of 15 I was every year in the A or B frame for the European Championships (from youth to Young Riders).
On July 12, 2002 I participated in the CCI of Breda, an international eventing competition. The cross consists of a road course and a kind of obstacle course through the woods over tree trunks and through water. There is also a second road course and a steeple. In the steeple you go with your horse on a kind of racetrack over some hedges and the speed is about 690 meters per minute. At the penultimate jump it went wrong. Hot Item, my horse, didn’t come out well, therefore couldn’t set off properly and we fell.
It resulted in an abrasion on Item’s right front leg and a C6 lesion for me. There I was, 20 years old and completely wheelchair dependent.
From my chest down I have no function, which means that from there down I can no longer consciously control my muscles. My sensation is “spotty”; below the lesion there are spots that I can feel. I also have dropouts in my arms and hands but fortunately have enough strength to get around with a manual wheelchair. Despite the reduced hand function, I can only stretch my left index finger by myself, I am handy. Writing and drawing, for example, I can do without adaptations.
In the rehabilitation center, they soon saw that sports were the way to go for me and they introduced me to as many sports as possible as soon as I could. I had had several shoulder injuries before I broke my neck and handbiking appeared not to be very suitable anymore. The old injuries were playing up enormously.
The chairs that are used in wheelchair rugby turned out not to be a problem. And so I rolled into a new sport. Wheelchair rugby was not something I could do half-heartedly, and after a few years I was back on the Dutch team. While playing rugby I met Wouter, together we were in the Dutch team and in 2012 we got married. Wouter also has an (incomplete) spinal cord injury.
In 2019 I turned out to have breast cancer. After the treatments my condition was incredibly bad and the rehabilitation doctor at the AVL referred me to READE. She found training on the Berkelbike the only responsible and effective way to restore my heart-lung condition. At Reade I first started training with Jeroen and then with Marcel on the Berkelbike. I liked this very much and because of my enthusiasm Marcel pointed me to PULSE Racing.
In the summer of 2021 I started at PULSE. Thanks to PULSE Racing I can train more often, namely twice a week. At PULSE Racing I can train in a way that suits me. Everything is measured and tracked, so progress can be seen and I can train in a more targeted way. I like that, it’s a bit like how I used to work with horses. I really notice that my heart and lung condition has improved since I started training on the Berkelbike. I have to work harder to get my heart rate above 170 BPM. I also no longer suffer from pneumonia after a simple cold. It’s such a health benefit. I would really like to get back to the old fitness level of before all the operations that were performed in the AVL. And I expect that this will happen with the help of PULSE.
It is not only the training that is fun at PULSE Racing. The students who participate in the research come from different (medical) studies. I have a rather broad interest, but medical subjects particularly appeal to me. When I broke my neck I was accepted for medicine and I studied biomedical sciences for a year before I switched to law. It’s fun getting to know new people and talking about their studies. It’s a win-win situation for me. Not only am I improving my fitness and balancing body and mind at PULSE. At the same time, I’m getting to know people and broadening my horizons. Great right?
I am Remco Rozendaal, 35 years old and I live in Dronten. My family has a fruit farm where we grow apples and pears. As a young boy I dreamed of taking over the family business and a life at the farm. I was an active tree pruner and self-employed in the fruit business. I was also involved in growing fruit trees, basically I was a jack-of-all-trades. I loved riding motorcycles and going to festivals with friends. So I was a pretty sociable guy, and also single! I was a healthy kid who never had any problems. Until 2015 when my life turned completely upside down.
I had a motorcycle accident and was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. Since then I am paralyzed from my upper body (nipples) and have no arm or leg function. Although I have regained my mobility for a large part thanks to an electric wheelchair, my paraplegia has major consequences for my independence and daily activities.
I had always been moving around a lot because of my intensive work, so my condition and physical state were good. Now that I am in a wheelchair that is different and it is very difficult to keep my body in shape. Fortunately, nowadays there is also FES, which gives me a sort of sensation of sports. Together with PULSE Racing I am looking at different possibilities in my training schedule. Thanks to cycling with electrostimulation, my muscle size has increased well. My legs have really grown in terms of muscle mass. This also helps against pressure sores.
I have a 3-day training schedule, lasting an hour and a half. This occasionally runs out because exercising feels so good to me! I am finally doing something close to exercise again, just like I used to. It’s not only good for me physically, but this gives me also mentally a huge boost!