Resilience through running – Rocket’s story
My name is Rodney Cottam, my friends call me Rocket. I’m an ex-military man of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Australian Army, having served over four years. And running is my tonic.
In 2004 I was on my way to barracks in my hometown, Sydney, when I was in a motor vehicle accident. It left me with a number of serious injuries, as well as a long-term condition called Brachial Plexus Palsy that permanently paralysed my left arm. In the blink of an eye, I went from being an elite soldier, in the best physical shape possible, to completely losing all movement and feeling in my left arm, from shoulder to fingertips.
My military and prior high-level sporting experiences had already instilled a sense of resilience in me, which at this defining moment helped me make a crucial decision: to accept what had happened, move on and continue to live my best life.
“When we believe in ourselves, we are capable of so much more than we think. We can push ourselves, physically and mentally, way past any perceived threshold. And this journey—this commitment to ourselves—is an incredibly special and rewarding one.” Rodney Cottam
run, rocket, run
I’d always loved running, but after the accident it was a challenge as I had no strength or support in my shoulder joint. Over time, I found my balance and rhythm, transitioning from an elliptical machine to a treadmill, then to road and trail running. Eighteen years later, I now run at least five days and up to 100kms per week, and in November 2022 will be embarking on a challenge to run 350kms in 5 days, raising much needed funds for Invictus Australia. The plan is to complete a major challenge each year and participate in ultra-trail events in Australia and around the world under a project called Run Rocket Run.
Our mission is to promote mental and physical resilience through running. Because we are capable of so much more.
The Challenge – 350km in 5 days
I’ll be commencing in the Southern Highlands on NSW, with the finishing line at the top of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest pike. I’ll be completing 70kms per days, running for 10hrs per day. I’ll be supported by two support crew who’ll assist with pacing when I’m tired, food, recovery and preparing for each day. Nothing can be accomplished alone. It is crucial to have the best team around you.
In order to complete my mission, Run Rocket Run has the support of an amazing team of partners; Resimac, Parramatta Land Rover, Whiskey & Friends, Momentum Media, Mountain Culture, SIM Physiotherapy and of course Invictus Australia who we are raising money for.
Follow our Journey