All About Peter Roome
Creator of Sisu
Loves to Run: 10k, Triathlons and Cycling
What is the mission of your project?
My project Sisu, creates art from your exercise data.
Every day we train with grit and determination. Now it is time to stand tall and be proud of what we have achieved; the hills we have climbed, the segments we have conquered and the personal bests we have smashed.
Sisu allows you to connect your Strava account to design beautiful, bespoke prints to hang on your wall at home, in all their glory.
How did you become involved with rugby and football?
I am a sports addict.
From the earliest age I can remember loving football (soccer). I would carry a ball everywhere I went, either bouncing it or kicking it. From the age of 10, I was introduced to Ruby by my dad. I have always been of a very solid build (currently 98kg), but I am relatively mobile with it. For those reasons I excelled at rugby far more than I did at football.
As I grew up, I played more and more rugby. Aged 16, I was playing school rugby, club rugby, county (is that like state in the US?!) and was later selected to play Eastern Counties rugby (East of England). For a couple of years I was training 5 times a week and often playing 2 games too.
Have you ever endured a serious injury in your athletic career?
Fast forward a couple of years, whilst playing a game of 5-a-side football, I injured my knee and was immediately taken to hospital. The doctors diagnosed the injury as a bad twist and recommended I rest my knee for 6 weeks.
After resting for that period I began to ramp up my exercise again; running, going to the gym and playing football. The pain in my knee persisted and further resting did not seem to help. I had to give up playing my favorite sports, football and rugby, it was just too painful.
How did you overcome your knee-injury?
The four years that followed my injury, I took up cycling. Cycling impacted my knee far less and was much more enjoyable.
What are your most memorable moments cycling?
In this time, I took part in a number of self-organized adventures.
I cycled from London to Paris and this was quickly followed by a ride from London to Barcelona. However much I enjoyed cycling, I still missed playing team sports, particularly football. I decided another diagnosis was in order and revisited the hospital.
What happened after having your knee-injury reevaluated?
After a number of scans, it was concluded that I had ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee - a relatively major injury. The conclusion was that I would need surgery to correct the problem.
Under the doctor’s recommendations, I opted first for keyhole surgery to tidy up the torn meniscus in my knee. I recovered from this surgery and worked hard on strengthening my knee, but continued to experience the pain I had experienced previously.
The only option left was reconstruction of the ligament - an operation that would leave me unable to exercise fully for up to a year. I went for the surgery and everything went as well as it could have done. It was up to me now to work on my recovery and get my knee back into the best shape that I could.
How did you heal, after having reconstructive surgery?
I focused on doing everything within my power to strengthen and condition my knee; visits to the gym, HIIT sessions in the park, swimming and then slowly increasing to cycling and later to running.
Once I started running and cycling again, I decided to record my activities using Strava. About 6 months in, I felt it was time for some reflection. I wanted to see how much I had achieved since my surgery: what distances I had covered and how my times had improved.
Using my programming skills (I'm a web developer), I decided to download my Strava activities and play around with visualizing the data. I decided upon a design, had it printed and posted it on Instagram. I was instantly met with some wonderful comments of support. Sisu was born!
You are very impressive, recovering from surgery and creating Sisu. How do you feel presently?
I have recovered well from my knee surgery. I am still running, cycling and even playing football again (but avoiding rugby to mitigate the risk of injuring myself again).
Since my recovery I have completed my first triathlon. I took part in a 10km race as part of the Midnight Marathon event which is an event 1000km inside the Arctic Circle and starts at midnight, despite the time is in complete daylight.
I continue to cycle self-organized adventures. Some of my favorite cycle-rides include riding from Gothenburg, Sweden to Copenhagen in Denmark. The Coast2Coast ride I did earlier this year in the UK. Also cycling from London to Paris again, but this time in under 24 hours.
Photography, courtesy of Peter Roome.
Please read more about Sisu in our interview ALL ABOUT SISU
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