Mark Ormrod 2017 Invictus Games Toronto Canada Indoor Rowing Credit Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images
Mental Health

Mark Ormrod And How His Attitude Of Gratitude Is Keeping Him Positive

"Despite missing three limbs, I am fortunate ..."

Mark Ormrod 2017 Invictus Games Toronto Canada Indoor Rowing Credit Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

Triple amputee Mark Ormrod has been speaking about how he is keeping himself and his family positive during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The former Royal Marines Commando stood on an improvised explosive device on Christmas Eve in 2007 while on a routine patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

He lost both of his legs above the knee and his right arm above the elbow. 

"I died in the back of that helicopter and so I know how quick things can change and how quick it can all be over." 

Mark's experience gives him a particular perspective on the importance of cracking on when life gets you down. 

But how does Mark stay positive? 

Since the government-imposed Coronavirus lockdown, Mark has discovered that routine is everything, as he explained to Verity Geere and Richard Hatch on BFBS Radio: 

“Getting up at the same time every day, even if I don’t have anything to do. Just keeping that consistent routine.” 

Invictus Games 2017 Team UK Indoor Rowing Training Mark Ormrod CB
Mark training hard for the 2017 Invictus Games

Every weekday, Mark makes sure he spends at least 30-45 minutes exercising on his hand cycle to get his heart rate up. Then his attention diverts to his kids' education. He said: 

“Then go straight into half a day of home schooling and then just have some fun. 

“We’re quite lucky where we are. We live in a little quiet cul-de-sac so there aren’t many people coming in and out so we can go out on the front garden have picnics, water fights, that sort of stuff.” 

Dave Watson and Mark Ormrod with Union Flag at Invictus Games 2018 in Sydney 221018 CREDIT PA
Credit: AAP/PA Images/Craig Golding

Mark was the first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict and was told he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Since then, the former Royal Marine has gone on to become a husband, a father of three, an author, a motivational speaker and an 11-times Invictus Games medalist. 

What keeps him going? 

“I think it’s gratitude really. Sitting here, despite missing three limbs, I am fortunate enough to have access to the best technology in the world, world-class prosthetics, a great support network around me. 

“I’ve got a great job working for the Royal Marines charity that keeps me focused, motivated and gives me a purpose. 

“So, it’s just focusing on the real good things in my life rather than the bad things.” 

Mark has been reflecting on all the positive experiences he and his family have shared together because of COVID-19. It is this way of thinking that helps to keep his spirits up. He said: 

“We’ve got so much done, stuff that you don’t normally get the chance to do because of life - work, school and all those other things. 

“[Because of COVID-19] we’ve spent plenty of time together. 

“When we were restricted to where we could go, we went out in the car for a mystery tour. 

“Just having mini-adventures to get the kids out.” 

Pictures: August 2019

Mark says that the coronavirus pandemic has taught him to slow down.

Before the lockdown, he was always “running at 100 miles per hour with work and commitments and social media” but now he can see the value in spending quality time with his family. He said: 

“It’s been nice to slow down, smell the roses.

"We’ve been on bike rides and that kind of stuff which we don’t usually get the time to do. 

“It has been terrible for a lot of people, but we are fortunate in that we haven’t been massively affected and we just try to enjoy the positives.”