I’ll apologize now for the length of this first blog as there’s bit to cover get to where we are now…
Now the last 18 months has been, well how can I put it. Bollocks. You see I don’t get ill. I’ve never worried about things like getting enough sleep, having enough energy, managing my time. That all changed on the summer of 2012. After being hit with Meningitis I suddenly couldn’t walk up the stairs without getting out of breath. My energy levels plummeted and I felt like I’d turned 85 years old over night. This went on for months before things started to pick up and then bam, rock bottom again. But wait, once again there seemed light at the end of the tunnel. I started to pick up briefly before some bastard slammed the door shut and left me in the dark again. This defiant yo yo carried on for well over a year before the doctor diagnosed Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome.
So what was this P.V.F.S.? Frankly it sounded like a cop out. I say I was diagnosed but in reality, as there’s no definitive diagnosis, they only diagnose it with the absence of all other options. This meant lots of test that all came back clear. Brilliant, I think.
Basically it has the same lasting symptoms of meningitis but with no expiration date, similar to M.E. with the main attributes being chronic fatigue along with a whole host of other nice tag alongs. The kicker was there was no end date. Now I could handle being out for a year if i knew that’s all it was but this felt like torture. You could start to feel better or you may not. You might start to improve but you could then crash again. This could go on for a year, five years or twenty years. It could also be permanent. Awesome.
He offered to refer me to the P.V.F.S. / M.E. team at the local hospital to deal with nutrition, depression, exercise regimes etc etc . To be honest I’d already stopped listening after he’d mentioned the permanent word. I mean I know how to eat, I’m not some couch potato who needs an exercise regime and as for depression. Well, of course I’m gonna me depressed!! I’ve just had my livelihood ripped from me. I mean come on, when all your hobbies and interests revolve around sport and exercise its not going to have you jumping for joy is it?
The next year carried on as the last. I gained weight, became depressed and basically stopped giving a damn. It all felt pretty futile. I mean whats the point in trying to regain some fitness on the highs when the lows come crashing down and take it all away from you again.
January 2014. Enough is enough. I’d been on a low for about the last 4 months. Barely done any exercise. Been on the bike once, at a child’s pace. I felt the lowest I’d ever been and suddenly thought something has got to give.
It suddenly became clear, I need to adapt to survive. I can’t race like I once did, I can’t train like I once did, there must be something though. Then something just clicked. I just needed a reason to get me back out there. I need some new goals. Something to strive for, something to sink my teeth into and really want to achieve. It can’t be any fruitless bullshit though. I don’t do easy, its got to count. I also need something to aim for day to day. If my health is going to carry like this then I need goals that I feel like I’m achieving as I’m going along.
OK let get this on the road. I joined the gym, cardio time. I figured if I can start to regain a base level of fitness then when I start to feel tired, cold, weak I can still keep going inside. The biggest hurdle for me was the weather. We live in blighty you see and when your immune systems floored you can’t just go out in the cold and wet and hope to not catch whatever bug is flying around. You will and you’ll just feel even worse for the next month. I can do the gym though. I can sit on static bike in a nice warm gym and even if I knock out 5km in an hour at least I’d be doing something, right??