What were your symptoms? How did you get fit? And, where did you start? are the top questions I get asked.
So, where did I start? How did I manage to go from struggling to walk up steps to being able to complete an Ironman?
I started off with tiny challenges. I would try and walk down the road every day, bearing in mind this was less than a mile long. Once I started managing this, I gradually started to increase the distance. I took each day as it came and listened to my body. The last thing I wanted to do was over do it and end up going back into hospital because I had been reckless.
The hardest part is starting, it is tough and especially that first bit of exercise, but once your base fitness starts to go up everything else gets easier and you start to enjoy yourself. The trick is to set yourself a dream e.g. run 10 k, then set yourself realistic targets to get there. For me, I had the dream to get back to my level of fitness I had before going into hospital. My first target was to walk a mile without feeling out of breath. Another target was take the steps whenever I had the opportunity. Which seemed to work a trick when I went back for check ups at the hospital, instead of taking the lift I made myself walk up 1000000 flights of steps. So, these were a few goals I set myself which helped.
Once I had finished my treatment, I was allowed to go into surgery and have my Hickman line taken out. This was a dream come true because once this was out it meant it was only a certain amount of time until I could go for a swim. You all probably know me well enough now, that if I could live underwater then I would. Being able to swim would turn out to be a catalyst on getting fit again. I had missed swimming so much that I dreamt about it, as soon as I was allowed to swim I made sure I went as often as I could. Again I started of with small goals, firstly I joined in with the last 5 minutes of water polo training. I use the words joined in very loosely. Then I would try and do a few lengths, this was all to reach my goal of playing national league water polo again.
I tried and put some muscle back on so I hired a Personal Trainer who specialises in cancer patients. This helped me massively because I didn’t want to outdo myself. I had been going to the gym every day before I was ill and had started to throw iron around for fun. At my present state I wouldn’t have even been able to lift those weights of the floor no matter try and press them. I knew I was not going to get back to the strength I was straight away, but everything was doing started to take shape and deliver results.
Once I had increased my base fitness and strength this is when the dream of an Ironman came to mind. And now the rest is history.
If you are looking to get fitter, the keys points I would take away are; 1. Set yourself a dream. 2. Give yourself realistic goals to get there. In this instant slow and steady does win the race. 3. Be disciplined, not everyday will feel like your hard work is paying off and you must not get down heartened but I promise you, if you stick at it you will start seeing results. Finally, 4 . If you have no idea where to start get up and go for a walk now. If you want it badly enough then you will do it, if you don’t then its not your priority. Once it becomes your priority you will see results.
If you have any questions please contact me on social media or email.