One step forward, two steps back?
I had a great week off last week. It was about time I had some real time off rather than the multiple sick days I seem take each month. I had an excellent final rehearsal with the band before we played a gig on Saturday at a local bar. It went great, and I was surprised at my stamina and energy levels throughout. Earlier in the week, I had zipped down to Bude on the bike whilst the weather was good. It was the best ride I’ve had yet on my Yamaha. Winding roads, long straights, bright sunshine; it’s the kind of stuff every biker dreams of. Rarely have I felt more alive than during parts of that ride.
My Yamaha Fazer 600cc
Bude was busy…
Also on my week off, I went for what was the longest road bike ride I’ve had since falling ill. My housemate wanted me to show him so local rides that I used to do out in the countryside. I considered the impact it might have, but I felt in good shape so I accepted. We probably only did about 6 miles, but the terrain undulated with some steep climbs. One hill in particular used to challenge me when I was fitter, so I did wonder what it would do to me now. As soon as I hit the climb I settled down into a good and slow rhythm. I made it up with room to spare and it was a real triumph. The rest of the ride was fantastic, with gorgeous views over the Exeter countryside.
And this week?
I’ve had a shit week. Monday I worked up until early afternoon where I crashed. Tuesday was then a write-off, as is today. But don’t be misled. Although I’m feeling rough inside (and probably look it from the out!), I am feeling surprisingly upbeat.
In a moment of desperation, the other day I Googled: “CFS I’m going crazy”. Lots of websites were shown; mostly with people asking questions about the illness and what they can do. Amongst the myriad of results was a Tumblr blog by a fellow sufferer. In it, she talks about “small victories” with CFS - everyday results for people who are in good health, but big wins for people with chronic fatigue.
This got me thinking about my small victories on my journey so far. I have mentioned three of them already so far in this post: getting back on the bike, being able to periodically ride my road bike, and getting back with my old band and gigging. These are three big wins for me. I questioned all of them at the time. Can I afford a bike? Will I have the strength to ride it? Do I have enough energy for the band? I couldn’t find any answers.
Other wins? I continue to be able to work, just about. I purchased a drum kit at the beginning of the year and satisfied a long-time goal to play. I play most days and continue to improve. I have learnt to be a lot kinder to myself. But perhaps one of biggest wins so far, is that I’m looking beyond the illness. This week, I’ve thought about what I’ll do when I get better that I can’t do now.
Boxing has long since been one of my favourite sports, and I’m big into training and keeping fit, so I have decided when I’m better, I will join the local club to train. I have also decided I would like to join the local triathalon club too. If anything, both will be a good social crack, but I love a challenge, and I think I’ll enjoy both disciplines.
I say it’s the biggest win because I’m looking past the illness. I’m not getting as down as I was about feeling rough. I’m accepting it at any given time. I know I’ll get better. Even though we’re suffering, we can still learn and do new things. We can also still do the old things we used to do in moderation too.
What has your latest win been?
Check out: http://runandgames.tumblr.com/