I was ready to throw out my post treatment fitness goals this week as my expectations of improvements to my fitness have had to be downgraded to “It will take you twice as long as what you hoped it would, and then some.”
There has been six weeks of training post treatment; some walking, swimming, riding, and running. There was the dream of completing a sprint distance triathlon in January which I did last year a week after I was diagnosed and blogged about here. The symbolism of returning to this event is to say, I am back. One year on. I am here.
Unfortunately, it might be a bit of a stretch for me given I am still struggling a bit with low haemoglobin after all that has endured in 2013. I will have to decide in a few weeks if it will be possible. People have said to me “There is always next year!” But it matters to me. I feel like my life is “on the clock” so to speak and I want to achieve as much as I can.
I’m learning to face the limits of my recovery, but I’ve been a bit down about this.
Then tonight, I felt like laying on the couch but Mr Cool convinced me to come with him to the pool. There are so many benefits to swimming freestyle after a lymph clearance of the axilla, such as… increasing range of motion in the shoulder, increasing strength, improving the lymphatic flow by movement through the water with the use of hydrostatic pressure on the limb. So beneficial. But I felt like going home.
The breeze was cold and the pool was not at all inviting. I sat shivering on the edge and thought why am I bothering? Then, I kid you not, I got laughed and pointed at by some super fast and skinny swim squad kids. I’m not sure if it was my very thin and receding post chemo hairline, or my gloriously voluptuous, steroid infused thighs? Was more likely to be my incredible plastic breasts. I’m sure!
This attempt to humiliate me, motivated me to dive into the freezing water and swim a kilometre.
Don’t mess with me kiddies! There is no room for shame and no room for quitters after what I have been through!