Feeling fit makes me happy
As you are probably noticing, fitness was, and is, a big part of my life, and it has been since i was very young. I was always charging round the house as a child, as a teen i did loads of school sports, and that didn't stop as i went into my twenties. Hey, i was no outstanding athlete as such, i just loved to be active.
Me and school.
I spent more thought and energy on sport at school than any academic lesson. A day at school to me meant what sport was happening that day. Bet i frustrated many teachers, i was always gawping out of the window daydreaming. Only thoughts in my head were 'have i remembered my boots/kit/towel/shorts etc'....thats all school existed for, didn't it???
No wonder my 'O Level' grades were poor. But my winners medals were many. Football, tennis, cross country, track athletics......i had a decent collection.
My fitness strategy
Anyway, i've always done something active. So why this impulse to stress me body, and my mind (and sometimes people close to me)? Well the answer is simple. It feels good, i hope it helps me look good, and essentially its going to help me fight cancer. It does this by making me feel fantastic and believe in myself. I feel positive, and when you feel and think positive then anything can happen.
I see being active and keeping fit as one of my four main anti-cancer weapons. As far as i'm concerned its one thing i can control over the coming years, and i'm confident it will make a significant contribution in my battle. At worst, i'll have loads of fun doing it!
My bodys years of neglect.
Most importantly, its a statement to my body that i'm getting back to near normal. This is what my body wants to feel from me. Can you imagine how confused it is? For many years i've been dumping toxic foods inside it, asking it to perform normally, then it goes into overload and can't take any more (symptoms and diagnosis), then its pelvic area is ripped to pieces and blasted with a kind of microwave....how would you feel??? Not great eh?
If my body could talk it would have spent the last 40 years screaming (never mind chatting) at me. Asking me 'what the hell was i doing to it', eating rubbish, charging round like a headless chicken, stressing out over trivia, rushing but gaining nothing....thats me.
So you may be right to think why is Paul doing all this running and sometimes cycling?. Simple, it sends out the most powerful positive message that i'm fine, and i know my body will respond. This time there's a big difference. I know what i've been doing wrong, and now i'm controlling what i do, and what i eat, and i can already (after just 8 months) tell that me and my body are back in tune. A much better understanding! We are a team again.
So, i've been feeding my body real food (not acidic junk), and now i'm exercising just like i used to, and keeping those dangerous stress levels down. Surprise surprise, my body is responding. We are back in harmony.
Running and cycling (fine weather) are my thing, but i have begun to add other sports in too. A mix of differing types of activities must be good. If you lose interest in one , or if you are like me you are rubbish at some of them, then you've always got another to go to.
A typically week for me:
Running: Normally i run outdoors in any weather, if i can get on the local trails and paths then i do. Much easier on the joints than the tarmac. I go out about 5 times a week (see my London training schedule blog), with another runner a few times, and once a week i attend a running club in Sheffield.
Running is a cheap sport. If you are a starter, just decent running shoes and off you go. You can wear any kit at first, i remember wearing football kit including chunky socks when i first started running. Must have looked a right plonker (kind of like the 118 guys). Sometimes i return from a run totally exhausted, often limping, and not smelling great too. A hot bath soons sorts that out.
Cycling: I cycle now having rediscovered it after 35 years without sitting on a saddle. I realise what an amazing sport ive been missing out on. I've got 3 bikes now: road racer (road only and go fast), a hybrid (trails, roads and paths, and try to go fast), and a mountain bike (recently adopted and yet to get to grips with).
When blasting along on the bike i feel exhilerated. Massive sense of freedom, space, and surrounded often by nature. Autumn and winter i cycle just when i have to. Spring and summer i'm out there about 5 times a week. No matter what age or condition you are in, then i recommend in some way you cycle regularly. It helps with fitness, and feeling positive.
Exercise weights: I go to a local gym to do some weights. Truth is, i should be doing more of this type of exercise. My top half is a bit weak, but doing these static exercises just bores me. The real reason why i'm giving it a go is my surgeon suggested that i try to get rid of as much fat and develop lean muscle. Apparently cancer thrives on fat? so replacing it with muscle sounds sensible to me.
Swimming: My worst sport, i simply dont enjoy it, i do enjoy what it does for me. It does help with all body fitness, it does feel great after a session, and it enables me to enter more triathlons....woohoo!!!! So, i'm going to lie through my teeth now, and tell you i love swimming and suggest you try it. I go once a blue moon, more often if i book another triathlon, which i will ;-)
Finally, an unexpected and new sport that my sporty mate has introduced me to. Badminton. I've always thought this was one sport for the ladies, as it looks too wafty to be a really worthwhile and demanding sport. How wrong was i?? It's fantastic in many ways. All parts of your body will be tested playing this. It seems to have a social side to it (i feel some sports are very individual like running, cycling, swimming) which gives a really happy experience. It's bloomin hard too. The co-ordination needed means that it gets the oxygen and blood pumping round all parts of your body in no time. So, a surprised convert that i am, now plays once a week and despite awaiting my first outright match victory (i lose lots) i probably look forward to this one hour of blood, sweat and tears, more than any other single hour. Have a go. It's brill.
Fight cancer through fitness
So, i guess what i'm trying to say in this blog, is that there are many reasons why maintaining a level of fitness is going to help if you are dealing with cancer. My activities are on this blog, but much simpler, sedate, and relaxed exercises could make a difference to all of us. Just walking the dog, or walking with friends. Maybe spending a bit more time in the garden, or doing voluntary work for someone. All increases fitness levels.
If you're anything like me then you already know it makes you feel good. It sends streams of positive pulses through your mind and round your body. Alongside a decent diet, it energises you. For me, it makes me very happy. It offers a daily sense of acheivement, no matter what i do that day. Those positive vibes have got to be good.
There are many other ways to get our minds and bodies in a positive mode. Keep checking my website, better still, tell me what you are doing? What makes you feel good?