This blog post has been rattling around my head for a few days ~ I wasn’t sure whether it would be appropriate to write this stuff down, however, If I can’t be honest about who I am then what’s the point of trying to help other people be honest with themselves + who they are …
20 years ago, my family suffered a major tragedy where my life literally changed in a split second. Unexpected tragedy/ loss can do that. Just completely + utterly turn your world upside down, inside out, and seemingly make your life STOP… Although it doesn’t stop, it just feels that way. Life continues in an unreal way, twisting+turning with each event that can leave one a changed woman. This is what happened to me anyway. At 21 I was at university my life mapped out before me. On July 2nd 1993 that all changed, and my life became uncertain, stressful + consumed by grief. Without going into too much detail, my beloved brother + father were on their way to see my Nan on a motorbike. They had a crash, which resulted in the death of my brother, and leaving my father severely disabled with a spinal injury. That night I grew up.
20 years later + with the 20th anniversary looming I have been considering the last 20 years of my life. This combined with the fact that my father has been in hospital yet again poorly makes me think long + hard about the decisions that I make on a daily basis to take care of myself.
If I am honest, whenever he is in hospital it brings it home to me with a sharp pain how disabled he is. How helpless he is. The pain of the last 20 years buried in my being comes out again to remind me that yes it IS still there. If I am really honest, my first reaction is to blot it out, in the same way I used to in my early 20’s. ANYTHING to blot it out. Food, alcohol, drugs, no food, fags, sleep, no sleep.. Anything to mask my pain.
In my early 30’s I found exercise. However, not a healthy exercise program. Obsession. This was my NEW way to blot it out… The pain always sitting in the background + run away I did in the literal sense… Run, Box, Jump, Train, Spin, Cycle, *drink, smoke, not eat* Run, Box, jump, Train, Spin, Cycle *drink, smoke, not eat* Clearly this was working???? NO!!
I became ill, and all the pain just came and bit me right in the metaphorical arse “HI YA!!! I’M BACK!!!!” Things needed to change, and change they did 🙂
It wasn’t a quick change, and as I said earlier, my first (and I do mean FIRST) reaction when anyone in my family is ill, is to RUN.. Run, and smoke and not eat (You get the picture). However these last two weeks, I really sat + thought about these last 20 years. Watching my dad SO determined to get better.. so determined to get back to doing his own exercises. Exercising for him means moving his arms backwards + forwards on a zimmer frame, over and over again. His aim is to stand (with aid) for 60 seconds. He can currently (post illness) manage 30 seconds. 30 SECONDS!! Can YOU imagine only being able to stand for 30 seconds with help? Or do you completely take it for granted that you can get up, stand, walk to the kitchen, walk to the shop, walk ANYWHERE in fact, if that is what you chose to do. I know I do! Except when I am faced with his disability, his determination, his strength.
This time, I did train, and kept going. One of my coaches said to me when I was faltering “C’mon Charlie, you have got through worse than this!” I am not sure that he comprehends just how powerful that statement was for me… Hugely powerful. And I did get through it, and yes I have been through worse!
I am sure MOST of you reading this have been through worse than a workout. When you feel like you cannot go on, or that you “can’t do it” remember what you have been through, that you have an amazing body that can move, + jump, + train, + cycle, + box, + run. You can choose to eat the right fuels to make it do those things more efficiently, and you don’t have to take it for granted that you can and should move.
Please do not take your health/ nutrition for granted as you never know when it may be taken from you.
Many of you have said to me “Oh it’s easy for you.. You are SLIM” Ummmh, well no. No it’s not easy for me.. For those doubters among you, this is a picture of me (Not at my largest, but the camera wasn’t my friend)
*LOVELY fashion sense haha!
This is me now.. Age 41..
I work HARD to stay strong, mentally + physically because I do not want to take my body for granted. Now I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I have good + bad days + I fight the urge to self sabotage on an almost daily basis. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I don’t.
So my challenge for you is to get up and move, however that may be – respect your body and what it can achieve, don’t allow yourself to wake up in 20 years and realise that you are stiff, unhealthy, overweight when you could have done something about it.
My challenge to myself is to keep pushing forwards in the best way that I can without falling back to self sabotaging ways..
This was, is, and will be me.
Thank you for reading.