Tag Archives: natural remedy

Michael Finnegan

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That’s me at the moment. Michael Finnegan, begin again.

All that work I put into getting fitter – GONE.  Hello, Square One, my old friend.

I mean, I have been walking a lot, and briskly too, to get my allotted amount of exercise per day, but as I said before, the bronchitis and lack of efficient breathing ability kind of poleaxed me.   As a result, I had a couple of weepy days last week.  I’d like to say that I do the exercise because I just love it! But we all know that’s only partly true.  Okay, It’s as true as somebody sticking their head around the door and shouting ‘true!’ into the room before vanishing quickly.

The main reason I want to do this is fear… Fear of going downhill again.  And trust me, that’s a place I never, ever want to go again. Ever. Well, you get the idea.  And if rigorous exercise every day can help prevent it, then sign me up, pal.

Of course there is another, annoying reason… Remember me saying about the weight I’ve put on?  Well, I’m hoping to ditch that along the way too. It’s not nice when bending forward in a yoga pose and your stomach gets in the way. It heads for my spine and decides to squash into my diaphragm and – hello! – breathing problems and hilarity ensue.

So I decided to start gently again with the run. When I can keep going for more than a minute at a time, then I’ll pick up the Strava app again, but for now I’m using the “Couch to 5K” app.  Excellent.  A kind, non-patronising voice talks you through the entire session, and it even allows you to play a playlist en route – it quietens the music down when she needs to speak.  I’m only on the first week at the moment, so I’m at the ‘couch’ end of the spectrum.  Actually, today was the first day, so I’m more at the ‘plumping the cushions’ stage.

Funny, but the old me would have been horrified to be out, in public, in daylight, running. But it’s amazing what having your entire personality deconstructed can do for you. Hey, dog-walkers! Lovely day! Hi there, runners! Going great guns there! How’s it hanging, cyclists? Lovely day, isn’t it! They’re on their own journey, just as I am.  And we’re all at different points. And that’s just fine.

The old me would have run on the spot for months indoors first.  This is how it would have worked back then.  Or rather, these would have been my perceptions..

I go running – everyone stares at me in horror.

I wear my proper running gear – “Does she think she can run or something? She looks ridiculous.”

I don’t wear my proper running gear – “What does she think she looks like?”

I run slowly – “Look at that heffalump.”

I run fast – “Is Greggs having a sale on doughnuts, love?”

You see, the way my little brain was working before, you can clearly tell that there was no way I was going to win.

The depression has done me a favour, in a weird way..

I don’t care what people think.  I don’t actually know what they’re thinking, but I assume they have their own little dramas going on in their heads. They are probably no more horrified at me (or even noticing me!) than I am envious of the trotters than skim past me effortlessly.  We’re all on the same path. Paranoia can be awfully ego-centric, n’est-ce pas?

“Yes, I’m RUNNING!  Whoop!   Fresh air!”

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Moves like Jagger

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I didn’t run the other day and do you know what? I almost missed it. Almost. In fact after less than two weeks I now have started looking forward to my every-other-day run. I mean, I am actually starting to look forward to my run. And when I really, really start looking forward to it, it’s at that point that I’ll probably start to miss it when I don’t do it.

So the next day out I went, quite gleefully although I almost didn’t make it. The air was bitterly cold. That’s a problem if you happen to be asthmatic, as I am. I don’t suffer from asthma as such, but my respiratory track can be quite the little diva at times. At one point, I’m fairly sure my left lung started singing “Do you want to build a snowman?”

But I trudged on relentlessly. Luckily (I think), I’d gone for a sugar rush breakfast of grapes and pineapple. Too much pineapple, as it turns out… My lips sort of swelled up till I looked like I was doing a Mick Jagger impersonation. Luckily, no moves like Jagger though. Let me explain… in our house the phrase “Moves like Jagger” is not a reference to the song, but a description of that knee-rubbing, thigh-clenching walk you tend to do when you make your way desperately to the toilet. You can’t unthink it…

I admit I did pick up pace while passing a pair of much fitter joggers, although I had to stop halfway to deal with muscles screaming for rest. This is what a year of medication, depression, little exercise, and no running results in!

Still using Strava app. Brilliant. Wondered why it wasn’t telling me how far I was running the other day. Turns out the volume was down too low. But probably just as well –  if I had passed the fit joggers looking like I’d just run a Marathon and then a cheery voice booms out “half a kilometre!”, it would have been very embarrassing.

So, today I went to see the doctor who commented on my ear-to-ear grin. Okay, perhaps not so much that, but definitely the fact that I seemed much happier and steadier from what she saw a couple of months ago. She asked the basic questions … How much do I drink? Nothing (Word Of Wisdom!). How much exercise was I getting? At least an hour a day: running, cycling and yoga. She then said something that startled me: “This is better than any medicine I could give you.” I wasn’t startled to hear the words, as much as I was startled to hear a doctor use them. And then I remembered, I have a very cool doctor.

And then, the best thing I’ve hard in ages – I can start decreasing my dosages. Woohoo! Watch out world, an unmedicated me will be with you in the next few months. Time for you to batten down the hatches, emigrate or whatever you feel necessary!

So, after that twin delight of news, I went home the extremely long way, and when I finally hit the river path, I thought, “Stuff it. I’ll run the rest of the way!” Possibly not the best idea with walking boots, rucksack and fleece but what the heck, I did it. In fact, I can now say I am halfway to my goal, which was to do this very distance, there and back.

Onwards and upwards!