This certificate arrived in the post yesterday – a stark reminder of how far I’ve fallen over the past 12 months. This time last year I was preparing to compete at the Track World Championships in Italy. Today, in my post-chemo haze, it has taken me two hours to have a shower and get dressed. I am shattered.
Shattered, but not yet broken. Whilst I’ve had to shelve some of the sporting ambitions I’d set for myself this year (learning to run and competing in a triathlon following a successful initial try-out with British Para Triathlon), I’ve set myself new ones. They are small steps, tiny targets and would have seemed pathetic just a couple of months ago: get outside every day, even if it’s just to limp to the end of the road; do half an hour on the bike indoors on ‘good days’; keep going to my weekly Pilates and Physio appointment whenever possible.
My power numbers on the bike are paltry, I can barely lift half the weight I managed before on the leg press, and my arms start to shake after a few minutes at Pilates. It’s a humbling experience – to accept the loss of physical strength, and keep going anyway.
But when you’re at your lowest ebb, there are always people there to scoop you back up. And this week I have to thank my brilliant physiotherapist Elise and personal trainer Alex at Lear Fitness Harrogate for encouraging and supporting me – even when yesterday’s session was carried out with a sick bucket in reach – just in case.