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ClareC is a community member who’s blogging for us about the challenges of getting back into physical activity while living with cancer.
A very poor start to the week but it does improve, so please stick with me on this one! Monday was travelling back from France followed by Tuesday being a day of unpacking, washing, packing again and getting to London where my new base is during the week for my new job. The speed at which I achieved the turn-around surely must count for something? And I did do a lovely walk in Richmond Park with mum in the afternoon with the dogs and had to lean into the winds and push ourselves hard to get forward momentum head on into the driving rain!
Wednesday: This is it, new girl today so a bit nervous and also worried about my timings for a new routine. Alarm goes off at 6am…SNOOZE…well, I can always lessen my run (note I haven’t got the mind frame of just running faster to cover the same distance yet!). However, I amazed myself, Bubbles and I wiggled through the streets, coming out onto the Thames Path and had a lovely jog but still no time to dawdle. Managed close to 3 miles and dodged the rain clouds…today is going to be a good day!
So I arrive at my new work (at a school) and unbeknown to me it was an “inset” day – nothing like being overdressed but amazingly, I had also put some socks on with no holes in them. Why on earth should that matter I hear you say…well, after the initial staff meeting, it was everyone to the Assembly Hall for an hour’s dance lesson – the jive and the waltz. It proved the fact that I have no co-ordination but at least I could take my heels off so I didn’t break my ankle too (breaking the shredder was enough for one day!).
Thursday: Up early again and the same jog, and again OK and again managed to dodge the rain clouds. I even managed a lively leap onto the tube en route to work without having any body parts or clothes / bags the wrong side of the door! I am sure my commuting enthusiasm is just a passing phase!
Friday: A mind battlefield. I just didn’t like jogging…but I still did it. And then my commute to work. I see a bit of a daily challenge unfolding in front of me…the escalator! Now I could just do it in two steps – one on, one off – however, I didn’t so now I can’t ever! Well they say it only takes 24 hours to form a habit but a lifetime to break it?! So, I have no idea how many steps I can do the escalator in as obviously the faster I go the more steps I do but is there a limit?! 46 is the current count (following a 30 and a 42) so I will need to keep putting this one to the test. Oh and I am talking going UP the escalator, I am not counting the down…although still good, that would be cheating?!
Saturday: A return to Parkfit which is great – it really gets me motivated which I need. I arrived a bit early to walk Bubbles first and whilst waiting for everyone to arrive I got thinking…never a good thing! I have found it tough the last few weeks but I think it’s partly a bit of boredom as it’s all getting too much of a routine but also, whilst I am achieving “moving more”, I am not achieving my second goal of losing weight. If I wasn’t wanting to lose weight then I’d be giving myself a pat on the back right now, however I need to now take this to the next level, not only for me but also for you. It is actually a lot tougher than I thought writing a blog for all to see and to hopefully motivate you into being more active – if I get bored then the blog gets boring and then it fizzles out all round. So now I’m scared again…scared? Nervous…no…apprehensive…yes…can I do it? Can I get to the next level of pushing myself?
No more time to think, everyone has arrived and an hour of full on sprinting, boxing, press-ups, rowing squats etc, etc. And then my mouth gets going again…it really is a dangerous habit this talking malarkey…I get chatting to a lovely lady who has been doing Parkfit for a while and it has been a real lifeline to her, getting her active and feeling generally great about herself. She went from “couch to 5K” and is now aiming for a 10K in July and a half marathon next year…so I then hear myself saying (out loud) “Oh, that would be good, I might match your plan”…and before I know it, she has my number and we are paling up and going to get out there and do this…WHY do I open my mouth?! Seriously though, it will be great to have a buddy as I am proving that I am hopeless at exercising alone…it really is a mind game with me as physically, I am currently able to do it (although it does hurt sometimes)…so a pal means no giving up without good reason.
Sunday : Cardio Tennis. I love it and it definitely is a good workout. I was a bit worried to begin with as only 3 of us so that would mean much faster running to get the ball the other end but then more arrived and we were 9 in total…phew. Did I say phew? Wrong! Not phew, it was tough but it helps that I love the cardio tennis so I can handle it without too much fuss!
Off to London straight after tennis to support a friend doing the London Marathon and it certainly gets your blood racing and thoughts flowing…should I do another one?! Well, I vowed never again, but isn’t the saying “never say never”?! We’ll see, a year until the next one! But I was so impressed by all the runners and supporters, an amazing atmosphere and so many charities represented, well done everyone. Right, enough of me…I am revving up for a day off tomorrow – and then I’ll see what the week brings. Keep moving everyone.
If you need some help getting more physically active during or after cancer treatment, download a Macmillan Move More pack.
Clare, you write a great Blog - I always find it really entertaining and you'll be pleased to know, that you have inspired me..... I have just ordered my Move More pack!! I won't be able to match your moves but maybe to just move a bit more would be good....
Good luck in the new job too and take care on those escalators!
Fantastic stuff as ever Clare. You write really well and definitely in a motivational way! You are a very brave soldier with all the jogging/wagging/running - my knees can't take that now. However, I actually let Race for Life pass my lips last week. Might yomp it!
Keep it up my dear (putting me to shame!). Will try and get Grumpy out for a walk this evening....
How can you not lose weight doing all that? I get exhausted reading your blog!!
You should be incredibly proud of yourself! Mrathon? blimey. I can't ever imagine doing that. I am worrying whether I can do this 5km walking haha.
I am looking forward to when I get doing something again, and you do give me ideas of what is out there. I suspect I will stick to my beloved swimming but I will get a plan for the gym... when they let me back near the place. In the meantime, its walking to the nurse every day and reading your blogs! haha
Keep going, you are doing amazingly well!
Little My x
Clare great read you’ve worn me out. Well done keep it up, the pounds will take care of themselves. You are my motivator, when this antibiotic course ends I start cardio rehab. Next Friday. It’s the fitness assessment first, then six weeks twice a week in the gym to get me up and moving well again. Will be following your moves. I’m not sure if the bones will let me run, Maybe swimming.
Sparkler I’ve joined you and registered for a pack, softly softly we will get there. Keep it up Clare look forward to reading your next virtual jog ( :
It's great to hear that some of you have been inspired to get Move More packs and otherwise get moving. I know not everyone can be as energetic as Clare and Julia but the Move More packs let you set goals at your own level - including walking, gardening, or whatever you can manage.
Clare, you're incredible - the things you let yourself in for! As others have said, it's impressive and inspiring but for me too daunting. I think I'll stick to vigorous housework, gardening and walking. Maybe the Move More pack will have some other suggestions for oldies like me?
Hi does anybody know are there any exercises that aren't actually cardio-vascular? I can't imagine there are. I was thinking of trying to swim with a float, because I find I have breathing problems when I use my arms to do anything that involves reaching.
I have secondary lung cancer and a permanent cough, and have problems breathing just climbing up stairs. My head always forgets and I just go for it, and then realise I no longer can. I was wondering who I could ask and just found this :)
Thanks Clare, no problem. I'll let you know if I do try it.
Well Clare. My Move More pack arrived yesterday and I took it out of the envelope..... progress. Then I gave the seeds to my husband to plant.... I'm not sure that counts though!
I opened the pack again and then closed it quickly..... eeek. I'm afraid; very afraid.
Does getting up to make a cup of tea count as moving more? - I suspect not. I promise to read it... soon.
Keep up all your good work.
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