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  • Writer's picture Irina

Me, Myhealth and I

Family run - March 20, 2021

Doug rarely complains. He just gets on with things and he does it with style. His positive outlook is something I admire and his simple but very efficient way of looking at things “no point moaning about it. It is what it is, let’s make the most of it and improve it if we can”. When I was getting to know him, I took this to mean he didn’t care enough or take things seriously. I couldn’t be further from the truth…When his knee started playing up after Christmas, he didn’t complain. You’d never know he was in pain. He carried on as normal and took a few pain killers now and then. When it got to the point where it was too painful to run, he stopped running, sought medical advice and followed it. He went from running 50km a week to nothing. Dog walking became his only exercise and time for mindfulness. Did he complain? Never. Was he less encouraging or engaged when it came to my running? Never. Did he get upset when it became clear that he would miss all the races he signed up including the marathon? Yes, for sure he was upset and sad, but in a Doug sort of way which is more positive than not.

A few days ago he made the decision to have the knee operation he needs in May and in the meantime he got a cortisone injection to ease the pain and allow him some activity until then. On Saturday morning, he got up really early, full of excitement like a boy with a new bike and he got ready to go out for a run. The first one in a long time. The cortisone had kicked in and he was ready to give it a go and see how he felt. We took the dogs and went down to the river path for a gentle run. He couldn’t wait. It was only then I realised just how much he had been suffering all this time. Physically and mentally. To see him so exhilarated, happy and bursting with joy just to be out and able to run, was strong evidence of how much he had missed it. Being able to run means so much to him. It means being healthy.

Pure Joy - March 20 2021

I am running again!

Health. The most precious word I can think of and losing it the scariest thing I can think of. Sometimes even the thought that something is wrong or the waiting time for test results can be so overwhelming with dark thoughts racing through my mind. Doug calls it catastrophising. I call it, it’s-only-normal-Doug-I-can’t-help-it-. I guess I am no different to most people having taken health for granted when I was younger and appreciating it more and more as I get older. Why is that? Is it because I see many people around me struggling with health? Is it because I’ve had a few health scares of my own and I realised, to my amazement, that I am not invincible? Whatever the reason may be, I do more and more things to protect and promote my health and the health of my loved ones. Better eating and drinking habits, sleeping, being outdoors, managing stress, exercising, running, all of it is done with health in mind. I am happy to spend more time and money on food shopping to get better quality. I am open to exploring new eating habits (should I become more vegetarian?), I want to get better at work-life balance. I want to be less angry and more constructive. I want all things healthy but I don’t want boring. And I need the naughty things as well to keep life interesting!

Running and exercising is, in my head, proof that I am healthy. Believe it or not, I need exercise, if nothing else for that reason. I think to myself, if I can make it through Liz’s and Lindsey’s classes in one piece, then surely I must be healthy and if I can run, run, run and then run some more, there can’t be anything seriously wrong. Yes, I know that is not entirely true, but it keeps me moving and that in turn keeps me healthy so why break a virtuous cycle, hey? When I am out running huffing and puffing, I actively think of these things. Come on Irina, you’re healthy, you’ve got no excuse to give up now. Be grateful that your legs are strong enough to carry you around. That your lungs are pumping the air that you need. That your muscles and nerves are all working in harmony, following the orders your brain is sending out. That your eyes and your ears make the experience come alive. Come on, keep running, stay healthy…

I am running too!

I admire and massively respect people I know who are living with long-term health issues. Especially when I think that if I have a bad back for a few days, it makes me so bloody miserable. I won’t pretend to know what it is like to have a long-term condition, but it must take a lot of courage and determination to live with pain every single day. I also respect the emotional maturity and inner strength required to have to rely on others to care for you. The thought of being told what I can and can’t do fills me with dread and it takes an elevated state of mind to accept that. The love for life some people have is their most powerful tool. Day in and day out it drives people to push through and live life to the fullest despite the difficulties. I applaud this, would like to learn from it. For what it’s worth, I secretly dedicate my most difficult runs to anyone I know is going through a tough time.

Admiring is good but lately I feel it’s not enough, so to use a colourful expression, I will put my money where my mouth is and try raising funds for a good cause! A few weeks ago, I decided to run the Brighton Half Marathon on the 26th of June. I thought it would be the best practice run for the Brighton Marathon I am running in September. Living just outside Brighton, I know the city relatively well but have little experience running-wise and anything to make the route more familiar is welcome… Doing the Half, means I will get an idea of what it feels like to run the streets of Brighton in advance of the Big M.

The only entries available where through charity organisations and I immediately thought, that the only thing better than running a half marathon is running a half marathon while helping a charity! I signed up with Macmillan Cancer Support which is an amazing charity supporting cancer patients, providing emotional, physical and financial support. Their motto is “We do whatever it takes” (what a great motto!!) and the Macmillan team includes millions of people affected by cancer, supporters, professionals, volunteers and campaigners. I want to be one of them and I want to help as much as I can.

What's better than running? Running for a good cause!

To manage donations I have set up a page with JustGiving who handle the fundraising logistics and transfer the funds directly to Macmillan.

I will run this race the best that I can and I will enjoy it as much as I can and I will do so for everyone I know who has been impacted by cancer.

For every battle won, lost, ongoing, I will put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I

I will do whatever it takes.

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4 комментария

23 мар. 2021 г.

Go daug go !Be strong!.,

25 мар. 2021 г.
Ответ пользователю

Thank you Errieta - aiming to be back running in time for next year’s marathon.... :-)


22 мар. 2021 г.

You give me strength ,faith and hope that every thing is going to be all right ...thank you irina


22 мар. 2021 г.

It seems like running is an inner search, self-improving process for you Irinaki. Running is soothing and comforting for you and others. Do the best that you can do, and it would be enough. Proud of you always

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