Work and Play

It was a concern to me, and I should imagine others – well – how does this affect what you can do? The answer is that it effects this a bunch… but it is all very much comparative. Shortness of breath, slow pulse, at times feeling a little faint, unable to push yourself for prolonged periods.  But it needs perspective – stick with me a moment and try and put my personal experiences into some kind of relatable frame.

Did I get puffed like an asthmatic ant while trying to walk up to the top of a 1800ft hilltop with family and friends this weekend? Sure I did. Did I push on, yup. Was I walking faster than my featherweight seven-year-old – also yes. Father points – check.

Did I also have a number of occasions where situations during my working day caused me to skip beats and hesitate? Sure. But hey – sometimes these are healthy reminders to stop, take a moment and ‘measure twice cut once’ – after all – it’s not like I have been doing this for almost 20 years now? Indeed. So what the hell is a flutter here and there? Meh. It’s not even touching the sides of indigestion let alone those afflicted with the dreaded man-flu!

Have I been relegated to B-Group rides whenever I head out cycling with others – yup. Does that sting like hell. Sure – dropped – alone – unable to keep up, others waiting for proper chunks of time. No one wants to be that person – no one wants that forced on them.

But in redressing that balance lets take a wider view on that. I have been swimming twice this week covering over two miles at a relaxed pace… this week arms – with a float wedged between my legs to keep them still.

After some serious reframing of the picture, I am enjoying the attitude of the B Group rides. Realising you are chemically ‘rev limited’ and don’t respond quickly to changes of gradient simply highlights the application of my personal preference for slow grinding watts on the flats and neuromuscular efforts sprinting for signs are still possible. Embrace being a diesel engine.

On the stationary bike – I have put in three and a half hours of TrainerRoad sessions over three days this week. The program is based on your calculated FTP – so the sessions are interval based, and periodized within that scale – achievable within your new limits. Capacity already growing and the reasuring familiarity of dull leg ache returns.

As for work – I believe its also safe to say that I have had one absent day in the last year due to it – after being up all night at the hospital. Pffft – people have longer off with a stomach bug! Weaklings!

Medication will set a bunch of limits on things. It will also protect you. It is a fine balance. So do not be so quick to write off your abilities or the abilities of others. What you can do WILL change, what you think you can do will go down in flames – but do not write yourself off. You simply need to assess your situation, get sound advice, find likeminded souls and press on. You can find your new limits – learn when it is okay to take a day out (and ACCEPT THAT IS A NECESSITY as part of the journey) – refocus on your goals and go ‘do all the things’.

How many of my colleagues have done any exercise this week? Cardio? Strength? Cross? Let alone structured programme, or goals? Right. That is probably going to be a no…. in my line of work. So take your judgements about yourself, or me, put them in a tiny box, and throw them in the sea where even Jaques Cousteau or the dude from Alien would have an issue finding them.

/me steps down off of soapbox.

Seriously. Perspective. Informed professional advice. Anecdotal sources such as this. Do not write yourself off. Do what you can, when you can. You are lapping everyone on the couch or sitting in front of a computer. Live.

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