This week, walking has taken a back seat. Sadly, much of life has taken a back seat! After our return from the fabulous tour of Andalusia my back ‘went’. I’m not sure if it was walking up (and down) the cobbled hills in Granada, or the hours in a small car driving back to Albufeira, but either way, my back decided that it had had enough!
I have to admit that I have found it incredibly frustrating. I’m not very good at sitting still, nor am I particularly patient. I like things that go in a few days, not things that take ages to clear up, so I suspect I have not been the easiest of patients this week. The thing that has frustrated me the most is not being able to make the most of our remaining time in Portugal. Again, it has forced me into a situation where I have had to think about where I am heading and what I actually want to achieve.
Earlier on in the week a friend of mine posted this cartoon on Facebook from the Awkward Yeti.
It summed up my position precisely! I know that running isn’t good for me, but I persist in doing it because I love it, knowing that I will get injured and end up back at square one. I know that wine is not good for me, that it makes me feel like I am walking through treacle, and gives me horrendous headaches. I know I have been saying this is only after one or two glass – but these are Portuguese glasses, so probably two or four in reality. So why do I keep drinking it? I know that eating fatty, sugary food is not good for me – yet I continue to eat it. For some reason when I realised there was an issue around big milky lattes in Seville, I had no problem giving up milk on the spot – but why do I find it so hard to give up in other areas.
For the time being, I do seem to have been struck by a lightening bolt and I have started to take things a little more seriously. I had my last glass of wine on 28th September 2017. I didn’t want to undertake a long drive with a dull head. And I’ve not been tempted to have a glass of wine since. This is very much helped by the fabulous soda and lime drinks that our local bar man prepares for me! I’ve also signed up for Sober October. I do struggle with the concept of getting sponsorship for my efforts – but I will donate to Macmillan Cancer Support at the end of the month. So far, just 10 days in, have there been any changes? I would say that I wake up more easily and am brighter in the mornings than I was. Sadly, due to back issues, I’m not sure about the benefits to exercise – as I haven’t been able to do any!
I have made a commitment to try more gentle forms of exercise. At the end of this week we are returning to Bristol until Christmas, which provides me a fair chunk of time to try an alternative approach to my exercise. I am hoping to focus on yoga, body balance, swimming and walking. I am even tempted to throw my trainers out so that I can’t be tempted to run. AT ALL! That does seem a bit extreme, but ultimately it may be what I need to do to maintain good health. I have found a great yoga session for bad backs on YouTube. I’ve started following Yoga with Adriene. I really like her, partly because she spends quite a lot of time explaining how you should get into and out of poses, what you should be feeling and probably more importantly what you shouldn’t be feeling. I am starting to enjoy the slowness of yoga, the breathing and the time it takes, as opposed to the huffing, puffing and pounding that is running! It is slowly making a difference, my back is getting easier – just nowhere near as quickly as I would like it to!
I have had the opportunity to think and reflect on what I want to achieve. I have done triathlons, I’ve done a half marathon (resulting in subsequent cycle of injuries) and I’m not sure I want to do them again. I have no particular desires to be thin, nor do I particularly crave completing big challenges at this point in time. What I really want is to be healthy. Healthy, relaxed and free. Free from pain being a really big motivator at the moment! Part of the reason for creating this blog was to chart my journey back to happiness. I am currently in the middle of yet another false start, but once I am up and moving again, I need to remind myself of my aim – to walk back to happiness, not run, or race – and that enjoyment is a key part of that journey. More importantly I need to listen to my brain – it knows what’s best for my body!