• Paul

30-day movement-fitness challenge COMPLETED


I can honestly say, it did not go according to plan and many lessons were learnt, BUT I am proud that I have met my goal but not in 30 consecutive days!


It has been a journey in 3 parts, at the start I hated it, then I loved it, then I fell victim to fibro flare ups and then I endured it to the end!






Has the experience given me what I had hoped for? NO


It has given me MORE.


To my genuine surprise, even when loathing doing the exercise, I know it has done me good, that has encouraged me to keep trying.


WHAT I HAVE LEARNT IS:

  • I can set a goal and achieve it one way of another

  • Flare ups are not the end of the world, a pain in the posterior yes, but not the end of what you want to do.

  • Flare ups are molehills, NOT MOUNTAINS

  • Rest is important and I have underrated that a great deal

  • Exercise is not an enemy; it is a friend even though it feels otherwise at times

  • Water and being hydrated is soooo important

  • Eating properly is vital to controlling the body, pain and fatigue

WHAT HAS CHANGED

  • I can not quite believe my ability to walk has improved so much. I can now keep a good steady pace and not stop every few minutes. I feel strength in my legs that I have not had for many years. The most important thing about this improvement is, I don’t have to think and plan where I am walking as much. Normally I would think about how many inclines there are, stairs, hills etc along with what shops I could pop into for a break or is there somewhere to rest. It has given me more freedom. My next challenge is to walk up Butser Hill hear Petersfield, but that will be sometime in the future.

  • My attitude to flare ups has changed. Yes, they are still a massive inconvenience and a nightmare, but they are because of my increase in activity and therefore can be justified in my mind. Flare ups are inevitable, they are part of my life but now I can justify them to myself. Yes, they will always happen and have become more frequent because of the 30-day challenge. I hope in time, they will settle down as I continue to exercise.

  • The general sense of not being well and getting minor coughs and colds has decreased and I feel healthier on the inside, if that makes sense. I feel I am expelling the horrible toxins from my body and replacing them with a new energy.

  • Balance has increased as I have worked on my centre of gravity and realised my left side is so much weaker than the right. Focusing attention on overall body balance together with isolating the left side and working on building strength and stamina has helped. This is ongoing as I do not feel the left and right sides are equal.

  • Belief in myself has changed. I don’t doubt my bodies ability as much and that makes me feel I can believe and trust in myself and my ability more. I hope in time this grows as I exercise more.

Putting distance between being a victim of health circumstances and being in more control has done a great deal for my overall confidence. Generally, I feel more competent, energised, stronger and more able.

This is a massive change to where I once was 3 years ago, unable to walk without crutches, spending days in bed in pain, unable to talk because of medications, totally fatigued all the time, unable to sleep for 48 hours at a time and basically not wanting to be on earth.


The last 3 years have been a HUGE JOURENY and one I would find difficult to repeat if I had to, tenacity and stubbornness only last so long.


If anyone else is wanting to do more exercise and feel they can’t, YOU CAN.


My advice is:

  • One step at a time – make them small, purposeful and determined steps. No one is watching, no one is judging. Only you can take that first step no matter what it is you can do it.

  • Be Realistic – unlike myself who just plucked 30 days out of the air with no thought about if I could do it or not. Think about what you can achieve and add a little extra. You can do this.

  • Get Advice – Speak to someone who might be able to help with what you should do for exercise. Check they understand any limitations.

  • Be Strong – even in the darkest moments, look back at what you have achieved rather than forward at what is still to be done.

The journey has been a massive learning curve, physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. I wish anyone doing something similar the very best.


Big hugs


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