I’m currently training for a triathlon.
Yes me. Wrong side of 50. Unfit. Utterly useless at sport. Must be mad.
Exactly one year ago today I was told I had breast cancer and needed a mastectomy.
That was a bit of a shocker. I’d no lump or any of the other symptoms we’re told to look out for. I’d gone along for my first mammogram like a good girl. Breezed in and out so fast I didn’t even need to pay for my parking. Thought nothing of it until a week later when the dreaded follow up letter dropped through the letterbox.
Still, the letter was full of reassurance. It wasn’t until I got to the clinic and spent 3 hours being x-rayed, ultrasounded and biopsied that I realised I might have a problem.
I was lucky – my cancer was picked up at a very early stage and despite being aggressive, my tumour was too small to justify chemotherapy. For which I am eternally grateful.
But a cancer diagnosis really does give you a wake-up call. And you suddenly realise that you don’t have limitless time in which to do all the things you want. It also gives you a major push to sort out your fitness.
I found recovery from the surgery hard – I healed well but suffered a lot from fatigue (which turned out to be partly due to vitamin D deficiency). Everyone advised me to be more active so last September I started running – using the Couch to 5k app. To my surprise, I loved it.
Then I heard about the Shock Absorber Women’s Triathlon and decided that was just the sort of challenge I needed.
Never mind that I could only swim “granny” breaststroke, hadn’t ridden a bike for 30 years and running made my hip hurt. Come July, this will be me.
Training hasn’t gone totally to plan (more on that in a future blog), but I’m nothing if not determined.