I have decided to start a 52 week training diary in preparation for my 40km channel crossing next year. 1 year seems a long way away, but when you break it down to just 52 weeks, it seems very close and with me in a position of minimal training, it is easy to want to start panicking.
I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Also known as ME or ‘yuppie flu’ it sucks.
I have been struggling for over 6 months with random symptoms of tiredness, unrefreshing sleep, and an almost constant low grade sinus infection. I have days where I feel totally normal to days where I feel like I will never feel normal again.
It is not an easy place to be and although I am aware that I have a relatively mild version of CFS, it is still an incredibly frustrating place. As an athlete I am used to pushing my body to the limit. I am used to training 2-3 times a day, I am used to having 12 hour days of work and training and still managing to fit in time in for a social life. I should be grateful that I am not bed ridden and unable to even wash myself, I am, but it doesn’t make me dealing with the reality of CFS any less real or any easier to deal with. I live with a fear that if I push myself too far, do too much or just have a few bad days in a row, I will become bed ridden. CFS is a very difficult condition to diagnose and treat. There is no cure.
It is something where a multi-disciplinary team is vital, and I am incredibly blessed to have one of the best teams ever who are doing their very best to help me conquer this thing. Next week will be week 1 of my 52 week diary, follow me if you like as I journey through this season and come out to conquer CFS. I value any advice or stories you have to share with me to help me get through this.
This week has been a particularly hard one as I have been faced with the reality of CFS and my desire to train has not been matched with my physical capabilities. I have not trained in over a week besides on easy Pilates class 4 days ago. It’s killing me mentally and physically. One day at a time, step by step and then a few steps backwards. That is the reality of what I am dealing with.
I will overcome this
But I will overcome this. This swim is a step of faith for me and these are just small setbacks placed in my way to test me. I hate them, and I wish I could just be healthy and train properly, but I know this will make me stronger, build my faith, increase my interdependency on people and hopefully encourage other people in similar situations that we will get through this, there Is always a bigger picture. Till next week.