365 Days, 100 days and lots of steps

This blog post comes to you in three parts.

365 days

It’s now more than a year since I had my bilateral salpingo oopherectomy. A year PMDD free! Can’t say that it’s been challenge free, but in comparison to the monthly battle it’s been a blessed relief. I honestly never thought I’d get here, especially not from the depths of PMDD but here I am.

I’ve put weight on, I’m still trying to find an effective balance with HRT but I’ve managed to land the job of my dreams, and I’m basically happy every single day without fear of a tsunami coming every 2 weeks or so. I’m so grateful every day, to those who got me to this point and those who are still with me.

If you’re suffering with this horrible illness, please know that there can be an end to it, I’m living proof. Please hold on and don’t give up.

100 days

Work has been ridiculously busy recently and I prioritised that over exercise. I had started attending Reebok Crossfit Reading but I haven’t been for about a month whilst I’ve been getting this major project at work done. It would be easy to feel guilty, and to some extent I do because if I go once this month that will be a remarkably expensive training session!! However, I am not guilty for being a professional and having a job that I love that excites me to want to give my heart and soul to. And because I have only so much energy, something had to give. I maintained I would come back, and now I’m ready to.

I was inspired by Jason Harper‘s story of what happened in 100 days of Crossfit. I’d been getting tied up with goals and targets and what I could do and what I couldn’t do and actually all I need to do is keep turning up. Crossfit burns calories, fact. As long as I ensure that I’m fuelling for success, it is science that I will lose weight. So I’ve backed off the whole goal thing and I’m going to see what can happen to me in 100 days of Crossfit. Starts Monday 19th December, although I’ll be unable to train from December 25th to Jan 3rd as I’ll be on holidays. No reason I can’t do other stuff though, like walking (see below!) and why wait until Jan 3rd to start – I can get maybe 3 or 5 WODS in if I start this week. That’s got to help! So easy to put things off til the New Year, but even with the break I’m better off getting back to it now.

I’m particularly excited about hybrid training, which is more bodybuilding type stuff and also has a focus on rowing. And ESP – combining Power Lifting with elements of Strong Man. I may even try Gymnastics, despite NEVER once in my life having done even a cartwheel!

So March 29th 2017 – let’s see what you bring!

Lots of Steps

Today I’ve done something that is really rather uncharacteristic of me. Maybe it’s in celebration of a year of freedom from PMDD, or maybe it’s just the buoyant mood I’m in of late, but I’ve signed up for an event that I have no idea if I can complete. As in, really no idea. With the events I’ve done before I suffered with the opposite, they always sounded easy in my head but then on the day I found them tough (finished everything I started though!). With this one I literally have ZERO CLUE as to whether it’s possible for me to finish it. And therefore I’m entering it with the absolute knowledge that I may not complete it. A year ago this would have caused unthinkable misery, and now I’m shrugging and taking it on with a smile.

The event is a 20km walk along the Thames – the London Winter Walk. Can I walk 20km? I’ve walked 10km in one go before, but it took about 4 hours if I remember, so who knows if I can complete 20km and complete it within the cut off time (if there is one, I don’t even know – this is funny because it’s the first thing I ever used to find out ‘before’).

The reason for this event is because in September I’m going to be walking 23km (roughly a half marathon) over 16 London bridges to raise funds for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. My boss is a lovely bloke who I absolutely admire and respect personally and professionally. Sadly, his wife has lung cancer. Despite being female, young and very fit, she was just genetically pre-disposed to get this horrible illness. Hearing her story and seeing my boss plough on at work, not letting his game drop, is heartbreaking. The least I can do is my absolute best during 2017 to raise vital funds for her chosen charity. They provide information and support to patients, as well as perform vital research. There are 44,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed every year (I think this is just in the UK). As a lady who has a dad and a husband with dodgy lungs, I have sympathy but no appreciation of what this couple must be going through.

If you’d like to help, you can donate here!

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

If you donated, THANK YOU! It means a lot! I’ve never really felt as strongly about any charity as this one but I guess I’ve never been close enough to a situation that’s called for it.

The method states that you should describe your Target Condition – what will things look like when you’re where you need to be? Then you PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) yourself until you’re there. Of course, where you are starting from makes a big difference to how long and what course that journey from current to target condition will take. The methodology says that one way to identify where you are now – or a way to experiment to the target condition – is to just try it. Run the process as if it were already at the target condition. So – I’m going to attempt to walk 20km in January as a way of assessing how fit I am to complete the 23km walk in September. Rother talks a great deal about the Threshold of Knowledge – the point beyond which you don’t know. Well, I know I can walk 10km. I don’t know if I can walk further than that. So I could theorise about it, or devise a training plan to walk 23km in September – or I can assess most accurately where I am right now by trying to walk the distance right now!

screen-shot-2015-11-06-at-6-32-27-pm
Mike Rother, Improvement Kata
  1. My challenge – walk 23km on September 9th. I’d love to add a couple more walks around this event – a 10km and an 11km – which means that over 3 days I will have walked 44,000m or 1m for every case of lung diagnosed every year.
  2. Grasp the current condition – this is what I will be doing on January 15th. Maybe I’ll get 5km and stop, maybe I’ll finish the whole thing. Either way I’ll be finding out where I am right now!
  3. From there I will determine mini goals between where I am now and September.
  4. Then I’ll iterate my way there!

 

 

I’ve had a year to get over the varied and many impacts of PMDD. Our wider team manager left the business this week and sent a touching leaving note. She said that whenever she leaves a position she spends time reflecting on what she wants to take forwards with her and what she is choosing to leave behind. Wise words, and I now know it’s time to leave PMDD behind. It happened to me, I lived through it but a year on it’s time to lay it to rest. I won’t be posting about it again, but I hope that my sharing my story may bring comfort and hope to those who need it.

I choose to take forwards the fact that I discovered a love of exercise, that I can #makeithappen and that I am master of my own destiny.

Bring on 2017, CrossFit, walking, experiments and fun!

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