One of the best ways to measure my recovery is looking at what personal milestones I have achieved recently; things I could not do yesterday, last week or last month for example. That way it will reflect positively on me and give me great confidence for the remainder of my ongoing journey.
As part of the Re-Active program, I have accomplished two big feats recently. As I have mentioned before, prior to my bleed, I was keen on exercising, growing up I would turn my hand to any sport I could; football, rugby, athletics, you name it. I loved the thrill of competition and the pursuit of perfection. It is certainly no surprise I ended up in the job I did.
So going to the gym at Leisure@ in Cheltenham was far from a chore for me; I love sport and exercise, in any form. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I completed my first ever 10k charity run a month before my bleed occurred, so running was important to me. Imagine the frustration then of using every other piece of equipment in the gym apart from my beloved treadmill, my injury was almost mocking me; the way it would not allow me to use my favourite piece of equipment.
Well last week that all changed as I took, what I consider, to be a big step in my rehabilitation as I was reunited with my flat track friend. Ok I did not manage to actually run, it was more of a brisk walk. But, ironically, I felt it was a big step for me. I hope to be able to build on these initial first forays and build up to actually running. It then felt even better to return to the gym just a day later and repeat my great accomplishment again. It would not have been possible without the help and confidence given to me from the guys who run the Re-Active scheme. They made sure it was safe and I was fully ready for this leap. The guys are always around to help me with anything.
As well as using the gym, I have also been going swimming too. I try to go to Leisure@ three times a week in total; whether that is twice to use the gym with a swim on another day, or whatever combination, it does not matter, as long as I am getting full use out of it all, which I am. So with all this exercise working my muscles, it was no surprise I achieved another big landmark, when I managed to swim, all on my own, with no manly blue woggle, two whole widths of the pool. Ok it might not be the biggest pool in the world, Olympic size it certainly isn't, so Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps have no need to worry.
But just like getting on the treadmill again, it meant a lot to me and represented progress, which gives me great inspiration for the future. As a Midlander, swimming was never really my thing, but I have heard so much about the benefits of it for rehabilitation purposes through my job. So it is nice to see it for myself.
Another measure of my swimming odyssey is the fact I am now getting quite good at avoiding the children jumping into the pool, while I plod slowly along. This was certainly the case last week as a little girl launched herself into the water as fast as she could, forcing me to take evasive manoeuvres. All Amy's attempts to keep her hair dry went straight out of the window as a result of this.
I hope to continue this progress.