I guess now’s the time to add more detail behind the main premise of me starting this blog.
Prior to a life of fibro I was quite the active body. Always have been; assumed I always would be. Stand out sporting achievements during my school years were playing county level at both netball and rugby, breaking the school record for throwing the discus (18 metres off the top of my head #justsayin) and in my latter teen years, I played Rugby for West Midlands.
Alongside dedicating the majority of my extracurricular time, weekends and my parents’ weekends (thanks guys) to sport I would fill time growing up in the country side cycling 4 mile circuits in neighbouring villages and walking/climbing the majority of the Welsh peaks.
Due to my dad’s passion for mountaineering, my brother and I were exposed to some pretty mad adventures quite early on. For example, trekking around the Brecon beacons age 10 and 13 with 20kg back packs on, making fire to warm our ration packs and sleeping under make shift tarpaulin shelter in a howling storm. I say under it, I lasted about 30 minutes until our beloved Irish setter Paddy turfed me out into the piss wet rain. I was quite happy and unaware of her trading places with me until Dad woke to discover a hairy, long eared, wet nosed, bad breathed alternative to his daughter in between him and my brother. Classic setter antics.
With my dad I completed the Big Black Mountain challenge (BBMC) when I was 12. A cheeky 30 mile jaunt across the black mountains which we believe we completed in 9 hrs. Not too shabby.
Oh and then there was the time we climbed Mont Blanc. Europe’s highest peak at a measly 4800 metres. I say we climbed it, my dad peaked 3 years consecutively. At the age of 13 I got within 500 metres of the summit, nearly died (no jokes) and got taken down the more scenic, ear popping thrill seeking glacier route via helicopter swiftly after. Pretty emotional.
Anyhoo- purpose of the above isn’t to come across as a ‘been there done that’ type of person. It’s purely to demonstrate how much I used to do and felt capable of. For large proportions of my condition I’ve felt pretty robbed of the freedom to do what I love without any thought or consideration of the impact it may have on my day to day functionality. That said, I also rebel against it and am often guilty of not pacing myself and neglecting simple helpful routines. I’m also guilty of getting a bit excited on a ‘good day’ thinking nothing has changed from who I was 10 years ago and get harshly reminded all too quickly by a stinking flare up.
Now there is a very real possibility that I may be biting off a bit more than I can physically chew with Kilimanjaro but, I won’t know unless I try. I’m certainly aware it’s going to be difficult. Likely the hardest thing I ever chose to put myself through.
Looking back at the message exchange with my Dad about said challenge I am clearly mindful of it.
This text exchange took place on the 26th January 2016. 6 months later when I start to tell people about my intention to do the 3 peaks challenge as part of training it starts to become a reality. The shock and concern on people’s faces that don’t even know that much (if anything) about my condition starts to fill me with fear.
It would seem I’ve set myself quite the mammoth challenge…YOLO!