Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Road to Fitness is longer and bumpier than I expected!



So, just when I thought I was getting fit, just when I thought I could actually survive a Circuit Factory class, I got bronchitis. 

The day I got bronchitis, I actually went to a Circuit Factory class. I thought I was being a wimp and I just had a cold coming, and that I was just trying to come up with excuses to not go to a session which I knew was going to be tough. 

I got to the class, and I did the 1 mile warm up. And for the first time in forever (you know you are a parent if you can name the film), I didn't finish it. I kept pushing it, and pushing it and pushing it, but I just couldn't do it. I did about half and had to stop, which is a real pain because you then have to walk back the other half that you can't run. I was shaking and I felt like I'd run a marathon in the baking Dubai summer heat. 

I got back inside, and I must have looked pretty damn awful because Pitbull (one of the instructors, who thoroughly deserves the nickname) took one look and me and sent me home. That never happens, so I was obviously a bit more sick than I had thought. 

Then it just got worse, and worse, and worse. It took me about three days to get to the doctor, and I spent those three days in bed. Completely in bed. Left Gary with the kids and just passed out in bed. A quick exam and chest x-ray later and I had some serious antibiotics to take and a doctor who thought it was hilarious that I had been running a mile in 40 degrees at about 80% humidity, and said it was no wonder I was sick. 

Apparently when you start to expand your lung capacity through exercise, you leave space for the bugs to get in, and I guess there are a lot of bugs breeding in hot, sticky, humid air. I was the prime target, and they had no trouble finding me. 

So a minimum of two weeks downtime, which then turned into six weeks of downtime because I then developed tendonitis in my foot. Note to anyone about to do exercise, buy proper trainers first, I used a pair of sketcher trainers which were definitely not for actual exercise! 

I actually didn't give much thought about how hard it would be to go back to my training after six weeks off. I did literally nothing for those six weeks while I gave my lungs and my foot time to heal. 

I'm so glad I didn't think much about it, because that first Circuit Factory class was horrible. Not horrible because it was so hard and I got my arse kicked, but horrible because I thought I was going to die, or at least pass out. 

My legs shook, my arms shook, my vision swam, I had spots in front of my eyes. I couldn't do anything. I was so bad that every single one of the eleven or so trainers had to come over and check I was ok, because I was sitting on the floor trying to breathe. 

I had to crawl out of that class (halfway through) and sit in my car for at least half an hour before I could actually drive the car. It was a thousand times worse than my very first class, and I was shell shocked that I could be that unfit after six weeks out. 

Even worse, the dizziness and shaking and weakness continued, class, after class, after class. It was so disheartening to see all my fitness completely wiped out, fitness I was only just starting to acquire, and just starting to see the benefits of. I even considered not going back to The Circuit Factory at all, and admitting defeat. 

But I didn't. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor and leaving early. A lot of time feeling like it was never going to get better and that I had done some kind of lasting damage. I think I went twice a week for a month before I felt even slightly better. I added 40 seconds to my 11:08 minute mile warm up, I lost the ability to do a plank or do a squat hold. 

Eventually my lungs must have caught up with the rest of my body. I made a few diet changes to make sure I was eating enough carbohydrates to get me through a class and one session, the dizziness didn't turn up. Every muscle in my body hurt, I was so hot I thought I was going to combust, but I was not dizzy. I ran a mile in 11:13 and did at least three quarters of the class. 

That was such an improvement on the last eight sessions, that I felt so excited that my body was finally coming back into balance. That I seemed to have regained the basic building blocks that I needed to continue to work on my fitness. 

It has been a longer road, especially mentally, than I was expecting. Having bronchitis had a much bigger effect on my body that I could ever have imagined. It would have been so much easier to just give up and walk away, and so many times I really considered it (usually after a class when I wanted to cry with frustration). 

I feel today like I am just stepping back towards fitness, I know that it is a long road, and even longer now I've had some setbacks, but I can get there. I can put those building blocks together to get myself healthy and fit, not just for me, but for my family and my friends. I know I'm a better person when my energy is productively channelled, and Circuit Factory has been a great outlet for me to just work on me. 

So for anyone who might be reading this, who is finding it difficult to "get back on the horse", don't worry, we are right there with you, and you got this.