Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A Message, Motivations and Making Time For Myself

A couple of weeks ago I was checking my email between classes and saw one from Anthony Nolan. It was entitled "Message from your recipient". After donating white blood cells, my second donation for my match, I sent a short message to my recipient via the charity. I had no way of knowing if my recipient was in the UK or if she would want or be able to return my message, but needing white cells led me to believe she was doing ok and I felt compelled to get in touch, even if my message was rather clumsy. I had no idea what she's going through and even less what to say. Nervously I clicked on it and the content left me feeling very emotional. All communication is anonymous and I'm not able to share it with you but suffice to say it was a beautiful message and it seems she's doing really well. It was a good reminder of why I need to look after myself, and why I'm putting the effort into training this year.
It's been with some trepidation that I returned to training on the 5th of January under the watchful eye of my coach but I seem to be doing ok. I've been giving plenty of feedback on how different sessions have felt and although I've substituted rest day Thursdays with yoga for the past two weeks (thereby only having one day clear of any activity since the 5th) I've found it a useful part of my routine, something I really enjoy that I also consider part of my self-care routine. For the first week or so, training felt like a novelty again but it quickly becomes another thing to fit into the diary so keeping the driving factors in mind helps. My motivators are that I've signed up to big events this year that I don't want to fail at but perhaps more importantly because I am hoping to raise £1,500 for Anthony Nolan by completing these events. I also use bribery to get me through training sessions! Promising myself a chocolate bar after swimming for instance (see above), or spending the last 15 minutes of an uncomfortable turbo session discussing the relative merits of gin versus wine as a post training beverage with Dean... I went with gin.
I was less smily at the end of the session.
This leads me neatly into an update on my self-care resolution for 2018. In addition to treating myself now and again (I must stress that I don't give myself a reward after every training session) I've already managed to cook from two new recipe books this year, even getting Dean to accept that tofu isn't all that bad.
Vietnamese Pho from the Mindful Chef cookbook
I've met up with friends once a week or so (something that got rather neglected at the end of 2017) and allowed myself a guilt-free hour or two each day to watch something on TV. Sometimes that's been while I'm training on the bike... I can catch up on my Nordic programmes despite the noise from the turbo trainer thanks to subtitles! I've also been reading more, substituting time on the phone in the morning and on occasion TV in the evening for a book. My favourite one to dip into has been Lagom... very much in keeping with what I'm trying to achieve this year.
That's all been for my mental wellbeing. For my physical wellbeing I've indulged in bubble baths, had my monthly sports massage (tight lower back, calves, quads and forearms), booked in to see an osteopath and gotten a flu jab. When I've felt tired I've rested or had an early night. I'm taking my vitamin supplements and trying to eat well. Oh I know perhaps at the moment it's all sounding a bit smug. I'm not looking for any recognition here or to guilt anyone into doing anything, it's just a snapshot of my life at the moment. This blog has always been about documenting my endeavours including the ups and downs of training and how I deal with those. If it helps or inspires anyone, that's a bonus as far as I'm concerned!
Afternoon treat of scone with blackberry gin jam!
To that end, are you getting to the end of January on a high or a low? What's your driving factor this year and how are you staying focused?

No comments:

Post a Comment