Hitting the ground running

I’ve been trying to get back to full fitness now for twenty months, nearly two years, after a difficult eight or so years of ill-health. A brain haemorrhage in 2008, and a pulmonary embolism a few years later, in 2013/14, left me pretty winded and it’s was often effort enough to walk, let alone run, but I was determined to fight back even though the going has often been tough.

In 2015, tai-chi practice in the garden.

There were three or so years when I struggled but managed to keep going with my Tai-chi form even though I didn’t go back to my Kungfu Club on a regular basis until last year. The doctor said I shouldn’t return to Kungfu because of the post brain haemorrhage risk, this was a blow, as I owed a lot of my pre-haemorrhage fitness to my martial arts training. But, I still practice my Kungfu patterns and Tai-chi has been always been there, like a helping hand leading me onwards. For over a year now, I have been going back to Neil Johnson’s White Cane Fighting Arts Club, http://www.whitecranefightingarts.com/ in Lewes, for Tai-chi classes. OI have been a member here, with a few dramatic interruptions, for over fifteen years. It was quite a struggle at first, but recently, I have started to get back to somewhere like ‘not bad’.

White Crane Fighting Arts Kungfu class

Tai-chi has become one of my three weekly fitness sessions, the second class is a vigorous hour with a personal trainer at Soul Fit, https://www.wearesoulfit.com/the-studio also in Lewes.

Gyles Abbott, my personal trainer, Soul Fit gym.

I started to get back to aerobic fitness by taking on a personal trainer, Gyles Abbott, in January 2018, who has been putting me through my paces once a week for an hour a session. I am amazed, even if no one else is, by the results I (or rather Gyles and I) have achieved in that time in his well-equipped torture-chamber.

Soul Fit gym, Lewes.

The third of my weekly sessions is more recent – for five weeks now, I’ve returned to running, an old enthusiasm that I feared will now be beyond me. Well, ‘not bad’ is probably how I’d describe my progress so far. Actually, I’m doing much better than I dared predict.

My last run, on Sunday, had me running 3.487 kilometres in 30 minutes without stopping. It might not be Olympic standard, but, for me, this is mercurial. See my mobile phone’ app record below. It was all going swingingly until the last minute just as I was going for my finishing point. Then my legs started to complain and I should’ve stopped. Only a few steps to go, I heard myself say, and then my legs ran out of control and I went crashing onto concrete. Look away, if you don’t like the sight of blood – the result wasn’t a pretty sight.

Some of my injuries healing.
That bang to my head.

It was truly surprising how much you can hurt yourself by falling while running – I have a grand collection of cuts and bruises as well as an unpleasant sensation in my head. I’m feeling better today but the doctor says I’ve have a mild concussion.

I hope, I’ve learnt an important lesson about knowing when to stop when you’re pushing yourself towards a goal.

I shall be back. Don’t laugh, but under these minor injuries, I’m feeling great! I haven’t felt as fit for over ten years.


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