Monday, 2 September 2013

..and I'm back

I'm glad I didn't take this blog down completely, I had a feeling I might come back to it one day and so here I am.

I needed a bit of time to get my head around life with my stoma and adjustment to how it would fit into my life. I feel like I'm there now.. I feel more comfortable with it and more 'at peace' if you know what I mean. It's just  part of me and it's become normal.

Over the last few months I've done some really exciting runs and rides and been out of my comfort zone doing some crazy stuff. I've run a 10km in my fastest time in 3.5 years, coming 4th lady in 45:41 at the Rye 10km. I've done a Spartan Race Training Camp where I had to wade through freezing lakes and clamber over obstacles carrying a huge log and we just had an amazing family holiday in France where we did some hardcore downhill mountain biking. 

This picture is me with my family with Mont Blanc in the background. We took the ski lifts up and mountain biked down.. not normal behaviour for a 41 yr old mother of two, let alone one with a stoma :-)

But what I've learned is this. Having a stoma isn't a reason to put your life on hold and it really, really doesn't have to stop you doing anything... if you don't let it.

I've been inspired to get this blog going again after joining a brilliant group on Facebook called Ostomy Lifestyle Athletes set up by the brilliant charity Ostomy Lifestyle. We're a bunch of people all over the World who all have stomas of some sort - whether that's an ileostomy, urostomy or colostomy - AND who are fit and lead an active lifestyle. 

I've met some wonderful people in the group who do some amazing things - outdoor swimming, triathlons, marathons, cycling, mountain biking, weight lifting and body building. It's a fantastic group, incredibly supportive and the focus of discussion is usually about training, nutrition or sharing our achievements - not on the limitations of life with a stoma. 

I feel like I want to share my achievements, experiences and my 'adventures with an ileostomy' again and hope that what I do gives others hope that life goes on.

So, in 2 weeks time (on 14th September) I'm 'running' (read 'taking part) in the JungFrau marathon in Switzerland. It'll be 10 months since my last major surgery and my first marathon with a stoma.

I've been nursing a calf niggle and to be honest it's going to be touch and go whether I make it. I've never had a DNF before, but there's a first time for everything.  Either way it'll be an amazing experience.. for no other reason than the views and Swiss chocolate :-) Wish me luck.. I'm going to need it.

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