Some bad news, some good news

After months of writing blog posts explaining what’s going on with my health and how it’s affecting my racing I’m hoping that this will be the last time I will update you! Not because I’m better but because I have a long term plan, and I’m hopeful that it’s all going to go according to my plan.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram will be aware that over the last few weeks I’ve been given the OK to begin some light training again. I can’t tell you how excellent being told that was. After over 4 months of being stuck at home in the evenings, unable to do the one thing that is more ingrained in my daily life than my work, getting the go ahead to start training again was superb. That’s not to say I’m better – the infection to my implant site which took me out of training in the first place cleared, but the pain to my implant site which kept me out is still very much there, whilst I await action from some new specialists to hopefully finally resolve this. However in the meantime they’ve been able to move me on to some medication that doesn’t interfere with the medication keeping my lungs from going crazy again and I’ve been given assurance that training won’t make anything worse, so here we go (after a bout of pneumonia threatened to be the next thing to get in my way)!

The last few weeks, initially starting on some fitness work, before starting to do some light sessions in the chair, have been an exercise in managing expectations. As I said to someone in the gym this morning, there are days when just being allowed to train again makes me think that suddenly I can do everything, yet there are also days where I realise just what a long road I have ahead (and more of the latter right now). 4 months is a hell of a long time to do nothing for, and the last few weeks have demonstrated just how much fitness I’ve lost, and how hard the next few months will be. They’ve reminded me that I’m not going to be back at full speed tomorrow, this will be a long and steady process – one which is vital if I want to save myself from the risk of injury and more time out. The good thing is that when it comes to my training I’ve never been shy of hard work. Getting up at 5am for training before work, hours of training in the evenings, they’ve all helped me to understand what is required to race, and have created an attitude of hard work, perseverance and never giving up. The next few months of training I will have to test that attitude to the core, but I will, because I love my sport so much.

Seeing the reality of what my fitness is like has led to some incredibly difficult decisions. Missing out on a huge ambition to do the Paris Marathon in April was horrible, as has been missing out on races like today and the opportunity to defend my Great Newham Run title. When every one of these decisions has been made I’ve been looking forward to the end of this year and hoping that two more of my big races would still happen. In early September I was due to race the Great North Run for the first time – a race I’ve wanted to do for years, and then in October I was due to race the Yorkshire Marathon, which would have meant I’d made it to all 5 races since it began. Unfortunately neither of these will now happen. The chances of me being fit enough to even complete these races is in itself questionable, but the chances of me being fit enough to race them and get a time I’d be happy with is 0. Those of you close to me will be aware that the last few months have taken a huge toll on me mentally, and the last few weeks that has only spiralled, in part with the reality of seeing where my fitness is at. At times my motivation has been at an all-time low. Even if I was fit, to race and do (what I would perceive to be) poorly, is likely to do more harm than good and that’s not a risk worth taking.

All this said, with me struggling mentally and for motivation I’ve felt it’s important to put something in the diary which will encourage me to put in the hard work to get my fitness up to scratch, and I’m pleased to confirm that, all being well, I’ll be racing a 10k in 2017. I’m working towards racing the Bury 10k on September 17th, and that will be my only race this year. It will be a chance for me to gauge where I’m at, and help to focus training for what I hope will be a full season in 2018.

I will, of course, be doing this race in my Viper 10 kit which proudly holds the Right To Play logo on the front, and I hope to be able to raise even more money for Right To Play during the next few months. I hope by now you all know loads about Right To Play, so I won’t repeat myself here, but I would love it if you’d consider donating to Right To Play today, as a form of sponsorship for this event. Not only will your money be going to an excellent cause I truly believe in, but it will encourage me as I work to get to fitness for this race, and work towards hopefully a more successful year in 2018. If you’d like to find out more and donate, please do so here:

Thanks as always for your support over the last few months,


About diganash

Chris is an elite wheelchair racer who in 2015 became the first person to cross the finish line in the newly refurbished Olympic stadium, winning the wheelchair race at the Great Newham London 10k. In 2015 he also won the Sure Run to the Beat wheelchair race at Wembley Stadium, the Warwick half marathon, and the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 5km and Half Marathon. He's responsible for the IT system at a primary school and also teaches some computing lessons. He loves following the news, sports, technology & politics. You can find him on twitter @blackberrychris and contributing on various IT discussion sites. Wherever he writes his views are his and his alone.
This entry was posted in Depression, General, mental health, Right To Play, Sports, Wellbeing. Bookmark the permalink.

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