2013: Apart from a few allergies and intolerances I was a healthy, energetic, fit person - always on the go. Nothing stopped me. I'd think nothing of going for a 110-length swim, followed by a 6-mile walk and a 20-mile bike ride. Our family holiday was cycling 222km along the C2C, Whitehaven to Tynemouth cycle route.
July 2014: My life changed dramatically overnight. Basically, my body rebelled against me. Amongst other things, I got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and, later a hypermobile Elhers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) diagnosis. The ceaseless energy is gone. Now I think about the amount of energy spoons I can spend each day but they often run out. To achieve things, I pace myself and break down tasks into small, manageable chunks.
Feb 2015: Regaining control of my life was key. My trusty walking stick and I started daily walks. I couldn't go far, or fast, but I went out every day!
April 2016: I got my exercise bike. I only managed 2mins a day, but 5 years on after building strength, stamina and determination I can now manage 1hr a day. I still can’t go fast; managing 4.5-5.5km a day. It's not far and not the same as cycling in the fresh air, but that's OK.
Jan 2021: 2020 was the trickiest year we could imagine. No one's going far from home and everyone's got different ways to cope. I'm a positive person and it's important to me to find the best in things - discover ways forwards. My 2021 challenge will be cycling from Land’s End to John o'Groats. Obviously, not in the real world. There's no way I could manage a real bike - balancing's hard and hills, impossible. But, taking 1 tiny bit at a time, on my exercise bike, I'll achieve my goal! I believe it'll take approx 1 year to pedal the virtual route. I'm starting on 24.01.21 (and health depending) hope to finish by 24.01.22. I’m using a tracking app and will post regular progress updates. Please support my challenge and check in regularly.
Read more at www.buds.org.uk