Determination: My Strength and My Downfall

Determination: My Strength and My Downfall

I never really thought of myself as determined until my cancer diagnosis. I have discovered that I am, well, quite stubborn and pig-headed when I decide to do something, even if it’s detrimental to myself. I’m not really competitive against others – I can’t be. My life is so different in so many ways, it’s fruitless to do that. Going back to University full time for 4 years when I was nearly 25 has put me in some ways, nearly 10 years ‘behind’ in my career compared to friends and family. My business is only 3 years old. Comparing that to peers who are directors of companies would be really stupid.

The London marathon was in April. I’ve done it twice. Both times since my diagnosis. I didn’t really exercise before cancer. But I found running. Well. I stupidly agreed to do a half marathon in 2009 and hadn’t done any proper exercise since I was a young teen – bad knees at school meant I was signed off sport from the age of 14 in 1999. I had brief dalliances with the gym in my late teens when my knees were much better, but nothing long standing.

The jogging bug

So a half marathon in 2009 and I got the running, well jogging, bug. Obviously, this meant doing the London marathon in 2012. Which I loved. As a first-year student, the training fit in easily. I loved it. I still had a social life. And the marathon itself was amazing. I felt so proud. I didn’t get the time I wanted, which was annoying. I did it in 5 hours 13. But for a first time, I was happy. So, decided to do it again. To get a better time. Because I compete against myself. All the time.

A place for 2015 but I had to defer. Fatigue was awful. When marathon training was meant to start, I was in my final year of my degree which was hell. I had no social life. I was in the library for 11 or 12 hours a day. I saw no one. I did nothing other than sleep and study. 2016 was the year to do it.

And I did. And it was horrific. Chronic fatigue was awful from the chemotherapy I was on. Setting up a business is really hard. It’s even harder when no one knows what you do. I’m a Naturopath by the way. Not really known about in the UK. But, I had said I was going to do it. So I did. And it ruined me. Emotionally. Physically. I was miserable for months during training. Everyone told me to drop out. But, I had been sponsored. I was doing it for charity. I was going to do it.

And I did. With a cough and a damaged knee, as I had fallen over the pavement on my last long run. I couldn’t walk for a week.

But I did it.

Disappointment instead of pride

And I feel so sad that I didn’t get a better time. I beat my first time by just over 15 minutes. If I had been 15 minutes faster, I would be ok. I wanted 4 and a half hours and did it in 4 hours 57. If I had done it in 4 hours 45 I would be ok.

But I’m not.

I’m so disappointed with myself for not doing better. If I hadn’t had a cough. Coughing for 26.2 miles is exhausting. And my knee really hurt from mile 12.

I know I should be proud that I did it when others wouldn’t.

This determination I have can have its downsides. But it’s also what gets me out of bed every day. It keeps me going. It means I don’t give in. It makes me, me. And that can’t be a bad thing. Right?!

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Comments

View Comments (3)
  • mary
    7 months ago

    Don’t be dissapointed at all, your lucky you got to do the amount of miles that you did. I understand though how you feel I was very active before this blood cancer and I’m frustrated that I can no longer do what I did before. But we can only do what our health allows. I could never run every morning like you do I wish I could.I use to ride my horse alot, I can no longer even do that.just be proud of what you can do.we can not change what is going on with our bodies.your doing the best you can..hugs

  • VinnieCent moderator
    7 months ago

    I had a similar experience in emotions that I will write about soon as well. But the most important thing I’ve found is to put everything you have out there and then accept where you land. You did great! Running and pushing yourself up against the limit for 5 hours is NOT EASY.

  • Ronni Gordon
    7 months ago

    Sounds a bit like me. I’m a crazy runner too, and if I hadn’t been, I probably would not have found out at an early stage that I had leukemia. I’ve also run races injured and fallen down. At least you finished. That’s a big accomplishment!

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