Monthly Archives: June 2015

MS In Five Words – “I Tri Because I Can”

I have, I think it’s fair to say, a ‘last chance to dance’ mentality when it comes to my diet MS. There is a large part of me that lives a life based on the premise that tomorrow I may not get up. It may seem a particularly bleak point of view but in many ways it is the opposite. It is the squeezing out the last of that silver lining from a cloud full of tears. Someone mentioned recently it seemed I was having a midlife crisis what with my body dysmorphia and all but I think that misreads my mind and situation. A midlife crisis suggests a man suddenly out of context buying a red sports car and leaving his wife for a blond hairdresser. I don’t like cars and I left the hairdresser many, many years before.

I have a limited time that I am sure of. What is harder is to define what I mean by limited. As my previous blog relayed I can no longer drink and have lost feeling in certain parts of the body. Fatigue is a constant although to be fair that may just be life with children in your (very) late 40s. So perhaps this is not about limits but pushing boundaries.

After my surprise MS attack last Spring I set myself a rehabilitation target of the Barcelona Super Sprint Triathlon. I mean if you are going to have a target make it a sunny one, right? I gave myself a fundraising goal for the very interesting charity Overcoming MS and got on with the program. Open water swimming in an Oxfordshire lake, time at the gym etc. Of course pulling my back the morning before and waddling crab like around the El Born district looking for Dicloflex only added to a sense of urgency but I managed to numb the pain enough to crawl over the line. I promised I would do it properly this year. So last week I did.

Properly meant getting there  four days early to acclimatise to the heat better, to scout the route without tears and to spend a little time getting the bike I hired from the Tri specialists to fit better. The training run midday two days before hand was painful but essential. My feet began to lose feeling pretty much instantly and the pins and needles throughout were…..uncomfortable. Better to know rather than be surprised. Plus the sweating….Normally on a super sprint or 10k run I don’t drink. They are short enough for the vast majority of races in the UK for it not to be an issue. For Barca that would be fuckwit. So I had a little time to think where I would drink on the circuit considering where the water stations were.

On the day it all panned out. I was like a small child at Christmas racking up the bike. There is a wonderful communal feel at these events and although the vast majority of the competitors were locals the buzz was for all. The sea swim was hard and a clusterfuck at times. The scratches will be there for a while. But rising out of the sea and legging it to the bike felt wonderful, the crowd generous with its support for this old man. I did the bike circuit in about 17 minutes or so, slip streaming passed those better swimmers and reminding me I really need to get a carbon fibre bike for home.

Then the run. My ‘discipline’. 27°C heat and that acclimatisation practise run paid off. Sprint finish past many a younger competitor (not that I am competitive you understand….) got me 37th place out of a field of just under 250. Oh and bad sunburn. Forgot about that.

I am lucky.
I have diet MS at the moment.
MS in five words?
I tri because I can.