Hello, my name is Rosie; I am an avid reader, keen photographer, blogger, theatre maker, and I am woefully unfit.
Last month, I had an asthma attack that resulted in an ambulance trip, multiple oxygen masks, IVs, X-rays, and medication. This left me unable to leave the house for almost two weeks whilst I regained my strength and fought off the virus I had picked up. I’ve been asthmatic all of my life; I was in and out of hospital as a young child, and had multiple triggers including smoke, pollen, temperature change, and, rather randomly, beech trees. As a teenager, I would shrug off involvement in PE lessons, because I was scared it would trigger something, and I didn’t feel my condition was understood by my teachers. As I grew and went to University, my asthma began to fade away. Hospital trips and nebulisers and peak flows became a thing of the past. The doctors had always hoped that I would grow out of it, and DAMN, yes I had! Or so I though. Over the past two years, I’ve noticed it start slowly creeping back. I’d be wheezing by the time I get to work, and badly in the winter. I always seemed to have a cold, and had to start saying no to days out in the rain or the snow. Sick days started clocking up, either from asthma, or from having a cold which could run this risk of an attack. I never felt fully healthy. And then, I had the attack. This was the first asthma attack in ten years which has left me headed to hospital. I starting questioning why. Why has this happened now? What was the trigger? Yes, I had a cold; yes, it was the change of season; yes, I had daffodils in the flat. But all of that should not have resulted in two weeks off work.
I won’t deny that external factors played a part in this, but I know what the clincher was. I am woefully unfit and I have been for quite some time. If my body is weak, my lungs are weak, and therefore so much more susceptible to asthma. I’ve been wishing and willing and waiting to get fit for years. As a child and a teenager, ‘getting fit’ used to 100% be about weight loss (thanks society, you suck). However, now I am an adult, and I have grown and learnt, this is not so much the case anymore. I still have a long way to go regarding having self-respect and love for my body, but I can look at my body, see it’s softness and it’s stretch marks, and most of the time, I am happy. My unhappiness, and anger if I may be so honest, now lies within my fitness level. For so long I have wanted to do something about it, but *I have never done it*. Call it laziness, call it lack of will; I myself am not sure. I’ve bought gym memberships, only to attend five times over six months. I’ve started and re-started the Couch to 5K approximately 8 times and never gotten past the second week. I’ve started tens of fitness accounts across various social media platforms to spur me on, and deleted them all. However, this attack has shown me how physically unfit and weak I truly am. And I am not standing for it.
After this wheezy journey of self-discovery, it’s now time to put a plan into action. I’ve decided to make my fitness journey public so I have reason to hold myself accountable. Also, I’ve decided to partake in a charity 5K run so I can help others along the way, and I have another reason to motivate myself to get up and go. Once I am at the gym, on a run, doing yoga, I love it! I feel so good, and that continues on after. I’ve always found the getting up and going the hard bit, and I used to use my asthma as an excuse for a lot of the time (most of the time). Now, I have some motivation behind me to get up and go, because I am fundraising! To a lot of people, running 5K may seem like something so small, so minuscule. It’s a huge step for me personally, for my fitness, and for my asthma. We’ve all got to start somewhere! By the time the run comes around, I know I won’t be able to run it all in one go. But, I am aiming to run it to the best of my ability, with a mixture of walking, jogging, and running.
I’ve chosen to do the Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve seen Race for Life on TV and in the flesh, and it always seems like such a joyous occasion! People choose to run it or walk it or dance it, or do whatever they please. There’s no level of competitiveness, everyone is celebrated for taking part. Secondly, it is for a fantastic cause. Cancer Research are dedicated to beating cancer, and offers support to those who need it. Cancer has affected my family and my friends in very many and varied ways, and I know it touches each one of our lives in some way. Finally, I have been inspired by my Aunt Julie (or AJ as I like to call her!). I’ve been lucky enough to be raised in and by a family of strong, smart, independent women, which includes my AJ. As a child, she introduced me to my favourite movies (like The Princess Bride, The Breakfast Club, Turner and Hooch), took me for mocktails, showed me the importance of books, and gave me Lucozade and sweets when I was ill. I loved hearing about her work, and the lipstick she’d let me try, and the stories she’d read me before bed. As I grew up, I could pretended to be an adult when we went shopping, or I could be a child and curl up on her sofa. Along with the other women in my family, AJ has shown me that a woman can be many things, and anything that she wants. When I started university, AJ was diagnosed with breast cancer. She never sugar-coated it for me, and for that I am so grateful. She allowed me to come on this journey with her, telling me about her chemo, the changes that were happening, how she got a wig fitted. I knew it was a tremendously difficult time for her, the worst of times if you will, but she never swayed from being my AJ. She showed me that even in the worst times, never lose sight of who you are. She showed me that there is always a silver lining, always a learning curve, always something to smile about. Through treatment via the NHS and the help of numerous charities such as Cancer Research, AJ overcame the breast cancer. Now, AJ is an unstoppable force. She left her job, won a writing competition for Prima, and has written a novel! She is swimming and traveling and writing and smiling, and is everything I want to be when I grow up! Without the work from charities such as Cancer Research, I don’t know if I would have my AJ. Because of that, I am running for them, I am running for AJ, and I am running for me.