Christmas is well and truly over and we’re a few days past the New Year as well. With this time of year, comes the inevitable “New Years Resolutions”.
On Friday, I went for a swim, a swim that was to prove frustrating. The lanes were not free, being reserved for training, by the local swimming club. Hence, the remainder of the pool, was incredibly busy, it took me a while to work out why. Previous visits, at this time, to this pool haven’t proven to be anywhere near as busy. It was when I heard a family, of six, shouting that they were going to join the gym, go swimming regularly and join slimming world, I realised what was happening. The people was full of people, whose News Years resolution, was to get fitter and healthier.
I wonder how long these resolutions will last, I’m guessing for some, not much past 1st February, as the reality of the commitment, cost, effort and work involved, kicks in and the excuses build up.
Some, however, will still stick to it and it will be life changing, for them.
As the clock struck midnight, welcoming in 2013, I was determined that this would be the year, I would finally learn to swim, properly. 2014 was welcomed I with the same resolution…and 2015. Finally, in April, that year I took my first, tentative steps towards learning to swim.
It’s taken a huge amount of commitment, to keep going. It’s cost me, literally hundreds of pounds. It’s been hard, it’s been frustrating. My health problems, haven’t gone away, each time I swim, pain is my companion. In my back, my knee’s, my hip and sometimes, my elbow. Pain, though is not a reason to give up, it’s a reason to keep going.
Arthritis, is a degenerative disease, by swimming I’m using my joints and in doing so, keeping them mobile as I can. This helps reduce the inevitable stiffness and pain, that comes with arthritis. Last year, a research study showed that swimming is the best form of exercise for arthritis.
I still experience asthma symptoms, I swim at well ventilated pools. One of the reasons, I left the pool as the gym, was because it was in the basement, with low ceilings. My inhaler sits at the side of the pool, and my nebuliser, sits in a bag, with my towel.
Now, nearly two years on, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I have more energy and I’ve lost weight.I feel more confident and motivated. I want to keep myself fit, I don’t want to be spending my days, sitting around, feeling sorry for myself and psychology disabling myself, with thoughts along the lines of “I want to do it, but I can because of my asthma etc”. I also want to maintain, as good as quality of life, as I can for as long as I can.
Being able swim, has resulted in some amazing opportunities: swimming in the sea, off Anti-Paxos, featuring on an Arthritis and me DVD, taking part in Sport Relief, being part of the “this Girl Can Campaign and more recently, an invite to a reception at the Houses of Parliment which, to my huge regret, I can’t get time off work for.
People do ask me how I do it, in view of my health problems. I don’t know, I know my increased fitness levels, help, along with determination and sheer bloody-mindedness. I might be gritting my teeth, against the pain, but I’m still getting to the top of the pool!
To conclude, this post I what I am trying to say is, that before you dive headlong (no pun intended) into New Years resolution, think through what you want to achieve and what you are prepared to commit to achieving this, though it seem easy at the start, it soon proves tougher. Can you still offer this level of commitment in 3 months, six months, a year, two years? How are you going to maintain your motivation? And so forth
The only other left to say is
Good luck and keep at it.