If you have read my blog before or any Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) article for that matter, you will know exercise is one of the key components in keeping the condition in check. However; when you are in pain, stiff and sore, it’s something that can be both physically difficult to do, as well as mentally challenging to motivate yourself. I won’t dwell on the first point any more as I have previously written about it in my Catch 22 post.
As a young man who’s getting ever-so closer to the big three O, life seems to be getting busier and busier, which I’m sure many of you can relate to. So if motivation to exercise wasn’t hard enough, I now have a whole bundle of excuses in my inventory to use to get me out of this boring arduous task! I know this makes me sound rather lazy, and some of you may be wanting to scream at me for not doing something which is fundamental to my quality of life. At the end of the day I am just a man, at times I get lazy, and just want a quite afternoon on the sofa watching sport on the TV. What’s wrong with that? Why would I want to go to the gym, run in the rain or do any other physical activity I don’y enjoy. That there is the key word ‘enjoy’. That’s why I took to golf, I love playing golf, plus it’s good exercise, especially for AS as it works on core strength and flexibility. The catch with golf is it’s expensive at times, and much more fun if you have someone to play with. At present I play once a month on average, it can be barely classed as a hobby at that.
I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, so hopefully you’ll comment to tell me if I am not; but do you find when your are having a flare, or your pain is increased, do you look for that eureka thought that going to change the way you manage your AS? Do you make on the spot decisions like, “from today I’m going to eat oily fish three times a week! that’ll help me surely!?!”. Or what about “I should train for a 5 kilometre race! That will get me fit again!”. As you may have guessed, I recently thought those two exact same things recently when I was struggling though the day. Eating more fish is a pretty easy change, but unlikely to help in any significant way to my pain levels, but it’s good for you all the same so I will try to stick it out for a while.
As I mentioned earlier I can get lazy, with an abundance of excuses waiting to be deployed at the mere thought or suggestion of exercise. So you might be wondering how I plan to run 5k given I have confessed to being lazy. Well as I also mentioned, enjoying what you are doing helps tremendously. Connecting the dots was actually pretty straight forward, I have my goal, I just needed something to motivate me in a way that I will enjoy. Guessed it yet? No? I’ll run for charity. What could be more motivating, or enjoyable than that?
So it with this thought that I want you all to help me spread the AS word. The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) does amazing things all over the UK to raise awareness, fund research and support patients in need. So on the 2nd of October I will be attempting to complete a 5 Kilometre race around Victoria park in London, in the name of NASS.
I would be overwhelmingly grateful for any donation (regardless or size) to the cause, but I’ll be even more grateful for your support and encouragement. Please tell all you friends and family, and tell them just how wonderfully amazing I am ;), and why NASS are such a worthwhile cause.
I will of course update you on my training progress, and post photos of the race, so come back soon.