Monday, 29 June 2015

Set goals they said...

A wonderful good Monday to you all!

After an all time energy low weekend full of sleepless nights and dream-walking days - still sore in the leg from Wednesday's training session (recovery is taking an age in recent months!), the high point came early when I finally got to meet and chat to the fine folk of the Invictus Triathlon Club at the really rather good Lily & Arthur's Cafe on Saturday morning. Chapeau to Clare for the introduction.

It has been absolutely fantastic to hear from so many long lost friends, former colleagues and rugby buddies. I genuinely had no idea I knew so many people! You guys can have little idea just how much your interest and contact means to me after all these years... a quarter of a century or more in some cases. You know who you are but special thanks to Nicola for the unexpected and unsolicited help and the seemingly ageless Jeff for the breakfast and trip down memory lane this morning in the outstanding - and very healthy - Cafe Gazura in Standish. I hope your expectations are suitably low for my return to Touch Rugby on Thursday! Jeff informed me of their healthy meal service and contact has been initiated to commence a trail at the end of the week - it seems to cost about as much as we spend - well waste - on the weekly shop so why not give it go. It is certainly a help knowing that three meals a day will be arriving. I'm really rather curious to see how this will work?

A big pat on the back to Chris, Leslie and my little Sis & Simon for keeping the conversation going. You kicked me out of a dark and brooding corner on more than one occasion. Thank you.

Later this day...

Well the GP has just departed and teaching is - I have just been shockingly informed - out of the question until the New Year. Why? The risk of infection, once chemotherapy commences, is far too high. and as the therapy will run intensely for 21 weeks my immune system won't be able to cope with the deluge of microbes we teachers are drenched with each and every day. Kids eh! To be honest the ramifications of this - financial and time based - have yet to sink in. I'm sure I can work in isolation on something or other - any ideas or, even better, offers? I fear for the "I-Love-Physics" message!

So, what will I do with my time on the days that the energy levels allow activity?

I would hazard a guess that those who know me can probably guess what's coming?

Charity fundraising: cycling, shaving, sports, strength stuff & studies.

Come on... you couldn't see that coming?

The Primary Goal: to raise as much money as possible for the Lymphoma Association UK


Well, with your help and support I'll be hosting and joining several events during the next twelve months.

Those magnificent folk at RM Fitness have jumped to the head of the queue and already suggested an event or three. Talk about a psychological boost. Awesome stuff guys, dare I say Bosh-tastic!

The 'WILL HAPPEN (as I've already signed up events) are....

July 2016: London to Paris Cycle Challenge: a bespoke 4 days of road cycling (350 miles-ish) finishing in Paris the evening before Le Tour de France. I have two domestiques already committed to the cause: Rory and Jeff and am looking for more. Please drop me a comment below if you are at all interested in joining us on the road to Paris. Of course if my health fails me, well, I'll still be there with you in some capacity - team manager probably!

August 2016: RIDE London-Surrey: A 100 mile loop around much of the 2012 London Olympic Road Race route. Closed roads and a Buckingham Palace finish means this "L2P reunion" will be a very special day.

My personal target is to raise a minimum of £2500 for the Lymphoma Association UK via these events. Please help in any way you can. As soon as I've saved enough I fully intend to cover the cost of my ride myself thus ensuring that the charity will receive every penny I raise.

The 'going to happen but still in the planning stages' events...

July 2015: A sponsored head shave: well if I'm going to lose my magnificent flowing mane it WILL be on my terms and for a worthy cause. Details to come.

July 2015: A Great British Tea Break: This will hopefully be a regular event however the first will probably take place in the gardens of the semi-detached Chateau-Dey. Details to come. EVEN BETTER: if you are a cafe (by are I mean run!) and would be happy to host this fundraising venture that would be amazing - please contact me via email or the comments below. Think of the PR - the press will be all over it :-D

As there is no local, and by local I mean Wigan & Standish Lymphoma Association Support Group I will be contacting the charity to discuss the possibility of hosting one. Although what I have to input into this is minimal? We shall see what transpires.

Where am I now with respect to the cancer and its treatment?

Another armful of blood was given last Thursday and I am scheduled to meet the Oncology team on Monday 6th July. I assume to discuss the treatment protocols and to inform of the Do's & Don't's? The letter contains no information other than the appointment details so I think I'll phone up for a chat with the secretary to find out if I need to bring anything along or fast or something?

As I've already stated I fully intend to continue to train during this period - more out of research curiosity than any expectation of improvement. The plan is 2-3 sessions of strength work each week interspersed with an indoor/outdoor road cycling plan: using The Sufferfest Training videos, my beautiful Classic Lightweight, the Elite fluid trainer and TrainerRoad, all following an adapted Novice 10 week road programme. I also hope to be able to join in the Thursday evening Touch Rugby sessions (but have no illusions about lasting more than a minute or two!) If I'm at all able I'll try to attend as many of the Invictus Triathlon Club's slow group rides as possible - yes roadie friends, I have joined a triathlon club ... please comment as soon as you have forgiven me, and no I will not be riding around in budgie-smugglers and a sawn-off skin tight vest - the good people of Lancashire will NEVER be ready for that!

And there is my ever present dream of finally learning to swim without the fear of drowning?

I'm also looking at on-line study and professional development and have signed up to a few Coursera courses.

Thanks again everyone. The nerves are jangling as the dread chemo' approaches... Eek!



  1. And a happy Monday to you too, Sir Nick!
    The London to Paris challenge sounds great... any more details on this? I may well be tempted ;-)
    I see you have joined the dark side (triathlon)... it's great - we have cake! 3 years ago I could barely swim 50m - I looked like a grenade had gone off in the pool, plenty of splashing but very little forward movement!! Cue a few 'swim smooth' swimming lessons and joining the local triathlon club (ATHelite based up her in Hamilton) and I've now completed a couple of IM events with another in Switzerland 3 weeks away. Once you get your breathing sorted it's not *that* bad!!! Far prefer the bike and the run though ;-)
    All the best with the treatment and keep posting - I'll keep an ion you... as one atom said to another "Oh no, I'm missing some electrons!", "Are you sure?", "Yes, I'm positive!"
    Best wishes,
    Sir Gav :-)

  2. Hi Dr G, terribly sorry for the delay - I was in effect sulking for a day or two!
    I'll post info about the L2P ride tomorrow but in effect it's 4 days of fun but challenging cycling ending in Paris the evening before the Tour de France 2016 arrives.
    I've not yet dared to brave the pool or the trails, or even the group rides yet as most seem to be in a bonkers pre-IronMan frame of mind. Hopefully normality will return after next Sunday's UK IronMan.
    Thanks a million for the comments - it makes a big difference. I don't want to appear a WIMP but I just seem to pass through the days without much detectable effect! ;-D