Beth's Collier Kilimanjaro challenge
- Category: General Information
- Published on Friday, 13 January 2017 14:58
- Hits: 390
Beth has shared her incredible story and her tough challenge with us through her fibro blog. ‘’I'm climbing Kilimanjaro in hope to achieve a life-long goal. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia for four years and never saw myself climbing a mountain ever again. Thanks to the support of family, friends and professionals I am hoping to inspire others who live with fibro and raise some awareness about the condition. I have chosen to fundraise for FMA-UK on the basis that should I chose to access help, advice and support this is where I would head. I will be proud to wear the FMA UK shirt as I peak Africa’s highest!
Fibro is incredibly unique to each individual that suffers with it. I worry that sharing the fact that I live with it, and am looking to undertake such a physically demanding challenge will add to some peoples assumption that it is a made up thing. Or worse, further demotivate those who don’t feel they would be able to attempt what I am looking to.
My colleague helped me to let out my thoughts and feelings on this. He told me I should be proud of what I’m doing and shouldn’t be afraid to share my story. He went on to tell me about a radio interview he had heard that morning. The interview was with a 2016 competing Paralympian, who had been inspired by Ellie Simmonds in 2012 and won Bronze at Rio.
Kicking myself, I thought how ridiculous. 4 years in and I STILL struggle to talk and accept my condition. This needs to change. My colleague was right, I should share and I should be proud of what I am doing and trying alongside my condition. I cannot change my diagnosis but I can change how I think, feel and talk about it. Hopefully I’ll learn how to tell a cool story or two in the process too!
Prior to a life of fibro I was quite the active body. Due to my dad’s passion for mountaineering, my brother and I were exposed to some pretty mad adventures quite early on, for example, trekking around the Brecon beacons age 10 and 13 with 20kg back packs on. Oh and then there was the time we climbed Mont Blanc. For large proportions of my condition I’ve felt pretty robbed of the freedom to do what I love without any thought or consideration of the impact it may have on my day to day functionality. That said, I also rebel against it and am often guilty of not pacing myself and neglecting simple helpful routines. I’m also guilty of getting a bit excited on a ‘good day’ thinking nothing has changed from who I was 10 years ago and get harshly reminded all too quickly by a stinking flare up.
Now there is a very real possibility that I may be biting off a bit more than I can physically chew with Kilimanjaro but, I won’t know unless I try. I’m certainly aware it’s going to be difficult. Likely the hardest thing I ever chose to put myself through.
Aware of the need to improve my fitness in preparation for ascending Africa’s highest peak I signed up to a gym for the first time in 3 years mid-August and did a ‘300 workout’ session. As someone who used to be very active I am familiar with the post work out burn, followed by the cramp like aches a couple of days later. However, this was instant. And not looking to ease up anytime soon. Struggling to get off the bus home I was pretty concerned I wasn’t going to be able to move the next day. I treated myself to a bath fished out the electric blanket and took several painkillers to aid a solid 7 hours sleep in hope I could walk the next day.
The three days that followed were excruciating on my legs and back. Getting up, sitting down, using stairs and simply taking a step forward was agony. It wasn’t until the fourth day that it felt like a ‘good pain’. Thankfully by the fifth I was able to walk without winging’’.
Read more on Beth’s fibro blog: https://fibro-blogger.com/
To support Beth’s amazing efforts donate to her JustGiving page to support FMA UK work: