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Craig's Musings

Ride & Training Update – Jan 21

In my last update, I mentioned the cold weather, which has finally subsided. The outdoor beckons once again as the clock counts down to April 19th.

I also boasted about how I had been hammering the gym. Every day for week in fact. A hard setting on the bike, some weights and swimming. I was beginning to feel very Adonis-like, despite every mirror laughing at the very thought. Luckily, gyms don’t have many mirrors. Oh, hang on, yes they do, which is why it sounded like I had my very own studio audience laughing each time I caught a glance as if Del-Boy had just leant on a bar that wasn’t there.

That all came crashing down on Wednesday though, when I woke up with a little twinge in my right foot. I’ve had issues before, so I was a little nervous and stayed off the bike, sticking just to the pool. Then, by the end of the day, the pain was getting stronger, waking me up in the night a number of times.

On Thursday I could hardly walk on my right foot, which had me panicking. I did what any sensible man would do in this situation. I turned to Google.

Gout Cyclists Feet

It had to be the incredible amount of exercise I had been doing, I thought, like only a deluded man can.

I blindly aimed for all the reasons that sounded more exciting, comparing myself to ‘serious atheletes’ as the reason. Oh no, I summised, it’s the metatarsal. I can tell everyone how me and David Beckham have something in common and how I might not make the Euros this summer.

The pain got so bad during the day that I started thinking about postponing the ride itself until October (which would actually have been a much better date to start with). After half a day of moping and feeling sorry for myself hobbling around the house, I was looking for the bright side and planning a new timetable.

By Friday morning, the pain still very much my focus, I caved and called the doctor. Now, I know a lot of people complain about GPs these days, but they have a hard job, I think. The irony being that the Daily Mail reading chorus of constant moaners are the same people who voted in the lot that started asset-stripping the NHS. By assets, I mean people.

Anyway, I like the new way of doing things. You call; you’re in a queue (where they tell you what number you are in the queue – love that), and then you get to speak to someone who asks you lots of questions to see what the issue is. Luckily, or unluckily, mine was sufficient to pass this X-Factor style audition. It wasn’t the “judge’s houses” next, though, but a text message half an hour later asking me to send some pictures, one of which I share with you here. This short episode taught me two things. Firstly, a photo of the side of your photo shows you what a weird-looking thing it actually is – like a squashed sausage – especially when it’s swollen. Secondly, I really must vacuum my bedroom floor because I had to photoshop the photos before I could send them removing the fluff and dust on the carpet. Logic told me that ten minutes of doing this was time much better spent than actually vacuuming the floor itself though.

With photos sent, half an hour later the practitioner called back, asking me lots of questions. I was especially proud that the answer to alcohol consumption was actually true for once, being a good boy this side of Christmas.

Then, a prognosis I wasn’t expecting. Gout.

Now, in my ignorance, I thought Gout was something sailors of days gone by got, like rotting feet. Off my brain went again, telling myself how this must be diabetes (I am the ideal candidate after all).

I was prescribed a course of drugs to help the inflammation. I was then told I needed another course of drugs because the first one might ruin the lining of my stomach. Reassurance, if any was needed, that my choice to take as few drugs as possible is the right one.

After the call ended, once again, I Googled. Yep, Gout, that’s it. Why that had not even entered the frame when I had looked before, I do not know, as it seemed spot on. If you don’t know, Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain, one of the causes being lifestyle and the type of food that is consumed that helps create more Uric Acid than is healthy. This was another wake up call to my lifestyle, A yellow card, if you will, and a tenuous link with David Beckham remains.

This latest episode has once again reminded me that I’m not getting any younger, and that I really must start cutting things out now I have reached the ‘sniper alley’ age. Do I really want to get to sixty hobbling and creaking just for the sake of a glass of wine or some cheese on toast?

Perhaps, in all seriousness, it’s once again a reminder that things like this, and I include Cancer, don’t just happen to someone else, especially if, like me, you overlook all the advice about reducing risk. None of us are immortal, and none of us are impenetrable, especially as we rack up more miles on the clock. All sorts of things could pop up and say hello at any time for any one of us. Some of which are more than happy to show us the exit door.

And this is why, while my gouty feet will let me, I’ll crack on with this cycle ride to Benidorm to raise as much as I can for people who have already had some sort of nod, and living with the uncertainty it brings.



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