Exercising - you either love it or you hate it. I definitely believe there is no middle ground when it comes to exercise. Most of us were either the person in our physical ed classes who was trying to avoid participation at all costs or we were jumping to be picked for team captain.
As most people see it, people exercise to keep fit, train for an event, lose weight or to tone up in some way. One thing people don't see from exercise is the massive stress relief it can give you.
For me, it was something I wasn't doing when newly diagnosed and I regret it. I was taking my anger and frustration out on friends, work, relatives, etc. It's wasn't healthy, and definitely not doing me any good at all.
Now, however, I can't get enough of it! Nothing relieves a rubbish day at work more than a good work out in the gym or a nice long run.
I'm not someone who can hold in things, I'm very open and keeping anything to myself and hidden away when angry only made me more angry and fiery. I needed an outlet. I still do! I have to vent and nothing makes me feel better than a hard 5 or 10km run or a 60 minute weights session.
I am currently in training for the London Marathon this April. I've done one before but could never get into the London ballot. Luckily I was a competition winner and I've been recently informed of a place for me! Luckily I've been half marathon training anyway so I'm...well...half way there I suppose!
I always tend to be a much happier, more tolerable and less stressed person when I frequently exercise. Me accomplishing marathons, etc. also show the world that although I'm HIV+ I am not an invalid incapable of achieving great goals and working towards big achievements. Whenever someone tries to knock me down it just gives me more fire in my belly to achieve and accomplish something new!
Also let's be honest - where sex is lacking, I have to be getting some kind of exercise!
So a marathon, for anyone who is unsure, is 26.2 miles (or approx 42km). I completed my last (and only so far) in 4hrs 39 minutes and 06 seconds and I'm aiming to beat that by about 20 minutes this time around.
Yes I'm HIV+, I'm also an ex-smoker and if anything that is going to affect me more when running! My point being, I'm going to kick me some marathon ass.
One thing I am apprehensive about is the fact I'm starting my HIV meds next week. Four and a half years diagnosed and it's now time. I decided to make this decision myself as I want to be more in control of this. I'm not willing to get sick and bed bound before realising my CD4 is very low and that's why my immune system is shot to pieces.
Will it affect my training? The last thing I need is my training schedule to go to pot because of my meds. I'm determined for this to not happen. I won't let it control me or stop my run.
Optimism, determination, discipline. Three key factors needed for me to overcome this seemingly minor (or maybe major to some) hurdle in this stage of life. Bring it on.
I'm running in aid of a couple of charities; if you would like to sponsor me you can do so here. The charities I'm running for are the Terrence Higgins Trust - an HIV/AIDS Charity - and for Cancer Research.