Gaining inspiration

I’ve been fairly motivated to get myself in shape since my Heart Attack.  It gave me the “kick up the behind” I needed to get of the sofa and start exercising.

After building some initial momentum at Cardiac Rehabilitation, the Euro City Cycle has given me the focus to keep pushing through the winter.  Having something to work towards has really helped maintain my motivation through the cold, dark days.

Despite this, I sometimes find my work-outs tough.  I stay within my limits as far as pushing my Heart Rate and Stamina is concerned, but at the same time I try to work hard enough to push those limits further, to slowly build my strength and endurance.

Today marks 10 weeks until I head south to start the Euro City Cycle.  I really need to start upping my training to ensure I’m properly prepared.  To do this, I have to push myself a little harder.

I would like to avoid feeling like this on the Euro City Cycle!

When I’m tired it’s tempting to take short cuts, to give myself a break, to find an excuse to ease off or slow down.  Often the tiredness is mental rather than physical.  It’s difficult to keep pushing.

On Sunday I fortuitously stumbled across “Race across America (with James Cracknell)”.  I joined the story as he arrived in Death Valley, during his attempt to travel from West Coast to East Coast in 18 days.  Having arrived by bike, he had to cover about 80 miles on foot, the equivalent of 3 marathons in temperatures of 120+ degrees.  It was brutal!  If his challenge wasn’t great enough, he had an injured foot that made every step painful.

He lost 35 litres of sweat during this little stroll!

To be honest, the whole thing was bordering on nuts, but the effort and mental strength was amazing, a real source of inspiration.  Since I saw it, whenever I start to feel tired I compare my position with what he had to deal with.  It’s never failed to give me an extra boost of energy so far!

I also liked the fact that he really didn’t enjoy his ice bath afterwards.  I’ve always wondered how pleasurable they must be.  The answer appears to be “not very!”.  I understand the rejuvenational benefits an ice bath may have, but I’ll be giving them a miss if that’s OK.  If I were to have one it could literally turn out to be the last thing I did!

The part of the James Cracknell story I wasn’t expecting was that he got knocked off his bike and suffered a serious head injury from which he’s still recovering.  Ignoring how the injury happened, I also found his recovery inspiring.  It certainly helped me put my rehabilitation into some context.  Again, what he went through in the months after his accident was on a different scale to what I’ve had to deal with.  I am very lucky!

So, over the coming weeks I’m going to knuckle down and do the work.  No excuses.

4 thoughts on “Gaining inspiration

  1. Aj

    Keep it up Paul, all very inspiring. A small tip, if you haven’t start practicing trying food you can carry and enjoy! More calories than you are probably used too at the moment. My favourites are jelly babies and dried apricots!


    1. Paul Squire Post author

      Thanks AJ! I’ve stayed well clear of sweets, chocolates, etc. for the past 8 months. So far I haven’t really ventured mush beyond the odd banana, however I have just started on the energy gels and drinks. I know I need to keep fuelled. That said, I don’t feel like I can just eat anything because I’m going to work it off on my bike – weight and energy are only part of the equation! All good fun! 🙂


  2. Troy's Heart

    This came along at just the right time. I had my first, and hopefully last heart attack, one week ago, today. I “died” three times, with the longest time being gone at 45 seconds. Other than the frightening disorientation before losing consciousness, I found being unconscious to be quite peaceful. No white lights or anything, just peaceful. :op

    After my rest/recovery period from the heart attack, angiogram, stent, and pacemaker, I look forward to starting out with walking. I know there will be days when I am challenged to push myself. In addition to all of this, I have partial paralysis in my right rotator cuff, due to a broken neck (spinal stenosis – another topic I will be covering in my new blog).

    The biggest challenge, and one that I can meet if I apply myself (like kidney stones, just remembering the pain *should* be enough) is my diet. And it’s not just me. People that I told yesterday, “I have to stop eating foods like cheese”, already are asking me, “So, are you sure you don’t want cheese on your squash, tonight”? LOL, or cry?

    My best to you as you prepare for your cycle. I look forward to future posts, and I thank you for the inspiration.

    Troy M. Burnett


    1. Paul Squire Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Troy! I’m glad the Blog might be of some help. Unfortunately I don’t think there are any shortcuts to recovery from a Heart Attack, determination and discipline are two of the key ingredients.

      I recognise I’m very lucky to have survived my Heart Attack and to be in a position to do what I’m doing. It’d be great to think I can help others recognise there’s still hope and opportunity out there!

      I look forward to following your recovery over the coming weeks and months. Good luck!



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