Category Archives: Fitness


London Bridges Walk 2011

Firstly, sorry for not posting in like forever! Time has passed, Im still on dialysis and still waiting for a transplant but overall in myself I am fine. I recently had another assessment and they are happy with me and are keeping me on the waiting list. My girlfriend is still fantastic and I’m still smug!

The London Bridges Walk has come around again already and this year we are priming up for a larger group of us to take part. So far there are 7 of us shortly to be wondering around Norfolk with our sponsorship forms waving in our hands but just in case we don’t bump into you in person you can go to the Kidney Research UK fundraisers page and donate online to our cause at (drum roll please…)


London Bridges Walk – The Big Day!

London Bridges Walk

Made it to the end!

Well Sunday the 10th July finally arrived! My friend Dessie and I had been raising funds for the walk for a couple of months prior and can proudly say as I type so far we have raised over £1100 for Kidney Research UK, so thank you to everyone who was kind enough to give, and a big thank you to the girls at the social club for walking round with the sponsorship forms!
Two friends accompanied us on the day, Our Social Club Steward Chris Harfield and a friend Carol Brownley. Chris H kindly offered to drive, an offer that was snatched upon! The weather was perfect to go with the perfect company and when we arrived to register for the walk Chris and Carol decided to postpone their shopping trip and promptly registered as well! (Thanks again guys)

London Bridges Walk

London Bridges Walk

Apparently there were approximately 1000 people taking part in the walk which started at 11am at Potters Field on the south bank near Tower Bridge after an intro & count down by Angela Rippon.
All in all it was a fantastic day and witnessing the sea of purple clad people walking the Embankment was a sight I shall not soon forget!
Hopefully the walk has raised awareness as well as raised funds for Kidney Research UK and I’m already looking forward to next year!
London Bridges Walk Big Ben

London Bridges Walk

London Bridges Walk

London Bridges Walk

Kidney Research UK Fundraiser

So after a few false starts, fingers crossed I will have the opportunity along with my friend Dessie to raise money for Kidney Research UK. We are taking part in the London Bridges Walk and trying to raise money and awareness for the charity along with 100’s of others on the day I hope!
The walk takes place on the 10th July and incorporates 8 of London’s bridges over about 7 miles.
With me (touch wood) running on a fairly even keel at the moment and with my friend there to help hopefully it should be a great day out!

Anyone wishing to give a donation, our fundraising page is :

It’s been a while….!

Firstly apologies for no updates for so long. Life has been….interesting!
So we’ve brought a New Year in, bringing with it a realization that I’ve been on my own now for nearly a decade! Sad to think that for one reason or another but mainly to do with health and self image I have taken myself off the market for so long. Seems like the blink of an eye! One thing I have promised this year is that I’m not going to be so hard on myself, it is after all not my fault that I have renal failure and have had since the early nineties, people can either accept that or not – I no longer care.

Hi Ho It’s off to work I go…or not

It was about November last year after our beloved new government set out plans to reform the benefits system and get people back to work that I decided that I would like to at least try and get back into work. I have no idea if I will cope or not but I will be letting myself down if I didn’t give it a try. After a few failed applications I wrote to my MP asking for advice for someone like me. Someone with a life threatening illness who has been out of work for a long while. She kindly wrote back suggesting the Shaw Trust and wishing me luck. The Trust specializes in getting people on Incapacity benefit and people out of work long term back into employment and can supply training to that effect. Apparently.
I signed up to the Trust on the Pathways to Work Scheme only to find on my second visit that they were having their funding pulled and my adviser had been given her redundancy! No training will be available and as of the end of March I will be signed off from them. Bloody Marvelous.
So I’m on my own again trying to apply for work in a time where every job is hotly competed for!

To Date or Not to Date….
Now back to dating briefly! I have been experimenting with dating sites and actually managed to arrange a date with someone recently. There were a few obstacles, such as I live in Norfolk and she lives in London…. but I thought to hell with it lets give it a go! I caught the train down to Kings Cross where I met up with my date. We seemed to hit it off quite quickly and went to the Natural History Museum and saw the Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition, then on to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I have to say it was a very enjoyable day but it turned out my date had some very serious issues of her own which when I was brutally honest with myself made me come to the realization that added to my messed up life it would be too much for either of us to take on. If you ever read this Beena, then I apologize and hope you understand…!
Unfortunately the offer I had on that site has expired and I cant afford to continue with it, which is a shame because it was a format that I quite got on with. Ah well! Will have to stick to the free ones!

Swimming and Gymming..!
I made a sort of New Years Resolution with a difference this year. Normally I don’t do resolutions but rather do something when I feel like it, but this year I have decided to try and get my weight down and be as active as my body will let me. I go to the gym 2 to 3 times a week now and swim 2 to 3 times a week. Now, when I talk about the gym, I’m actually on strict orders to do only light to moderate exercise so to a normal person it probably seems totally unworthwhile, but I have lost a lot of weight and have to say feel better in myself. All the machines I use are set to their easiest level but it still puts my pulse rate up high! I may have mentioned it earlier but although dialysis is a very effective treatment for kidney failure, it does take it out of you and can lead to muscle loss, the heart being the most important muscle! So it make sense to eat a good diet and exercise as best you can.
This Tuesday I have a Transplant Assessment at Addenbrookes to see if I am still a suitable candidate for a transplant. I am hoping they will be happy with me and that my ECG and chest x-ray don’t throw up any nasty suprises….

British Transplant Games

British Transplant Games LogoAll the best to everyone taking part in this years Transplant Games in the city of Bath. Come on the Cambridge Team!
Click here for BBC Linky

I’m seriously thinking of having swimming lessons to improve my overall technique from “looking like your drowning in a slowly forward motion…” to “gliding gracefully through the water like a dolphin”, so one day if I’m lucky enough to have another successful transplant I will try and compete in the Games. I would also have to lose about 3 stone in blubber of coarse! Walrus Swimming
One day at a time as they say….

I noticed that they are also doing ten pin bowling as an event – that could be tempting too as I used to enjoy bowling when I was younger. I used to imagine that the head pin was someone I didn’t like – used to work rather well actually.

Friendships falling by the wayside and other musings

I bumped into a couple of friends at the food store this weekend, that in itself isn’t much to write about, but the distance that has grown between us since I was declared at “End Stage Renal Failure” over a year ago now perhaps is.
They were two of my best friends and we used to meet up most weekends for a drink and a chat, failing that we would be in contact via email or text.
I’m not sure what happened really, perhaps they have found it hard to relate to me now I am ill, or maybe they feel awkward around me and don’t quite know how to “deal” with me being on dialysis. Or maybe its the single thing. They are a couple and do couple things with other couples, perhaps there’s no room for the perpetually single ill bloke. Either way I stopped getting emails, texts and phone calls. I didn’t get invited out or around any more.
And I, out of stubbornness and at that time depression, gave up trying to keep in touch.
It was for me at least an awkward, bitter sweet moment when our paths crossed in the chilled section. It was so good to see them, but I just didn’t know what to say.
Well, I did really.
What I wanted to say was “where were you….?”

Right, now I’ve depressed myself! God man – get a grip!

On a good note, I finally went swimming tonight at my local (20 minute drive away…) 25m pool. When I got there it was deserted apart from one old boy who smiled at me as i flopped into the water like a walrus. I managed 30ish lengths over a 25 minute period which is slow for someone fit (or normal) but I’m relatively happy with as its been about 6 months since my last visit to the swimming pool and I’m just a little unfit!

As I slowly swam from one end of the pool to the other more people started to arrive, a few of which were the type that get me to go a little er….. shall we say “Basil Fawlty”.
There is a fast lane at the end of the pool for….you’ve guessed it… swimmers. I stay out of this. Yet whenever I’m in a pool I seem to get surrounded by would-be Olympic front crawl swimmers that plough right through me, giving me stubborn “get out the way or else…” looks. By the time I’ve avoided all the possible collisions I’ve probably swam twice the distance I set out to do and accidentally drunk the entire pool.
Times like these I have visions of me exiting the pool and walking nonchalantly to a big handle on the wall and pulling it, then watching as everyone gets sucked down the U-bend, like a giant toilet being flushed!

I’m smiling now just thinking about it…..!

Well its gone midnight and I have to be up for the 3rd installment of the Papworth Trust – musn’t oversleep!

Down in the Dumps

I’m having one of those days today – Generally I’m in an upbeat mood, maybe it’s lack of sleep, but I’ve found myself down in the dumps today and this evening. I went to Swaffham to one of the pubs there – only to stand on my own at the bar drinking ginger ale. I looked around and all I could see indoors was old men, and outside were people half my age drinking. I left there and drove to Kings Lynn and went to a pub called the Lattice House. Somehow I ended up sitting at the corner of the bar hugging my alcohol-free beer thinking dark thoughts while couples stood around me happy as can be.

The thought popped into my head that there is a very real possibility that I will never find someone and the annoying thing is it will entirely be my fault for not conquering my fears.

So I must fight the doldrums, I WILL join the gym and will start to swim again because I know from past experience the more active you are the better you feel. Might even lose weight as well!

I also need to sit down over the next few days and think long and hard about what I wish to achieve in this life and think on what is realistically obtainable. I don’t know how long I’m for this world and need to make the most of my time, not spend it sulking and doing nothing!

I guess we are all entitled to down days but it’s up to us not to let it get the better of us and fight it.

Anyway enough of that here’s a photo from my other blog taken a while back. Hope you like

To Gym or not to Gym

I have become a bit lax of late so far as my physical condition goes. I keep telling myself that I need to get into some sort of shape, lazy me says round IS a shape…

I suffer terribly from gout and for no apparent reason it can strike. I can get it in my feet, hands, knees and shoulder and when I get a full on attack it’s totally debilitating. I was on a previous mission earlier this year to lose weight and gain some measure of fitness by swimming as it is something  I enjoy, and I was having some success but a couple of bad attacks put me off – until now.

Here comes the rub. Transplant surgery will not be considered if someone is over a certain body mass, and while dialysis is good as a renal function replacement, its not good forever, over time the body deteriorates. The average mortality rate on dialysis I believe is about 9 years (I hasten to add that is certainly not always the case – some people have been on dialysis for many years). So it makes the best possible sense to exercise regularly to keep the body and heart as strong as possible – not easy if you have kidney failure as tiredness, fatigue and illness limp with you every step of the way.

My “Leisure Card” for my local sports centre includes on it a discount both on swimming and the dreaded gym. I’ve always found gyms to be frightening places with strange mixes of people ranging from the fad gymsters who only want to loose a few pounds to fit in their skinny beach-ware to the Iron Man/Lady competitor and finally the Meat Head who struts around the gym as though he owns the place, sneering at us mere mortals who break out into a sweat just trying to mount the exercise bike.

I know that I have to brave it, but just can’t stand the idea of people’s snide looks and remarks. Perhaps I’ll have a t-shirt printed with the words “I’m a dialysis patient so ‘eff off unless you have something encouraging to say” – or words to that effect. But go I must, so I’ve got the t-shirt sorted, I’ll also need trainers and tracksuit bottoms – shorts are for people with muscles, and I more accurately depict a spud on 2 cocktail sticks.

I could always go in a spandex body suit – that should empty the gym quite quickly…..

Finally there is the dreaded Gym Induction – where a Greek god/godess fitness instructor assesses you and your gym prowess before administering a gruelling, torturous fitness plan designed to make you a wheezing cripple crawling on all fours to the drinks machine every 5 minutes.

The more I think about this the more I’m looking forward to it……Not.

Maybe I should stick to swimming for the time being….. I can do floating

Whatever I decide, I will keep you posted