Hi! So, it may have been 6-12 months since I last wrote anything, who’s counting anyway 🤭! Firstly a quick health update: as of my last scan in Dec 21, tumour is stable, still living rent free in my head but no further growth, thank you God 🙏🏾 I also just want to say thank you for the loving support and messages I continuously receive – it has been so important in lifting me and bringing me back to the chair/stool/sofa to start writing again. But honestly speaking, I needed to strip everything back and look at why I started writing this blog… for me!
I have always wanted to write these posts as a way for me to face my own problems- an outlet of emotions and thoughts and it helps me understand what I’m feeling! And in the process if it encourages others, gives some hope and ways of dealing with their own struggles, well that’s brilliant! But most of all, I have wanted to be honest with my posts. So in the name of honesty, the last few months (by few I mean maybe most of 2021!) have been a struggle. It reminds me a lot of the Everest Base Camp trek I did with my wife in 2013- mountain tops and valleys… one day you would go up 800 metres only to go down 900 metres the next day, and the frustration was real! The Sherpas would tell us it helped us “acclimatise”. I love practical analogies, and this ‘acclimatisation’ process makes a really good example of life – we always want to just keep going forward/up but life doesn’t work like that. The truth is, even though we might not know where we’re heading (we only feel the setbacks and the depth of our “down days”), trust that each heavy step is still progress- easy in theory, very hard in practice as I’m finding.
Despite trying to wake up positive each day the truth is that when I’m on my own, it’s been quite lonely and I’ve had to say hello to some unwelcome thoughts. It’s been confusing, it’s been frustrating, it’s been revealing, it’s been anxiety provoking, its been tiring. I hate admitting that I can be weak, I hate admitting my weaknesses, I hate asking for help. There we go, I said it! That final bit is particularly tough because since this unwelcome guest turned up in my head, people have always commented on how positively I’ve taken everything but I feel like a fraud when the truth is I’m not that guy all the time. It’s hard to acknowledge but I’m learning it’s ok to slow down and replenish – I can encourage others but I can also rest and wait in the silence.
I think my biggest problem has been “time” – something I can’t see, something I can’t control, something I can’t buy more of, something I can’t reverse, slow down, speed up… I just have to let time be time and I’ve been a little confused about how to use that time. Am I on borrowed time of my peak/optimal years, do I need to slow down because actually I have lots of time to live and I don’t need to rush everything. When I think back to sitting in that hospital bed in Feb 2020, I didn’t think I’d be alive for more than 2 days, and here I am, 2 years on!!! (Whoop whoop 🙌🏾!) I’ve seen a new nephew and niece enter the world, I saw my little sister-in-law get married, I’ve had some amazing experiences with my girls (which I will be able to share soon!), I taught my first training class at my gym, I’ve even seen Arsenal go on a 5 match winning streak (which hasn’t happened in years!!!). Just rereading that, I am a lucky and blessed man – but as a human there is always the want for more, the slightly unsatisfied feeling of ‘could do better’.
I keep thinking I’m at an epic crossroads moment in life where the next choice, the next path to take is the most important decision I’m ever going to make. The reality is that there are lots of important decisions to make all the time, but I’m trying to take off that pressure I put myself under and focus on the next decision – the decision to get up and give it a go, the decision to start the day with a positive attitude – and that kind of decision can change a day.
So there you have a little insight into my thoughts to reacquaint ourselves – this was my way of saying “hey, how you doing” after a small siesta! Please feel free to drop me a message if you found any of this helpful or even if you just want to chat, I’m always here.
Much love, Sam
Ps – you won’t have to wait 12 months for the next blog, I promise! 😜