Janathon 2018, Day 31 – Reaching the Finish Line

It’s all over.

Janathon is finally over!

Today I headed out for a walk. This is the glorious view from the start of the walk. Unfortunately by the time we got there I was in the middle of a full blown episode and I couldn’t get out of the car. I so desperately wanted to go for that walk, but my brain was shouting out all manner of ridiculous things. In the end the Old Trout made me take some diazepam to calm myself down, before we headed back home.

I’m sad that I didn’t manage to get to go for the walk. But I also know that it’s days like this which are the reason I can’t work and thus get the chance to head out for a walk any time I want. And I still appreciated how beautiful and wild it was out there today, even through the fogged up, grimy window of schizophrenia.

I was reconciled to the fact that I wouldn’t meet my daily step goal today. But for some reason, I did. I can’t work out how. But I’m not going to wonder too loudly in case some deity hear me and removes some of the steps.

Here we are at the end of Janathon. I mentioned at the start that I didn’t want to push myself too much, because by the end of last Juneathon I had got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying exercising any more. And in that I’ve succeeded. I really did want to head out on that walk today. And I’m certain that it’ll happen in the next couple of days. My relief at being able to stop is entirely because I don’t want to have to write another blog post for a while.

But take a look at the screenshots below. The comparison between my activity last month and this month is quite amazing:

The blue lines are days where I reached my daily step goal. The dashed lines, those where I didn’t. And the green lines show every time I did an activity other than walking, such as attempting a plank.

And so, once again, dear “athon”, I thank you for what you have done for me. And I bid you adue until next time.

To end, here are the photos showing me, racing over the Janathon finish line like the true proffesional that I am:

See you all in June 😉


Janathon 2018, Day 29 – Nearly there…

Yesterday’s trip to Scarborough really wore me out mentally. I love going to events like that and chatting about my hobby, but it’s still quite a strain. As we were getting back into the car on the way home, my mind had already begun to race and to question the whole thing. Was I polite enough? Did I allow people to speak enough? Were my mannerisms over the top? Did I upset anyone… And so on. The two hours was replayed in my head constantly last night. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything went well enough. No one is going to come to shoot me for my misdemeanours. And yes, that’s what my head says after I talk to people: that I’ve done something wrong and that if the negative outweighs the positive then someone will come and get rid of me. It’s a good thing that I’m naturally gregarious and outgoing because otherwise I would probably be unable to punch through the fear and become a recluse.

So I was mentally worn out. And when you’re mentally worn out, It’s difficult to push yourself physically. I did nothing today except for a little bit of pottering. One thing I did was to start painting a magnetic key safe silver. It’s going to be a little geocaching container hidden behind a sign. As the sign itself is silver, I thought that I’d paint the key safe silver to blend in. And as a finishing touch I’ve made a decorative item out of filmo to glue on the top. Hopefully when people find it they’ll get a nice little surprise.

All of the pottering meant that I had got far closer to my daily step goal than I’d expected. Once again I was then spurred on to achieve it. Today I headed out for a short 10 minute walk to get that done.

Then came my attempt at a plank. I think I’m going to give up with them because I really can’t feel anything “going on”. The other day the Old Trout had a go. I could see that she was itching to. But neither of us knew if she’d manage because of the poor manouverability in her shoulders. There was probably an equal chance of her screaming in agony as even getting into the plank position. But she did it – she got down and held a plank for an entire 15 seconds. We were both flabbergasted. It was great. Not so great for me was the Old Trout declaring that her abs were sore. And for the next couple of days she’d periodically rub her sides saying “I can still feel that”. Hmph! I am not one to be outdone by my mother, but in this instance I shall be graceful and admit defeat. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that I was born with two left feet and am about as physically unaware of what my body is doing as anyone can be without getting mortally wounded; whereas my mother was so physically able in her early years that she went on to become a P.E. teacher of all ridiculous things!

Thank goodness Janathon is nearly over. I really need a day off from wittering on about nothing.

Nearly there Day: Reached daily step goal, 60 second plank

Steps Taken: 4,015

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 28 – Scarbados

Day 28 found me hobbling around sunny Scarbados (Scarborough) for the 2nd time in a month.

I’m sure that Scarborough is a very pleasant town, but during this trip we saw even less of it than last time. Today I walked the length of 3 streets to a Wetherspoons pub, ordered a half of “The Beast”, sat down and waited.

I’m pretty certain that I would have easily surpassed my daily step goal today had my fitness tracker not fallen off in the car. The problem with my vivofit3 is not that the clasp is loose, it’s that the strap irritates my wrist. I’m constantly having to move the watch from one wrist to another to ease the sore patches. It’s such a shame, because I didn’t have anywhere near the same amount of problems with the strap on the vivofit2.

And, as we were meant to be meeting people in the pub at 2pm I did feel a little lost without my watch at first.

The Old Trout kept grumbling as I asked her what the time was. I suppose that most people would if they were asked every 10 seconds though.

And here we all are: gathering to celebrate “Australia Day”. Please note the attention to detail, in that there wasn’t any.

This was an event held by local geocachers. Geocaching events happen every so often, when a geocacher can be bothered holding one. We meet up somewhere and natter about the little plastic boxes that we’ve found. It’s rather nice when that “somewhere” happens to be a warm pub.

And don’t ask me anything about “Australia Day.” That was a theme that our powers-that-be at Groundspeak decided we should celebrate. Rather like on New Year’s Day when we were awarded a digital souvenir for finding a cache, today we were awarded one for attending an Event.

Talking to relative strangers for a couple of hours wore me out mentally. (Even if I did fortify myself beforehand with The 6.2% Beast) I was in no fit state to do anything afterwards other than walk back to the car and collapse whilst The Old Trout drove us back home.

Scarbados Day: Reached daily step goal (really, I did)

Steps Taken: 2,323 (lies!)

Difficulty Level: medium

Janathon 2018, Day 25 – Look how far I’ve come

It’s not the best picture in the world, but that Ladies and Gentlemen is Loftus War Memorial. And that is where I strolled to tonight – with ease.

When I started this blog back in January 2015 I was suffering from severe muscle degeneration caused by medication I had been taking for years. Although I’ve always been overweight, I’d also been active and tried to remain as fit as possible whilst trying to cope with a quite severe mental illness. But the problems caused by statins left my muscles so weak that it was an effort to physically get out of bed, or to walk across a room. By the time I started the blog I had worked out what was causing the problem, but recovery has been slow.

Back in January 2015 I struggled to walk the length of 20 houses and back. I remember how much my knees ached and how difficult it was to put on clothes. Tonight I decided to try it again. There was no problem getting out of the door. I walked the length of the street and then I decided that I’d carry on for a bit. So I did.

That’s how I arrived at the war memorial a mile from mum’s house. And then I walked back, very happy with myself indeed.

In other news today which isn’t Janathon related: the Old Trout’s squeezy marmite pot turned up. This is the one that she’s turning into a geocaching container. Apparently the plan is to decant the marmite into a different container. That way there’ll be no time pressure with regards to finishing this yeasty delight.

But just look at that box!

There were other items in the box. Things like UHT milk and toilet rolls. But essentially my mother bought £25 worth of goods from Amazon Pantry in order to get a jar of marmite that wasn’t glass. A box that she couldn’t even lift!

Look How far I’ve come Day: 2 mile walk

Steps Taken: 7,023

Difficulty level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 23 – Sleep Day

Some days I have to sleep all day. I get very cranky if I don’t sleep. I’m not just talking about being irritable. I’m talking Incredible Hulk style cranky. One moment I’m ripping doors off walls, the next I’ve fallen asleep where I lay.

No, irritable is how I felt last night when I couldn’t find my spare rainbow yarn ball and I couldn’t carry on crocheting.

It’s not a full sleep day today. I emerged from the covers at roughly midday to be told by the Old Trout that she was heading out to Asda to buy a squeezy marmite pot. It’s apparently going to turn into a geocaching container. I took the opportunity to drag us around the nearby B&M as well, in order to satiate my need for yarn.

We headed out. I completed my daily step goal whilst walking down the final aisle of B&M. Unlike yesterday, I didn’t cheer when that happened. That’s because I was in charge of the trolley and I am incapable of steering and cheering simultaneously without bad things happening.

That’s the pretty yarn I bought.

Mum couldn’t find any squeezy marmite in Asda.

And I’ve been in bed asleep ever since we got home. Now I need to go back to sleep – which I feel I can do, having reached the magic 3,000 step mark.

Oh, one more thing before I go. The filter arrived for the washing machine today. I screwed it in and now I have officially fixed the filter problem that the Old Trout was having. 😊 See: I am an adult that can do adulty things. 😉

Sleep Day: Reached Step goal

Steps Taken: 3,667

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 12 – Naff!

Today was a bust! I didn’t even reach my daily step goal of 3,000 steps.

Last night I had a bad mental break and couldn’t get to sleep until 5am. I should have realised just before I went to bed when the Old Trout turned into a Lilliputian, that something was up. As we talked she gradually seemed to diminish in size as the settee she sat on grew larger and larger in comparison. In fact, the whole room was huge compared with her tiny body.

I’d thought it was just an hallucination, so didn’t even bother mentioning it. Unfortunately that turned into a full scale war of neurons misfiring in my brain. I eventually got to sleep as I said, about 8 hours later. Which meant that I wasn’t in fine fettle today.

I was too tired to do anything except for sleep and pick a fight with my mother.

At which point she produced a present which I think was meant to cheer me up:

A set of 15 klip-lock boxes. Which I was given the dubious honour of opening. To the credit of The Old Trout it had its intended effect. I soon had all the boxes opened and scrutinised.


Well, They are if you’re a geocacher 😉 We sat there for quite a few minutes talking about the relative merits of each one. Especially the largest box, one with a 9.7 litre capacity – how would that be best decorated and hidden?

After such a rousing discussion I persuaded myself to do 20 kneeling push ups.

And then with the Old Trout spotting me, I tried my very first plank. I’d been researching it last night and thought it might be a way to help strengthen my core. If only I could pull the move off.

I do weigh an awful lot (23 stone) and I had no idea if my feet could hold me up in that position at all. If you’ve read my blog posts from previous years you’ll know that I suffered from statin induced rhabdomylosis. What that means is that medication I take, caused an extreme side effect: a break-down of my muscles so severe that I could hardly walk or lift anything. I’m still recovering from that, many months after discontinuing the statins.

As I say, there was a point, not too long ago, where I found lifting a mug difficult. So I’m still discovering what my body can and can’t do. Getting into a true plank position would be quite an achievement.

And then I did my first plank.

I maintained it for 49.27 seconds! – which the daft old bat moaned at me for, because apparently keeping her arm over the timer button for that length of time nearly killed her. Ridiculous woman! She knows she’s got two extremely painful shoulders. What was she doing putting her arm up like that in the first place? Because she didn’t believe I’d even get off the ground, that’s why!

Neither did I.

Great minds think alike. Alike, but perhaps not all that great: no matter how hard we tried, there was no way we could get all of those boxes to fit back inside the largest one. We are ridiculously inept. Especially as, now I come to think of it, we even have a photo of the whole package before I tore it apart!

Naff Day: 20 push ups, 49 second plank

Steps Taken: 1,467

Difficulty Level: Hard

Janathon 2018, Day 8 – Last minute workout

Today was initially a day of flopping, sleeping, waking up and feeling awful before starting the cycle all over again.
The only emotion I felt was guilt. It’s hard to do anything except for hide from life when all you can do is feel guilty. I’ve tried explaining it before like this: imagine that you’ve woken up knowing that you’ve done the worst thing imaginable. Perhaps you’ve murdered someone. Well, you can feel the guilt associated with it, but no matter how hard you rack your brain, you can’t remember what you did. That’s how I felt today. Except thankfully, after all these years, I can at least convince myself that it is just my head playing tricks again. But there was no way on earth I wanted to do anything other than hide (and sleep).

The turning point in the day came when my sister brought me dinner: a comforting bag of fish and chips from my local chippy. Perhaps it was the sustenance from the battered cod and calorific, but gorgeous fat ladened chips that made me feel better. But I think it had more to do with the fact that my nephew turned up too. He’s still young enough to be adorable – and I’m going to hold on to that for as long as I can. But today I was also able to teach him one of those “life lessons” that I mentioned yesterday. Today’s lesson was all about how his aunt can hold a straight face when he asks what a smear test is. The poor lad got told in full detail. I swear that he was squirming off the chair and into the wall at one point. I was having far too much fun watching him to stop talking about “women’s bits” and “cervixes” sooner.
Yes, at that age I’d have been mortified too. But if he can put up with an old lady like me talking about stuff like, that then he’s not only going to be hard to embarrass later on in life, but he’s going to be better equipped to deal with the 50% of the population who have to deal with such things.

Well, after they left I thought I’d make myself a sports bra. I’m off on holiday very soon and I really want a breathable, comfortable top to wear whilst out and about. So, I made myself a brazi with some supplex that I bought ages ago.
I’m getting a lot better at sewing. I essentially started because I was fed up of having nothing suitable to wear, especially when I went out walking. And now I have loads! Tonight I also have my first ultra-wicking, breathable 3xl sports bra, complete with power mesh to stop everything from bouncing.

Not that I tend to bounce very often. My body isn’t particularly good at that sort of stuff. But in the summer if my niece or nephew challenge me to a hill-rolling contest I’ll be the best prepared adult on the hill.

And for some reason, sewing that calmed me down enough so that I could hop on my recumbent bike and pedal for half an hour.
Yeah Janathon – another bit of exercise that wouldn’t have been done without it.


Last minute workout Day: 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
Steps Taken: 3,548 – no way. I’ll have to remove my vivofit next time I cycle :/
Difficulty Level: Medium