Tag Archives: crohn’s disease

Train through illness or pull a sickie?

Today I’ve had to pull a sickie on myself. Crohn’s disease in my gut means that my body acts like a barometer for external pressures, and a couple of tremendously tough days at work has left me tied in a knot through the middle. I could only manage half an hour of running yesterday. I missed my favourite ride this morning. It was painful to walk home from the station after work this evening. So I’ve called it: I need a rest day.

But there’s a huge level of pressure, and guilt, creeping in. I shouldn’t be resting this close to our race. I should be loading up on training, chucking the sessions in the bank so that come race day, I can say I’ve done everything I can to perform at my best. But right now, it hurts just to stand up. So there’s no way I’m running/riding/swimming anywhere today. And I know that the rest will be more valuable to me. I need to stop reporting to the athlete inside me for the day, and tune back into the human being who is walking along a very fine line between health and illness.

I try to think of training as a job, so that I don’t miss sessions, and so that I pay my training schedule the respect that it deserves. Approaching sessions like a job means that you can’t not turn up. But writing this whilst at the same time pulling a sickie from training probably demonstrates that I’m not the best employee when it comes to training…

I also have to treat my illness as a job sometimes; there’s appointments, follow-ups, blood-tests, scans, MRIs, ultra-sounds, colonoscopies (my FAVOURITES. Jokes), infusions, prescriptions etc. You have to organise your life and manage your symptoms. And you have to prioritise your illness job over and above your training job. Because if the illness job gets miss-managed, you can kiss goodbye to your training job.

And then, of course, there’s my job. Which I am legally bound and contracted to treat like a job. This job is the big one, and all other fun bits of life are dependant on this one running smoothly.

But the funny thing is, each of my three ‘jobs’ seems to hang in a very fragile triangular balance. And as soon as one is applying more pressure, the other two are knocked off kilter; when my job-job is throwing rocks at me, my illness-job stops running so smoothly, which means I miss a couple of shifts at my training-job. When my training-job is working me to the bone at 20 hours a week, I struggle to stay awake at my job-job…

On the upside, pulling a sickie on myself today means I can get some rest and clock-in early tomorrow for training. If only training paid decent overtime.

Finally, I trawled google-image’s best finds to try and get a suitable image to capture the theme of this post. But all I could find were people hunched over and looking sad. So I decided to go with a couple of shots that I have taken of me slacking off from my illness job and eating bad stuff that doesn’t alleviate the problem (like I said: bad employee)…

Me plus Bad Guy

Me plus Bad Guy

Bad Guy

Bad Guy


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