Appreciating the simple things

So, I’m back from two weeks in India and have been mulling the topic of today’s blog post over in my head ever since.

Not only did I have two weeks completely off any training and my normal approach to nutrition (what, curry for breakfast isn’t how I usually do things?!), but I got ill whilst in India and was poorly for about six days in the end, meaning I couldn’t train when I got back either.

(Not my birthday, not my cake – although I did arrange it – but, yep, I ate lots of it!)

(This is a dosa. Thankfully, I think I’ll struggle to find them here in the UK…otherwise I’d be doomed!)

(Walking 1km up a hill via steps – then realising we couldn’t get in to the thing we’d walked to – is the closest I got to training!)

Being ill made me appreciate – for the first time in a while – how much I take simple things for granted. Like, you know, being able to hold down food and be more than a few metres from a toilet. 😉

But seriously, being ill zapped my energy and made the idea of training ridiculous. Carrying my rucksack from the rickshaw to the hotel wiped me out. I couldn’t have lifted a dumbbell if there’d been one to lift. So, as I was loafing on my sofa back here in the UK, laughing at the fact that I’d assumed I’d be back in the gym the day after I got back, I realised how easy it is to take things for granted. I’m so used to being in the routine of fuelling myself up, dashing off to the gym and lifting heavy weights, it’s not til the ability is taken away from me that I realise how much effort it actually takes. Mental effort as well as physical.

The illness stopped eventually (hooray!) and I ventured back to the gym after more than a fortnight off. The hiatus, along with the Indian diet and of course the illness, meant I’d lost a bit of strength and fitness. Once again, it brought home to me how the fitness I take for granted as “normal” is anything but. My regular leg session – even after I’d modified it – absolutely whupped me. I could really feel my body working hard and responding to it. And I could totally appreciate how newbies to the gym might feel (hats off to them!)

So, as I return to normal training, I won’t take my fitness, strength or drive for granted. I’ve seen how quickly all three can be affected and I now realise they’re not just “there”. They need to be built, nurtured and maintained.

Have you ever had illness, injury or layoff which affected a specific area of your fitness? Did it open your eyes to just how hard you’d been working beforehand?

Appreciating the simple things is a post from The Fit Writer blog.


10 Responses to Appreciating the simple things

  1. Amanda says:

    That blog really struck a cord! Didn’t train for 9 days with a chest infection, just back to it these last 3 days and got 3 miles into a 10 mile run this morning and just couldnt do it! Had to modify it to 5 miles and be happy with that. Yes I do take my running fitness for granted 🙂


  2. Jon Elliott says:

    Currently recovering from chronic fatigue after last years Ironman. Pushed myself to quickly for my body to adapt. Definitely lesson learnt, but it’s very frustrating not being able to do what I think I should be able to do


  3. Not really a comment about the fitness so much, but about India fascinating country but I feel for you being so poorly. That struck a cord with me, as I have also been. Love the pics too :- ) and pleased your almost back to fitness and have your health back.


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hey Mel 😀 Yes, it was completely fascinating and now I understand why so many people say “it’s amazing but I can’t put it into words, you just have to go!” Which bits did you go to? Nic


      • I went to Mumbai and it was an experience and place I will never forget. I have travelled all over the world, but India never appealed to me, mainly due to the likelihood, that I would get ill! However, I went for work and really didn’t have much choice but to go. And I am very glad I did and loved it.


  4. Andrew Tompson says:

    I couldn’t run without pain for 12 months prior and a couple more after a knee operation in 2009. I took out the frustration by getting involved in coaching and rebuilt my approach to running when I restarted. I think taking fitness for granted is a common factor for those of us for whom it is integral to our lives but the initial effort required puts off those who aren’t motivated. @tritommo


  5. alisonrobinson says:

    Sorry to hear you were poorly Nicola – next time take a kit of homeopathic remedies for travellers…

    or see a homeopath in India – their training is very very thorough!


  6. Kat Millar says:

    I’m so glad the illness is gone now Nic and you’re back into it!! Yes it certainly makes you appreciate fine health and feeling on top of the world! I fell down the stairs last week and couldn’t train for 3 days, it KILLED me!!! I was grumpy, negative and itching itching itching to train, like some heroin addict without their fix! lol… I think it’s good for us to remember what newbies feel like, and what we would feel like if we (gasp) ever stopped training (of course it’s not gonna happen!!) and understand just how important it is in our everyday lives 🙂


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