Sunday, 3 November 2013



There's not been a lot of that around here of late. No real desire to get up off my arse and do much of anything. I've found that living with the Sarcoidosis has done that to me.

It would be easy for you to just call me lazy but it's not as simple as that. I've thought a lot about my lack of "get up and go" and it seems to start with the physical difficulties of having a greatly reduced lung capacity. When your main hobby/passion is for climbing the hills and mountains, not being able to breathe when the going gets steep sort of steals the fun out of it. Once the physical difficulties have stolen the joy, the mental rot starts to set in and it's not long before you simply stop going out and punishing yourself.

I've gone through periods where I've tried to increase my fitness to try and reclaim some of that mountain joy. I've tried running, cycling to work and extending the dugs walk to ridiculous lengths and none of it seems very sustainable to me as they all seem like work which isn't fun and then I end up going through the thought process described in the paragraph above and again, just stop going out.

Sarcoidosis is one of those horrid conditions where you "look normal" on the outside (assuming you aren't on massive doses of steroids still). So people forget, and sometimes so do you until you start to hear that sickening high pitched wheeze at the end of every intake of breath as you desperately try to hoover in enough oxygen to sustain the effort you're making.

It's put me off heading out on mountain jaunts with friends too because at the back of my mind is the nagging insecurity of knowing that you're destined to be "tail end Charlie". Nobody wants to be the slow one holding a group back even if the company you're in says nothing.

Once you stop going out it's very easy to then find excuses not to go when the wife asks you about it, such as "being tired after work", "crap weather", "would rather spend time at home with you" etc. Luckily I have a good wife who can see straight through all that shit. I was seriously considering putting my outdoor kit up for sale a few weeks ago on the OM classifieds but Louise stopped me. It was during a conversation we had a few weeks ago whilst we were on a wee break in St Bees (Near the Lakes) that I resolved to "find the fun" again.

Looking back at some of my old trip reports and photo's (some cracking memories there) and looking through a lot of other folks blogs that I used to read on a regular basis has certainly proved to me that deep down this stuff still excites me. I miss the solitude and peace of being in the hills surrounded by just nature and the elements. I even miss getting my gear geek on!

So I've decided to set aside some time just for me. I'm going to head for the hills every day shift to day shift weekend regardless of the weather. If it's viable I'll have a tent on a summit and if the conditions are horrendous it'll be a meander along a glen somewhere. the point is I'll be going and I'm honestly looking forward to it and quite excited again.

I can't ignore the fitness issues though, so in a bid to lose some weight again and increase the usefulness of my lungs I'm back on the bike again for the commute which surprisingly I'm starting to enjoy again also. I'm sure I'll need to make some mental adjustments to my own expectations when I fail to skip up the next Munro like a mountain goat but as long as I keep it realistic I think I should be OK. I just need to remember that I'm not 20 any more!

 photo NellidugStBees.jpg

A picture of Nelliedug on the beach willing me to through the frisbee the night we arrived in St Bee's. If I can remain as determined as that dug I'll be fine!


  1. Hope you get your mountain mojo back. And stop trying to steal my job as tailend Charlie...... ;)

  2. I'm thinking that ones "mountain mojo" is one of those things you never properly lose, just simply misplace it for a little while. We can keep each other company at the back then I suppose!

  3. Good man, glad to hear your getting back out there. A wee winter meet might be just the ticket!

  4. Definitely up for that Michael, should hopefully be back into the swing of it soon enough. I updated that calender thingy by the way.


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