• Val

Day 20 – Keep Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

Updated: 21 hours ago


Further Info.

How this Journal Blog came into being

About the PTSD Symptom 1

About the PTSD Symptom 2

Alcohol Safety

Alcohol FAQs


Keep Putting One Foot in Front of the Other


When we go through challenging times I believe it is really important to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. If we stop and don’t work hard to keep getting up and finding a way to get through the dark tunnel we are in, we will just sit there in the darkness for who knows how long struggling with our demons.


A quote that has stayed with me from childhood is a line from the film ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ starring the legendary Tom Hanks. The film is a love story but it begins with Tom Hank’s character having lost his wife tragically to cancer. His son ends up getting him onto a talk-radio show with a therapist and in one of the conversations with her he comes out with this line:


“I’m gonna get out of bed every morning … breathe in and out all day long. Then after a while, I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out. And then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.”

Sleepless in Seattle


I thought this was a great way to see how to get through difficult times. This Blog is one of my lifelines. Although I felt I had beaten the need for alcohol, when my PTSD symptom re-activated in December 2020 I soon realised that I was not out of the woods with it. I turned to alcohol-free drinks to help me through. But I knew this wasn’t sustainable and it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I was so very scared that I would turn back to alcohol. The PTSD symptom is so overwhelming that it is no wonder I ended up with an alcohol problem in trying to cope with it the first time. I did not want to turn to alcohol this time whilst I worked though the symptom.


Writing this Journal and being publicly accountable has given me a purpose and drive to stay true to my desire to Be Teetotal.


I just put one foot in front of the other and continued to work, continued to train, sought support from friends and therapists and I am now beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.


Keep going.


You can do it.


Keep Putting One Foot in Front of the Other.


You will get there ❤

The Tide Begins to Turn


WOW! What an AMAZING Day! 😀


Since my PTSD symptom got re-activated at the end of December my Indoor Rowing training has taken a hit. Prior to that I started with my new Coach, Eddie Fletcher, in November 2020 and things were going really well. My resting heart rate had dropped and I was doing more at a lower heart rate in training.


Then the PTSD symptom hit meaning high stress and disturbed sleep which played havoc with my heart rate. I have found it hard not to feel a little disappointed about it because it had been going so well.


I was upfront with Eddie about what was going on and he was fantastic. I feel lucky to have such a knowledgeable, experienced and supportive Coach.

Open Up To Those Around You


To anyone who is struggling with anything, I cannot recommend more highly to be honest with those closest to you in your life. It is a really useful tool. They then have an understanding of what is going on. In this instance I felt less worried about my drop in performance because Eddie knew why the data had changed. Plus, when I did struggle with my performance I voiced it with Eddie and he was great at reminding me how well I was doing and that I didn’t need to worry about my rowing performance. This helped ease the extra pressure I was putting on myself.


My favourite message from him during this time was this one:


Treat all training as positive - it’s the long term accumulation and adaptation that count not the ups and downs of individual sessions. Pat yourself on the back after every session

Eddie Fletcher


Thank you for everything so far Eddie. I look forward to the rest of this year and beyond!

We carried on with my training despite me having to handle down (stop rowing) in a few of the more intense sessions. I was super gutted about this as I love the intense sessions! To be fair, I love the low heart rate sessions because I know that long-term I will get great training benefit from them. However, with the intense rows you get a more instant fix of pleasure from the session.


Last week I was supposed to have a paced 10km Time Trial (TT). However, in the week leading up to it my stress was very high and I did not feel I would be able to complete a TT. Eddie programmed a slightly lighter week this week but with a little activation for the TT in case I was ready to give it a go this weekend.


Although I had a tough night on Tuesday this week, I managed to find a way to calm my mind. On Wednesday in one of my runs I managed to knock 4 minutes and 37 seconds off my 2 mile run course at the same average heart rate compared with the start of January. This gave me confidence to know that although my Indoor Rowing had been affected by the PTSD symptom, my fitness since it came on had still been developing despite the stress I was under - the power of aerobic training at low heart rate! I will be talking on this subject very soon!


My Indoor Rowing workout on Friday was the same as it had been on Monday and I was able to go faster at a lower heart rate. Another sign that my stress must be dispersing. I told Eddie I would give the 10km TT a go at the weekend and planned it for today, Sunday.


To say I was a little nervous is an understatement! I had no idea how it would go. I decided to just prepare myself and go for it!


I chose to meditate in the morning beforehand. This may sound counter intuitive, however, I listened to a podcast in the week which suggested that having a high stress state going into a competition or time trial scenario is detrimental to performance. This made sense to me. I knew that I would have the warmup to prepare my body for the work to come but I wanted my mind to be as calm as possible going into it rather than be stressing out about my performance.


It worked! I felt great! In fact I felt so great that I went slightly faster than Eddie’s suggested start pace. And I still felt great! My mind began wandering during the row – I knew I was doing well and got side-tracked with thoughts about how great it felt. I used the skills from meditation to bring my mind back to the task at hand each time it wandered. I broke the row down into 1000m segments until the last 1000m and then I broke it down into 100m segments. I challenged myself to hit a particular pace over each segment. Each time my mind wandered I used my meditation skills to let the excited thoughts pass and brought my focus back to my stroke rate and pace. It worked so well and I felt so great! I never thought a 10km TT could feel so good!


The result… nearly 1 minute off my previous best – 42:36.3 down to 41:37.1! YASSSSSSS! 💪


I feel AWESOME!!!!!


Keep Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

Day 20 - 365 Day Journal


Reflections


PTSD Symptom

Another day without the symptom… wooooohoooo! 😀


Saturday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I loved speaking on Crissie’s fitness channel on Facebook. I spoke about Trauma and Alcohol and it seems as though the talk was well received. My aim of speaking out has always been to try and help others.


Sunday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful for meditation practice – it is such a useful skill in helping calm the mind and to feel more joy from life. Forget alcohol, meditation is the bomb! 😀💣👍

Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness

Rest Day












Veggies & Fruit


Onion

Mushrooms

Garlic

Red cabbage

Tomato

Turmeric

Cucumber

Kale

Spinach

Pak Choi

Pepper

Meditation & Mindfulness


Morning – Silent meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation











I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I have incurred.


I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.


If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.



Copyright 2021 Val Craft – All Rights Reserved

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