Relentlessly On

Anyone that knows me even a little will know I have a strong dislike of exercise. It’s unpleasant, uncomfortable and difficult. You have to endure horrible things like cold weather, wet weather, or gyms full of awful music, worse television screened from every wall and over-enthusiastic thin bendy people. Then there’s the actual exercise itself. Hard, difficult and nowhere near as much fun as a Netflix binge-session with wine and a good cheeseboard.

Regular readers will know I have been having a bit of a pity-party. We all go through this. I almost bore myself with the endless cries of “but it never stops!”

But it never stops.

On and on it goes, never letting go, never giving in. Relentless. (Speaking of Netflix and relentless things, I now have an awful image of Parkinson’s as a ‘dog’ from the ‘Black Mirror’ episode ‘Metalhead.’ Creepy.)

An idyllic idea vs reality.

I talked to my Dad recently who enjoys decrying my requirement for tablets and has an alarming lack of understanding of my disorder. I told him that I’d not exercised for a couple of weeks and I could feel it. He looked at me. Hmmmm…. Yes. I don’t really do excercise much he told me. I sighed. “Look Dad, you’re 81. Yet if you didn’t exercise for a couple of weeks, it wouldn’t be all bad, would it?”
“Well, no.”
“It is for me. In fact, it’s very bad for me. Imagine. I have to get up and do this thing that I dislike three to four times a week. Every week. Forever.” Other people exercise for fun, for interest, to keep fit because they want to look good.

I exercise to desperately stop Parkinson’s.

I can’t ever give up. I don’t know if it works. I’ll never know if the fruits of my labour have done anything to slow / halt my progression. However, I can tell you this.

What can I say about that bike ride? I’m supposed to say it was amazing, I loved it, it felt wonderful to ride with the wind blowing through my helmet! Truth be told it was cold, a bit wet and quite unpleasant.

When I wasn’t exercising after about a week I noticed that my dropoffs (when my meds stop working) were worse. I began to really struggle with some aspects of movement. Moving was hard, sometimes even painful. I realised I knew what I had to do. That Sunday morning I woke early and got out of bed. It was about 7.15am and still dark outside. I got on my bicycle and rode out.

I rode for 20 kilometers. Next morning I got up and did ten. I came home and lifted some weights and did some stretching. Since then I’ve been out five more times. I despise the early start, setting off in the cold and dark. Worrying about cars on the road and the loneliness of the cycle path as I pass through scrub on the right, swamp and wetlands to my left, scattering rabbits brave enough to venture out. Yet in that short time, just two weeks, I have noticed my medication is lasting longer. A whole lot longer. The results are just astounding. I find it easier to move and reach things like my toes. Twice I forgot to take my meds until much later in the evening. Oh, and when I returned from cycling? I may have been tired, but I felt AMAZING. Getting through the door really is the hardest bit.

kitty Fitton astride a bike with cartoon fields behind and little rabbits
Watch out rabbits, she’s coming!

I cannot deny that without the additional exercise I really believe that I would be in such a bad place. I’ll never know if that’s true, but I sure as heck have no intention of finding out.

I’ll fall off the wagon again at some point. I always do. Then I’ll pick myself up and get back on it. Because Parkinson’s will never stop trying to stop me. I will not stop trying to kick it into it’s rightful place, which is, of course, oblivion.

Until next time, Kitty.


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