York Triathlon is on the horizon and the days are counting down. Over the past few weeks things have not been going entirely to plan. Plan is obviously a loose term given my history of turning up at events woefully underprepared, but I did have some idea of what I wanted to work on in the run up to it. If I’m being completely honest, the last few weeks have been a disaster in terms of training.

If I take things back about a month (time heist style), things were going well. I seemed to have got a good routine going with my morning rituals including planning the day in my journal, gratitude, mindfulness and reading. I was getting out for walks and runs (including at lunchtime so that I got my daily dose of vitamin D and making sure I got as much sleep as is possible with triplets! Everything was going to plan, that is until an unwelcome surprise from my arch nemesis. Depression, the Mad Titan of my universe had sought me out again to wreak havoc.

thanosThe worst battles that I have had with my mental Thanos have been triggered by something, work, stress, lack of sleep, illness but this time is different. There hasn’t been a trigger, but I still feel like someone has taken all the life out of me. One click of the Mad Titan’s fingers and all the good habits that I had been cultivating and had been working for me are reduced to dust. Like a used battery, there isn’t any power there to keep you going. It’s very hard to describe to people how and why this happens as sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense. The small tasks that you generally take for granted seem to take far more effort than they should, you don’t feel like doing anything even though you know it will help you feel better, pretty much anything that requires any sort of effort becomes difficult and you find a way around it. As a result, training has been almost non-existent. I’ve managed to force myself through a couple of sessions, but I’ve fallen behind where I would have liked to be. Thankfully I have a stubborn streak when it comes to things like this, I will keep fighting and will eventually succeed. I may be short on fitness, but my determination remains intact as does the promise I made after Dan’s passing.

The next few weeks are going to be hard as its energy sapping fighting this as well as trying to train but you need to suffer in order to be a champion. The rest of this week is about getting my mind in the right place and getting my mindset right. Then I can get my routines and habits back on track and from there training will improve. capWhen I’m down I wonder why I put myself through this but I need to push myself to thrive and be the person that I want to be. I don’t want to sit at home feeling sorry for myself and let the Mad Titan win as that wouldn’t help anyone. In order to be the best dad for the triplets, the best husband for Elaine, the best son, the best friend and colleague, and a good Lego builder I need to get break through this. I might not succeed with everything I try to do but I would rather try and fail than not try at all as at least I will have tried. I can’t do any more than give this my best shot whatever that ends up looking like and even if I have to crawl 5k then that’s what it I will do. Like Earth’s mightiest heroes and Kevin Bacon, I will do whatever it takes to get through York Triathlon.

thorThe fightback starts today and despite being looking like a follicly challenged version of Endgame Thor, I will make it to the finishing line. He proved his worth in the end as he searched for his true meaning and I will too. As much as I would like to head back a few weeks and put things right, I just need to refocus and get as much done as I can before the big day without taking any unnecessary risks – whatever it takes.

The Endgame is on the horizon but that will only be the end of one phase before the next one starts! Please share this post if you can and if you are feeling generous, have a look at my sponsor page www.justgiving.com/Stuart-Middletonyorktri as I’m raising funds for the Foundation. If you want to join me at York Triathlon, come and get involved as we’ve got some cool tshirts and wristbands for anyone who does.

If you are struggling with your mental wellness, please don’t bottle it up and try to talk to someone. There are links on the Resources page on our website to organisations who can help if you feel like you can’t talk to a friend or family member. Far too many men are taking their owns lives at an early age, so we need to stop hiding behind the façade of masculinity and open up about our feelings. If you have a friend who you think is struggling, why not reach out to them and try to open a conversation about how they are feeling. Have a look at these great blogs from the lovely people at the Blurt Foundation if you want some ideas on what might help.

Higher, further, fastermarvel


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