[LIFE/CANCER] Undertaking an Exercise Retreat with @abcdiagnosis #abcdretreat #BreastCancer

[LIFE/CANCER] Undertaking an Exercise Retreat with @abcdiagnosis #abcdretreat #BreastCancer

Been in my pyjamas since around 3.30pm, when I arrived home to an Epsom Salts Bath, and trying to sort out boring life laundry like unpacking and actual laundry, after a totally fabulous 48 hours on ‘After Breast Cancer Diagnosis Exercise Retreat‘ – hard work, but an excellent balance of challenge and encouragement with a group of fabulous women, all of whom are in recovery from breast cancer and/or living with secondaries, run by the fabulous Jo Taylor who’s a great enthusiast for the benefits of exercise in managing fatigue and living life to the full however you’re living with cancer.

Friday

We arrived Friday afternoon at the Grains Bar Hotel in Saddleworth (beautiful views, lovely staff, and lots of lovely little touches to provide a lovely stay)

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Made it for #abcdretreat – looking forward to meeting everyone properly! #breastcancer #recovery

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Whilst we were sat chatting the first afternoon, we had an unexpected visitor:

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Unexpected visitor …

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We met together the first evening to introduce ourselves to each other, understand the purpose of the weekend, meet those who were going to help us, and get an idea of the ‘challenges’ that were going to face us. There was a lot of reassurance that this was about being challenged, but not overstretched, so those of us expecting to be at the back (I’ve always been so on hikes I’ve been on last couple of years…) were reassured that we would have Alan backmarking, whilst Gaynor led the group (both from UProjects – designed to help people get outside – including those with health conditions). We then got on with dinner, a couple of drinks, and early to bed! #TotesRockandRoll

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Lovely evening. After 2 v long working days am ready to crash out for an early (for me) start! #abcdretreat

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Saturday

Considering I’ve largely been in bed 10pm-ish through to 9.30am, it was an ‘early start’ for Saturday morning, with a breakfast of toast, hot chocolate, fruit, etc. Thankful to see that the weather looked like it was going to largely hold dry and clear, we set off for Dovestone Reservoir. After a few stretches, we were asked to hop, skip and jump down the road (literally) to warm up. We then set off at a scout’s pace for around 2 miles to the Sailing Club for a brief stop – despite having done 10ks in the past, I’ve not been able to run for years (shin splints), but we did some jog-walk-running and made it to the end of that (the bit I’d been worried about most).

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Running segment done. #abcdretreat

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Walking with Alan as back-marker, we grabbed a selfie just over halfway through the walk:

We enjoyed a few celebratory photos, before being fitted for bikes and helmets, and getting ready to go round the whole of Dovestones reservoir (around 3 miles):

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And this was before we set off #abcdretreat #thisgirlcan

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Cycling is much more up my street (before diagnosis, I cycled to-from work, around 12 miles a day), so I was looking forward to this, although the first steep hill was a bit of a killer, as was a steep downhill (and the saddles were a little ‘sharp’). Got a chance at one point to ‘go free’ and enjoyed that … must get out and about more on my bike (but generally I only like it to get somewhere… and I wonder what would be an easy bike rack for a smart car, otherwise it’ll have to wait til I’ve got enough energy to cycle and work in a day).

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Cycling included a v steep bit at the beginning #abcdretreat

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We enjoyed the company of some ducks whilst waiting to set off on the bikes:

We stopped for a group photo just before the last mile:

And again at the end:

We then popped back to the hotel for some sandwiches, before heading off to yoga with Trisha at Yoga Yourself, for which we did ‘restorative yoga’ to recover from the morning. A good opportunity to stretch (though to try not to fall asleep) – though I think I prefer pilates so far:

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We’ve done our yoga too now … time for a nap methinks! #abcdretreat

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We then returned to the hotel, headed for our rooms – most of us for naps, taking our slot for a head/hand or foot massage (I went for foot) – with Tina, and her star projector twinkling away on the ceiling, and a taster of some Jennifer Young moisturiser (I’d found the sleep spray great when on chemo), before getting ready for the evening, when we popped to The Old Bell Inn,  which has the most ridiculous amount of gins available on offer, as well as a few other interesting options for drinks (stuck with a glass of red!):

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Gin fans = making you jealous, but having wine LOL #abcdretreat

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We then headed to Fresca for an Italian meal, tasty, and enjoyable evening, before we all crashed out around 10.30pm:

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Lovely meal. Time for bed #abcdretreat

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Lovely group photo:

Sunday

Another early morning, quick check-out, and then a change of plan – we had expected to go up ‘Pots and Pans‘ for a fabulous view, but a burst of torrential rain, and a forecast of much more rain, meant time to head for Moorgate Quarry instead. We started in the Saddleworth Leisure Centre car park (dropped off by the fabulous Pamela who’d been minibussing us around all weekend), learning how to undertake Nordic Walking in the car park first.

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So we’ve done the Nordic walking. Time for lunch then bath & bed 😉 Fab weekend with #abcdretreat

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We stopped part way up for a group photo:

Yes, I was the last, encouraged on by Alan:

A pretty spectacular view from the quarry:

We then headed back down the hill, back to the minibus, and headed back to the hotel (got caught in the traffic after M62 crash), and had lunch. We were, ahem, super-prepared (no card, no cashpoints), but managed to gift Jo some cash to put towards the next retreat so others can undertake this, as we’re so appreciative of the value of this event. Jo is currently fundraising with the hope of being able to run 5 more of these events next summer (and here’s her blog about the June retreat).

As a group, we’re able to keep in contact on Facebook and Whatsapp, and hope to regroup to do this in the future – I’m certainly a ‘social’ and ‘functional’ (have a target!) exerciser, so that’ll be great. In the meantime, I’ve been undertaking many Pokemon walks (I’ll blog about them at some point), and finding Bee in the City, and I’ll be joining Life Leisure for 6 months on a subsidised GP rate, once I get back from Casting for Recovery in Dundee next weekend! Not a big fan of the gym any more, but I’ll see it as a functional ‘get back to fitness’ option, see what classes I can join – and in 6 months see if I’ve found a way to make it work, or get back to cycling, swimming, karate, hiking, etc…

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drbexl

Life Explorer, HE/learning, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing (Manchester Metropolitan University),  Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach, ENFP, @digitalfprint, @ww2poster #digitalparenting

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