16th September 2015: London, United Kingdom

Rest! At certain points, my body orders a day of complete rest, and today would be placed into this category. I awoke to my alarm sending gentle sounds of chirping birds into my consciousness. Just to note, never again will I return to intense alarm, startling me out of a deep sleep. I can’t think of a worse way to start my day. Preferably, I would be rising with the sun, however, this has been a point of dispute with my girlfriend so I will wait till my return to Australia for the sun to be the source of my daily awakening. The alarm was set as it was a work day, meaning I now had to put aside the voice inside my mind telling me to sleep for a little bit longer, and not bother with exercise planned for the morning. I got out of bed in a typical manner to switch off the alarm when I noticed my left arm did not feel right. Immediately, I attempted to diagonally move my arm in front of my body, grimacing at the movement and realising that I would not be able to do chin-ups, push-up or even yoga for the day. My thought process switched, ‘No not an injury, I need to do exercise, my exercise is essential to keeping me healthy’. The day had not started well.

Since returning to London my routine in regards to physical exercise has consisted of yoga everyday accompanied by two callisthenics workout sessions in the park. The yoga will differ pending on energy levels, however, the outdoor sessions remain fairy consistent with a planned changed when returning to Australia. The reason for a change is in accordance with plans to modify my training every three months, thus, not allowing my body to become accustomed with the same exercises whilst also continually keeping interest and motivation. Also, movement is one of my key principles to survival. My mentally is based on the belief that I will improve in all areas of my life, including overall mental, intellectual, spiritual and physical gains. As you can guess, a sore shoulder in no way fits into my planning.

I briefly toyed with the idea of going for a cycle or just doing some stretches that don’t involve my shoulders. I say briefly as common sense prevailed, and I was also able to consider two of my other key principles to survival, rest and the need to listen to your body. Obviously, I was not impressed with the state of my shoulder, however, could this not be a way of my body telling me to rest for the day? Also, if I was to reject the signals sent by my body then I would be possibly risking longer term damage and further time whereby I would not be able to follow my exercise plans. It’s interesting how once I resigned to the fact of my body needing rest, other parts of my body also felt tired and needing a rest, i.e. a reduced motivation to work and a recognition of a tiredness within my entire body.

Thoughts about my shoulder soon starting sliding into a longing for being home, and I think the dark, imposing grey clouds looming outside my window didn’t help the situation. I stayed fixed in this mindset for almost three hours, not entirely stuck in a cloud of negativity, just fleeting thoughts about my disappointment and frustration. Similar to previous occasions, I was able to reshape my thinking, ultimately leading to a change in mood and outlook. I recognised my focus on the feelings associated with my shoulder and had an understanding that this was not going to be helpful. Therefore, once again, a reframe was applied to see the day as a well deserved rest day. A far better prospect opposed to a frustrated day thinking about my shoulder. I realise this is a minor complaint compared to what others experience, regardless of whether they have Cancer, however, it reinforces the continual deployment of a mental strategy needed in all aspects of life, and can also be seen as a testing ground in building my capacity at dealing with other more severe issues when they arise.

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