1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer


Triathlon in aid of FMA UK

Image Robert Powell is going to undertake The Blenheim Triathlon on the 7th June in aid of fibromyalgia. Please support him by donating towards his mammoth challenge using JustGiving. 

I’m told that it’s often easier to deal with a medical condition once you can give it a name, once the diagnosis gives it an identity.  In our case, my wife’s diagnosis of Fibromyalgia brought mixed feelings.  It was certainly instructive to finally have an answer to all of the bizarre, and seemingly unconnected bouts of anxiety and panic, nose and stomach problems, and of course the ubiquitous muscular distress, but also not that much of a comfort given that neither of us ever heard of it, and the name itself (without the benefit of a public school Latin education) sounds pretty scary. 

Ironic then, when we discovered that our next-door neighbour suffers with it, and (indeed) that there is a whole group of suffers in our local town of Winsford.  So this got me thinking; if something which had a ‘name’ was unknown to us both, especially given my interest in things anatomical, and my wife being a nurse, and therefore awareness was presumably low, what was being done?

Well, as it turns out, as much as the dedicated folks within and without FMA UK can, but I couldn’t help but compare activity, progress, funding and support awareness and profile of my condition; diabetes, and therefore diabetes UK. 

It was also a worsening of my condition, as well as my wife’s, that led me to think more seriously about the health of both of us.  There’s a lot of good information on improving diabetes, but unfortunately FM seems (as so many more recently discovered conditions) to suffer from all kinds of ‘quack’ information on the net, unsubstantiated by any medical body.  Real, hard objective evidence obviously comes from research, and that needs funding. 

So the plan was obvious – improve my health with something likely to hurt almost as much as Mrs Powell’s legs on a good day, and in the process raise some cash to, in some small way, hopefully help find an answer to her, and others’ leg pain!  In doing so, I probably became quite a pain myself, although not in the leg! 

Image At the time I weighed something like 18.5 stone which, at 5’11 meant I was a similar proportion to an under-inflated space hopper (with similar looks).  My blood pressure wasn’t under-inflated however, being as high as my sugar levels and as such I enjoyed a regular ear-bashing from the nurse and doctors at the 6-monthly check-ups.  So the long haul began.

I can’t honestly say I felt any more resolve or purpose than the many other times I’d tried to cut out nice food and instead eat cardboard and warm water, but for some reason this time I stuck at it, perhaps because this time there was a cause that wasn’t just about me!  I combined it with an exercise plan derived from some book, and then just built everything up (except the quantities of cardboard and water) eventually losing many stones in a short period of time. 

Of course the aforementioned (and less grumpy by half) nurse was on-hand to monitor things, and now, 10-months or so on I’m several stone lighter and 4-weeks off competing in my first Triathlon, which, of course, is in aid of FMA UK.

ImageSo in just a few weeks, I shall be travelling to Blenheim Palace, armed only with a wetsuit so tight it looks (and indeed feels) painted on, a silly hat, and a bike so old it pre-dates the penny farthing.  I’ll also, I hope, be armed with lots of FMA UK flyers, and perhaps a few willing folks to wear the t-shirts, hand out the flyers, and rattle some buckets!  I’m one of the fortunate ones in that I have objective evidence that certain activities and treatments will benefit my condition.  With diabetes, there is a plethora of information, a great network of care, a support organisation with a high profile and a known base of approved pharmaceuticals to control the issues.  Each week we hear of potential advancements in treatment, all of which is encouraging.

At the current time, this isn’t the case with FM, and that clearly has to change.  In a small way, I hope that the money we raise as part of this effort, and perhaps the whole idea of doing it, will contribute towards raising the awareness of this condition both generally and medically. 

And that’s not the end of it.  Next year, all being well, I’m hiking the Coast to Coast walk, spreading the word on FM from East to West!

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Cookie Use Page.

I accept cookies from this site.