The Big Annual Review 2017..

D Day......

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.

The above quote is by far one of my favourites, one I keep close to mind when times seem tough and life doesn't go your way. I believe the reasons we don't always get what we want is because we are meant for greater things, or we are going down the wrong road. Its life’s way of telling you to stop, reassess what you are doing and following your heart and the only way you are going to be redirected is by sometimes not getting exactly what you hoped for. I even have an arrow tattoo on my foot as a daily reminder of this and to never stop, inspiring, being you or moving forward.

I will admit, sometimes life sucks (even if social media says otherwise) but each time it leads to better things, you just need to trust it and have faith. This is where you learn, grow, aspire and even sometimes start all over. I am always thankful for hardships looking back, they ignite the fire in my belly to be come stronger to push myself to a new level, focus on what I want for me (as I am always putting others first) and also its a time of reflection.

If you have been following my social media (Instagram) you will be aware I have recently (6 February 2017) had the biggest appointment of my year for my Cystic Fibrosis, and in case you wondered I have Double Delta 508 which is the strand.  Its a day full of tests, bloods, lung function, X-rays. You name it, its on there. Each year is the same bar perhaps one or two things and so for me this is now very routine at 25 years old.

This year for the first time I was a little apprehensive. I hadn't felt my best, work has been insane, the last 6 months of my life had been tipped upside down with sadness, new adventure, exciting times, a lot of change. I hadn't been able to focus on me or train as much as I wish or perhaps as much as I should. The appointment came round so fast that before I knew it, the day was here and so of course with everything I do I gave it my all.

The results went well, some were pretty amazing with increasing the way my small airways functioned to O2 transport but that one we all focus on, FEV1. For those non-CF’ers, or if you have never heard of it, this basically means the volume exhaled in the first second of forced exhalation. 

I work hard to keep well and my lung capacity as high as it can be, but genetics is a whole new ball game so to keep this simple. Every person who has CF, their body deals with the faulty gene differently hence why its so difficult to treat, let alone cure. So yes I work hard, I do my medication but it also comes down to what you inherited from your parents.

So, this year I didn't get what I wanted or worked my ass off for (kinda effort shows.. hard work pays off - this I know in my heart I haven't done enough of)… Of course with the initial disappointment in the result, myself and the fact I had let something slip I fight so hard for. As we all do I had a sulk, I was quiet and basically felt sorry for myself - I am human although usually very upbeat and positive. Those who know me will know this will last around 3.5 minutes before I am sprung back into mission mode to turn this around because I am competitive, I am naturally a fighter and positive and want live my life to the fullest.  Now a few days later I see this as a very positive thing for a number of reasons.

  1. I had let my health slip without really realising but, it gives me a chance to reassess my life balance of work, fun, rest. I get told I do too much sometimes you need to be shown. This was my wake up call.
  2. It kicked me into the realisation you are always number 1. If you don't put yourself first very often things you are passionate about will go on the back burner at times. This is your driving force. Without it you will lose you.
  3. I need to make more me time yes, I also need to make time to take precious opportunities to see my family and friends. Make time for those who love me and care. Memories over anything. I am a firm believer in that. 
  4. Reassess what I want out of life rather than get carried away and let the weeks go by. What do I want to do, achieve, am I satisfied in my work life, home life etc. Be more mindful and productive of time.
  5. Without your health, you have nothing. Money cant buy health so always try looking after yourself the best you can with this manic life we all lead.
  6. Lastly, keep the positives in my life, realise the negatives and try reduce them completely.

So to summarise, my FEV1 is now 90%, I know it can be well over 100% so I am determined to get this back up by refocusing everything to optimise my health because partly I have no choice its a progressive disease I will always have to battle what is thrown my way, its part of me and I wont let it stop me living a life I love. 

CF is an awful disease that takes too many lives too young some before the age of 27. I am not telling you that for sympathy I am just stating facts — CF has made me ME, for that I am thankful.  But, I wont let it beat me because I have living to do - I am on a mission to create awareness and educate families, friends, loved ones and those with CF via social media, youtube (soon!) and speaking at events, to change peoples lives so they can lead long happy fruitful lives until a cure can finally get rid of this heartbreaking condition. I am fully aware for someone with CF it is a bloody brilliant result, but for me thats lower than it should be and never will I take for granted my health - I work hard but I am lucky. Over the next month before my next appointment I will be working on getting an increase as high as I possibly can while being realistic. I will also be adjusting my life a little.

Life is full of awful times, but without them you wont know the amazing times. So if you are going through anything right now, please remember this. The storm will pass, you just need to ride it out and keep moving forward, put your positive pants on. Setbacks allow space for exquisite comebacks and above all don't be afraid, never give up and realise you always have the power to turn your life around no matter how hard or unfair things seem. Always do your best and you are always one step away from a different life.

If you have any questions or anything you would like to know please contact me - I will be happy to help or answer anything.

I hope you got something from this and can relate to things you have going on - I am sharing the real me and written from my heart.

Sophie x x