So it's been a long time since I've posted on here but I feel my experience yesterday was worthy of sharing.
Since the end of last year, I have been getting more and more into my fitness. Firstly by starting to run - parkrun is fantastic for this and highly recommended - and then by joining a gym in January, which I attend 3 times a week, once with a personal trainer. This is not something I would have believed possible a couple of years ago. I believed that because of my ileostomy, my days of physical activity were behind me.
Yesterday, I attended Steeplechase in Norwich, which is a 5, 10, or 15km obstacle course. I went for the 10k - not quite up to the standard of 15k yet, unfortunately, but I'm working on it. It was hard work, but I managed to get across the finish line for the 10k - by "get across," I mean practically crawl.
A few minutes after completion, I discovered that I was having a leakage from my bag and sod's law, my sister's boyfriend, whom I had attended the event with, stayed on to complete the 15k and had the keys to his car, where my bag was with my emergency supplies. The leak wasn't hugely noticeable to the naked eye, so I stayed calm and waited at the finish line for him. Upon his completion, I congratulated him on his achievement and then told him I urgently needed his key - being quite close to him, he immediately knew what I was getting at. I got my bag from the car and proceeded to the toilets to calmly change my bag. I then found my sister's boyfriend for us to have a victory photo. See below.
The reason that I wanted to put this story out there is that if this had happened to me a couple of years ago, it would have seriously affected my mental well-being. I would have been upset for days (best-case scenario), and I think it would have been the end of my newfound passion for running and fitness. The fact that I found myself in this position and was able to deal with it calmly in a crowded area and brush it off as 'just something that happened' is a massive step forward for me, and I'm pleased to say that it has not deterred me in any way from running or doing another race - in fact, I can't wait for the next one and am considering which one to take part in. Perhaps I'll make sure I have access to my emergency bag next time though!
If there is anyone out there - particularly people that have recent ostomies - that have similar thoughts to what I had previously, such as 'I will never do anything physically demanding again,' I hope this will act as inspiration that despite living with a bag, we can do anything we want, and even if there is a setback, it is easily manageable and not the horror story you play in your head a million times before attending something.