I'm pretty sure it was early 2010 when I was last vaccinated for the flu. A couple of months after I got the shot, I got the flu. Pretty frigging bad. Annoyed, I decided at the time to not bother with it in future. As with virtually all subjects related to medicine and sticking scores of people with sharp things, there are strong arguments made for and against vaccinating oneself. Predictably I paid more attention to the 'con' side of the debate, and let it drown out the 'pro'.
So I was pissed off - really, really pissed off - when on Friday morning (still charged from last night's 240 kgs deadlift) I woke with the sniffles, which turned into sinus pain, running eyes and sore throat etc. Dun-dun-dun!! Flu. And the Strongman national qualifiers were 4 weeks away.
As a side-note, in previous years when I did get influenza it almost always morphed into something worse thanks to my smoking and sloth; one year it was tonsillitis, the next glandular fever, and the winter of 2007 a doctor asked me if had been diagnosed with asthma yet, and whether or not I was looking forward to emphysema in the future. I remember this year in particular as I'd just recently begun a new job and, only a couple of months into it, I was put out of action for a week.
I was, in point of fact, a perpetually ill individual.
And this is why I was so angry on Friday. Historically, the flu had been a debilitating force that cost me professionally. Now it threatened to ruin my preparation for the comp. Saturday I was practically an invalid with limited powers of speech; I couldn't do more than shuffle around the house in my pyjamas never mind SM Events training. But this lasted hours instead of days, and as early as Sunday night I was feeling considerably better.
Looking for the positive in all this, I have to compare my recovery time to that of previous years, where I was messed up worser (spellcheck says it's a word, so...) for longer and was left weakened. Well, still feeling pretty ordinary today, I nonetheless went to the gym and squatted 170 a couple of times, to get back on track. I've missed 1 day of events training and winged it with half a session tonight. Tomorrow I'll be 100%, and my preparation for the Strongman national qualifiers has suffered only a minor setback.
It surprises me, sometimes, how seriously I take what I'm doing. I honestly feel like I'm not doing enough, most of the time. But that's a good thing. I don't want to get complacent and lose focus. I don't want to jeopardise what I'm working towards. I'm 32, and this is the hardest I've ever worked and the closest I've ever come to achieving something truly meaningful.
I am Abaddon, and in June I'm bringing the BOOM.