Well here’s something I never ever thought I’d say - I’m part of team GB!!!
I get to wear a GB vest, race in an international competition, and be part of an even bigger transplant community! Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP
I’ve been holding my breath waiting for my invitation email, seeing Facebook flooded with other people who’d received theirs over the weekend while I spent far too much work time refreshing my inbox and checking qualifying times over and over. The joy (and relief) when it arrived last night resulted in a squeal and a celebratory Becks Blue. Does this girl know how to party.
The World Transplant Games
The World Games are held every two years, the 2019 Games are scheduled for August and, the best bit, they’re being hosted on British soil - in Gateshead [insert fist-bump]. Quite handy considering - all going well, touch wooooooood - we’ll have a littlen in transit and flying will not be the catch-a-film-and-enjoy-the-standard-issue-cold-bread-roll of the good old days.
Timing couldn’t really be better - from the moment this (already enormous btw) baby ejects itself from my body, the training will be commencing (I appreciate that’s rather optimistic, just humour me) giving me eight months to get back in racing form. I’m delighted I’ve got something to aim for because I can lack motivation if my goal isn’t big enough. As goals go I’d say representing my country on an athletics track is probably, just about, at a stretch, big enough.
There are three training weekends in the lead up to the Games too, the first of which I’ll still be waddling about at (it’s next month) but I see the training days more as an opportunity to meet up with tranny-p friends if I’m honest. I’m sure Mo Farah thinks the same of training weekends.
In the meantime I’m hoping to maintain some level of running. Just enough that when the baby’s out and free, running doesn’t feel totally alien to me. At the moment I’m still just about managing two/three runs a week, all delightfully slow and serene, with more concentration required for not weeing than normal but otherwise joyful. But the last two have both ended with quite a bit of joint pain so I fear even maintaining even a weekly run may not be possible. Fingers crossed the aches are short lived and the bladder holds up.
The email wasn’t all good mind, it came with an invoice for £100 deposit and the news that taking part in the Games will cost each competitor £800-£1k…I could just about swallow that until I then read that it’s the same cost for supporters. Ouch. Everything’s a business eh?! Although if they try to charge for the baby I think I’ll put my foot down.
How Much I Have
I’ve said before that I still find wrapping my head around having had a transplant quite…tricky. I lived a life where an organ transplant wasn’t something my future had in store and, until I really really needed it of course, it was a horrific outcome to what I’d thought was just a dodgy virus. I’m so aware that for most people who have organ transplants, it is the best news, best outcome, best thing they could hope for. But for me it was anything but, and so my transplant is bittersweet.
Sometimes I let myself think - am I glad it happened to me? Right now when my health is so good it can feel like a great thing, the love and appreciation of life it’s given me is something I think most people will never experience and it makes living, even the small dull parts of living, sparkle. It’s opened doors to appear in newspapers, on the BBC, to become an ambassador for Blacks even.
But long term my life scares me if I let myself think about it - how long will my liver last, will the medication ruin my kidneys, what sort of medical treatment will I get when I’m no longer a fit 30 year old in a still-coping NHS, but i’m a poorly 45 year old in an NHS in god-knows-what state. All I can do is live for the moment, that’s what my donor’s taught me, live for the moment. And in this moment I have all the many many wonderful things being a transplant recipient has bought me, and now I can add representing GB to the list too. How much I have.
World Transplant Games, my donor and I are coming for you (and I wouldn’t mess with her, she’s larger than life).