When we looked at recruiting some help from a local university to support us with our health and fitness we looked at sports therapy and physiotherapy. The definition for sports therapy concentrates primarily on injury prevention as well as nutrition but also rehabilitation after an injury occurs. This was the route we wanted to take.

Prevention is always better than cure. Coventry University have been really helpful. We have been visiting them every Friday morning and the students there have been putting us through our paces, initially checking our core strength and balance and looking at nutrition. We had to fill in food diaries for a couple of weeks. Apparently, pork pies are not as nutritious as oily fish and chicken breasts. Revelation!

Then it happened. One of the lecturers is a very petite lady called Michelle. As you would expect from a sports therapy university lecturer, she is very fit and flexible. Two weeks ago she joined me and Jack, one of the students in the strength and conditioning centre for a few ‘gentle stretching exercises´. Forty minutes later I came out looking like I had just stepped out of the shower. I realised that although I was able to ride a bike for longer and longer distances, I was still not using some sets of muscles. When I left the university my legs were heavy and aching.

When I woke up on Saturday morning I couldn´t move. Just trying to walk was giving me immense pain. Going for a training ride was impossible. I was stuck to the sofa and there I stayed for the whole weekend. Things didn´t start to improve until Monday but my legs still felt like lead. The whole point of going to the university was to prevent an injury, not create one! I had been misled.

When I returned to the university the following week I explained what had happened and why I had not been doing my exercises at home and this was met with much amusement. I fully understand that making muscles work that have been hibernating for a long period cause discomfort but I wasn´t expecting the pain to be so intense. The exercises remain, although not as intense as before and I think I am getting better. It goes to show that 47 is not a good age to try to change things. Getting a grip of my life at an earlier age would have been so much easier. Better late than never.