Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 145, Sept/Oct 2021 - Page 44

TRAIL RUNNING

Coming Back from COVID

The Old Fisherman ’ s Challenge in October 2020 , Sue ’ s last race before falling seriously ill with COVID
There was no tagging of peaks for Sue for several months
Hi , my name is Sue and I tested positive for COVID-19 . Let me start off by saying that it is not my intention to dissect or make sense of this virus , or how it has been or is being dealt with . It is also not my intention to garner sympathy for what I went through … if anything , you should be happy for me , as I got through it . I am writing this as an honest , open account of my own personal experience in the hope that it may help you to understand it a bit more , and hopefully avoid it . – BY SUE ULLYETT
The views that Sue had to do without while recovering
Images : Barbara Cole , Adri Bootsma , Sue Pullinger , AshrafOrrie & Courtesy Sue Ullyett

You make your own decisions about how you deal with this pandemic , but know that it is something you should definitely try to avoid catching , as the experience can be both scary and extremely unpleasant . You also don ’ t know how your body will react to it , and it doesn ’ t matter how fit you are . I do think that the fitter , healthier and stronger you are , the better your chances , but you just don ’ t know , as some fit people have battled with it and some have died . It is , without a doubt , the sickest I have ever been , and I don ’ t get sick very often , and consider myself to be pretty fit and healthy . To be honest , right now , I ’ m actually not sure what I believe any more about this virus …

The one question I got asked so many times is , “ Where do you think you got it ?” Who knows , and right now , that ’ s not important . The virus is very much out there , and we have no clue how we contract it . It could be at the grocery store , inside the shopping
mall , at a restaurant , the gym , from your children , your friends , your colleagues , at a braai that you think is safe because you know all the people there are healthy … You get my drift ? I don ’ t think the medical fraternity fully understands this pandemic , as it is morphing each day . This , for me , is the scariest element of this virus , as there are so many different scenarios . It ’ s not like flu or a tummy bug , where you pick it up from someone or somewhere , get the stock standard symptoms , recover and then move on with your life as normal . COVID doesn ’ t play by these rules .
You can have it and not know you have it , and so you go out and about , spreading it all over the place . Then you can have it and only get a few symptoms , and actually not feel all that bad while wondering what all the fuss is about . Or you get it bad , and Mother Nature throws the whole bang shoot your way . Out of my team of five I my immediate circle , two got it bad , two tested positive but had no symptoms apart from fatigue , and one was negative . There are no rules , guarantees or certainties with this virus .
AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE
I think my COVID story started at the end of October 2020 – and I say think , as I ’ m still not
44 ISSUE 145 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2021 | www . modernathlete . co . za