My name’s Tom Underwood. I initially set up this blog in 2018 to talk about my experience adjusting to life with an ostomy, but quickly realised there is now a shed load of existing online material on this topic – and that I wasn’t adding as much value as I hoped, often basically repeating what other advocates have already said. About six months after my surgery, I decided to start going to CrossFit classes as a way to get fit again and I’ve realised this poses all sorts of opportunities and challenges for those with a stoma. So, I’ve decided to to rename this blog Fitness With a Stoma to talk about the unique and under-reported challenges of trying to get fit again after total colectomy surgery. For me, I am passionate about high-intensity forms of exercise, but this does really test my core strength, mobility and recovery rate…Not to mention the actual technical challenges performing a multitude of weight lifting and gymnastic movements! But whether you’re into running, cycling, weight-lifting or gymnastics, my varied fitness experiences covers all of these sports and I hope my ramblings act as an interesting comparison to your particular fitness goals.
“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” – Good things can happen out of all sorts of unexpected circumstances, including this.
My history with Ulcerative Colitis
My journey with IBD dates back to 2010 when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis out of the blue and became very ill very quickly, resulting in an emergency Total Colectomy.
Since then, I have had a jpouch that behaved itself for six good years before it decided to fail on me. The nature of the problem was an inability to fully empty the pouch which had a profound impact on the quality of my life. And despite trying to rescue it with a major jpouch reconstruction surgery in 2017, it still didn’t work properly.
So in October 2018 I had permanent ostomy surgery which (believe it or not!) was welcome given the circumstances as I know I can once again become fully fit, active and healthy and live life to the full.
On a personal note, I’m 35, live in Leeds in the UK and married to my wife. But there’s plenty of time to find out more about me. Thanks for visiting and I hope to be of some kind of help to you in your fitness journey.