It has been around 14 years since I have given blood - for around 3-4 years I was a regular donor and then stopped for some reason (can't remember why). There is a Red Cross near my office and so I decided to start donations back up again. Compared to before, I don't smoke and I do a lot of exercise so I figured my recovery would be a little different but wasn't sure.
My first attempt to donate again unfortunately did not go ahead... I had an upset tummy the day before so they told me I could not donate :(
Then I went to India and unfortunately India is on the list of countries that needs a buffer before you are allowed to donate... 4 months!
So May it was - however it was the height of my race season so I decided to wait until after our final race of the season to donate so the recovery didn't affect my paddling. I just must remember not to do a heavy weights session the morning after as it is not good!!
It was exactly as I remember it, and I do highly recommend it. It takes a long time the first time if you haven't donated before, but subsequent times are a lot quicker. It really is a great thing to do and I received an email to say that my blood had gone to Westmead Hospital and had helped to save someone's life. How cool is that?