Never let your fear decide your fate.
So picture this… It’s dark outside, my eyes are fuzzy… the bed is warm and there are TONS of things to watch on Netflix now that I have my Roku and DVD player hooked up from Christmas. Maybe I’ll just stay in bed a little longer. … My mind drifts to the fact that I posted to instagram that I was going to the gym this weekend. The earlier I go, the sooner I am done. The later I go the more crowded the gym will be, the less likely I am to find a parking spot, the more likely I am to just pull in circle the lot and then head to the movie theater and hide out in the dark all morning.
I didn’t plan very well, I had to replace my lock the last time I went to the gym, I bought a cheap $2.00 one at the drug store, and I don’t know what the combination is for it… so no lock… I also cannot find one of my gym shoes. Here in Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes, and 100,000 puddles this weekend (thanks to the polar vortex moving away!!) I find it best to just have 2 sets of shoes, one for the gym and one for everything else. Some gyms require that you have a set of shoes for the machines. (the salt/gravel/etc is bad for them, anyway). I couldn’t find my shoe, and I figured the hell with it I am staying in bed.
Robb was seeing my frustration and helped me find my missing shoe, he had been getting ready to sleep as I was stomping around looking for my stuff. Why didn’t I pack the night before? Well I was out late, honoring my friendships with quality bonding time with some very dear ladies. So I made the trek off to the gym…
I parked… the lot was full-ish, not nearly as full as I have seen it, the upper lot had plenty of open spaces, and I found one that looked to be as safe as anything else. I try to find spots that allow me to have good footing and a relatively clear path from ice/snow the ehlers-danlos makes my joints all wibbly-wobbly and the last thing I need is to fall. I sat in the car for a minute or two, seemed like forever. I grabbed my bad and walked toward the door of the gym.
As I crossed the lot… there was the 4-letter word. I neared the door and the panic set in… What if I couldn’t work out as long as I wanted to? What if people were judging me based on how fast I was walking? What if I couldn’t do it? I knew I was not going to be anywhere near in the shape I had been. There are a hundred reasons why I haven’t been to the gym, my mind went to the levaquin and snapping tendon fears came flooding in. What if its been so long my membership isn’t valid anymore?
I shook my head and shifted my thoughts into a better place, I remembered that this is about honoring myself, being honest with myself. I grabbed the door pushed my way through it, they scanned my card said welcome back and that was it, I was in the gym. I started on the treadmill, walked a while, not as long as I wanted to. I felt the pain in my foot from the PF that plagues me, as soon as I felt it I remembered why I stopped working out in the gym. I finished up my segment and decided I was not quitting. I wanted to leave with a positive feeling. I made my way to the recumbent elliptical, which may be my favorite piece of gym equipment that I have tried so far. I saw there is a new lateral running type machine I want to try but I need to get my stamina back first. Sadly one of the things EDSers deal with is the even more rapid regression of muscle tone. I pushed through about 2 miles in somewhere around 11 minutes and then I was done and I was okay with that. I had spent the time that I was on the machines thinking about my fear, thinking about why I was afraid and that in the end it is all controllable.
This morning I got up, later than usual, but before the “get up or else” alarm and trudged off to the gym with my New Years present padded bike shorts. I have some serious pain sitting on the bike, but its good for my hip, it helps rebuild the range of motion that I lost from the 3 surgeries I had, and it has to be good for my knee too from the lateral and medial meniscal tears. Its a non-impact activity, something I need more of. I knocked out 25 minutes on the bike before changing gears, or rather machines for a 30 min cooldown. I didn’t want to go to the gym this morning, my abs hurt! A reminder that there are muscles under there, clearly from the elliptical, keeping my core engaged properly, go me!
I fueled my body after my workout with an apple, a black Americano and 2 hardboiled eggs. I really wanted to go out for breakfast but the no dairy and no gluten thing makes it really hard to just grab something somewhere. I used to hit Panera Bread for an after workout breakfast, (Their hidden menu is awesome! and I believe it has been unhidden finally). I headed to Lunds (a local grocery store) that has Driscoll’s Strawberries 2/$5.50 right now and blueberries on sale too. I picked up a few Opal Apples which are super hard to find, but I really like them some zucchini and I got a few other bits and bobs there too. Next I headed to Target and grabbed some other things, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, frozen veggies, it was a productive quick trip, shopping the outer isles makes it so much faster.
The afternoon has been a lot of meal prep, and stretching. My body, I believe, thinks that it is being punished right now. It is sore all over, super achy. I am dealing with it, I have the electric blanket turned on, and the fan blowing on me to cool me off. I am reminding myself that the choices I am making are to honor my body. It isn’t being tortured, or punished, As I stretch, and roll my body I speak gently to myself that the pain is temporary, that it is a gift, a reward for finally being healthy and strong enough to fact the challenge that this day brings.
Each day brings a new set of circumstances that we cannot control, we can push through them with the skills and tolls we each have. We can work to adapt and try and teach ourselves and bodies to keep fighting, but I’ve learned I must do so gently. I am trying to live more from my heart these days. Being honest with myself about my feelings, my intuition. It all starts from inside. So dear body, thank you for letting me push you, bending but not breaking. I will continue to nourish you in the way you have told me you need. We do need to co-exist afterall. Mind and body. We just cant the that f-word be running us both ragged.