Chronic illness

An Epic Battle: Chronic Illness and Exercise

One of the major issues I’ve been struggling with lately is a severe fatigue. I always joke that it feels like someone unplugged a stopper in my foot and drained all the energy out. But as someone educated in Health Education and Promotion, I am acutely aware of how important physical activity is. I know that human bodies need to stretch, to move, to be strengthened and challenged, and to be taken care of. But that knowledge doesn’t make the concept of exercise seem any less daunting. There are days I am so exhausted that I have to lay down multiple times. There are even days I am feeling so ill or experiencing so much pain that getting out of bed becomes a herculean task.

Even though I may have more barriers to exercise than the average person, I have recently come to an understanding with myself. As long as I do what I can, when I can, that is enough. Perfection is not the goal here. I am never going to be a swimsuit model. I am never going to be a professional athlete. And that is totally okay with me.

An awesome trainer I really admire once told me, “What’s most important is that you love yourself and listen to your body. Every movement you do nurtures your body – improving circulation and bringing oxygen to your muscles and organs.” To me, exercise shouldn’t be about punishing my body. It’s about celebrating what my body is able to do. And as someone who deals with chronic illness, some days that might not be a whole lot. But for me, the idea is to take advantage of those valuable moments of energy when they do pop up.

It is important to remember that small victories are victories too. A baby step is still a step! It’s about the dog walk I was able to take and all the lovely Vitamin D I absorbed. It’s about the half hour of Pilates and yoga I did in my living room that stretched and strengthened my muscles. It’s about the arm exercises I managed to do with 5 lb weights while watching my favorite TV show. In all likelihood I won’t be able to run a marathon or join a Crossfit class in the immediate future. But everyone is different. Everyone’s bodies are different.

I look forward to the moments I can pop my earbuds in work out along to the music. It’s in those moments I feel the most badass. Outer strength is cool and all but when you combine that with inner strength…..TOTAL BADASS!!!

 

Hats Off to All My BADASS Spoonies,

 

Lindsay B.

 

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