In the last two years, I’ve slowly integrated more exercise than I did before my physical crash. I do around 50,000 steps a week, pilates at home once a week, exercise biking a couple of times a week and now swimming every two weeks. The art of rebuilding something as precious as one’s body, and healing the self, reminds me that we must be patient with ourselves, yet never give up. I’m far away from the wheelchair times, and I’m thankful for each phase of the journey.
I recently took a fun, yet challenging trip out to a local shipwreck, “The Mulberry” in Southend on Sea. I hadn’t walked out to this area for years before my crash, and it was on my goal list to see if I could do it.
I’ve surpassed my walking dream 🚶🏼♀️!!
I used to struggle to stand up, and now I realise things have drastically changed.
On a recent holiday, my husband and I walked a total of 81,802 steps in 6 days, including travelling days! When I worked out the distance, I was shocked that I walked a total of 35 miles across the six days I spent in Spain. If you averaged this out, it meant that I was walking over 5.5miles a day.
Now this coming from someone who couldn’t walk more than 50metres a few years back is impressive.
I can now also walk very quickly up the three flights of seafront steps that I used to see as an impossibility for my future. In fact I’ve even run up them a couple of times. What can I say I wanted to feel like Rocky 🤣 I still have a little high tachycardia on reaching the top, but so do most people, so I’m not sweating the norm, which also continues to shift for me.
Moving toward more and more exercise after being POTS tastic is a great feeling. Everything in our stride. Along with pacing, rest, and a sensible regime you too could transcend your boundaries, and manoeuvre through fatigue.
You wouldn’t even care if you were symptomatic still if you could do the things you love, so keep striving for them!
Here’s to you walking, or swimming, dancing, doing whatever you enjoy again…
Slowing down for me, is a continual process. I have a super speed mind and I’ve had to train myself, that just because I think quick doesn’t mean I should act so speedily. In fact, thinking less has been most rewarding. Feeling more and simply being has been at the heart of not only my health recovery, but in the foundations of my revised life.
It takes a great deal of discipline to pace, for some it may be easier than others. The inner critic has a lot to do with why we push beyond our boundaries rather than work within our limits, but that’s another blog.
Activity management and pain management kind of go hand in hand because, often when you are not fully healthy or indeed, you are experiencing any type of long term health issue, you will be needing to learn how to manage your new level of body ability. I’ve learned the hard way that forcing things and being so optimistic that I want to believe it is all mind over matter, just ends up in a crash and pushes long term recovery further off the mark. Everyone has to come to know their own limits and thresholds.
When Claire, my awesome Occupational Health Therapist, first described the boom and bust cycle of overdoing and crashing, I had an “aha!” moment. It was like being described my whole previous attitude to going about life. It’s taken me a long time to try and change my pattern of binging on lots of amounts of “doing”, before my body stops me. It’s been liberating to go at an appropriate pace, being present in my body as I go, rather than being fueled by my mind. I am still working on this, but I give myself credit because it’s thirty odd years of mental rewiring!
If you’ re now learning this new approach for a health reason, the new skill of “present moment, prioritising, planning and pacing”, could become a reward new lesson. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for even attempting to go against your familiar conditioning! Continue reading