So I’ve been absent for a little while. I didn’t realise it at first but I’ve been teetering over the edge of the fibro black hole.
I nearly fell – I nearly lost myself.
In preparation for this post, I’ve been thinking about Fibro again, about how my message to others who question it is “don’t judge what you don’t know”. As a fibro friend once commented; there seems this view that fibro sufferers want to be sick, that somehow we’re lazy, when in fact we actually work harder than most just to be well.
This led me to think that actually fibro sufferers have all it takes to be great bodybuilders: Fibro sufferers know all too well what it means to dig deep to utilise their inner strength in order to manage their conditions and to find some inner peace.
The last few weeks I’ve learnt again that as a fibro sufferer, I understand what it takes to be a bodybuilder and as a bodybuilder I understand how best I can manage fibro symptoms.
The black hole.
I’ve discussed before how I was trying not to worry that my injuries and inability to train would mean a return of my fibro symptoms. I tried not to permit such negative thinking but be mindful of the possibility. Indeed, I thought I was prepared; listening to my body and responding appropriately. I wasn’t.
All was going well until the end of the third week of my phased return to work. I finished the week exhausted, with a lump and intense pain to my fractured knee and my mood was dropping. Fatigue always impacts heavily on my mood. I literally cry when I’m over tired.
Thinking I was doing the right thing I took immediate action:
I reduced my working hours for the following week (thanks to my supportive manager’s)
Booked a review with my GP and Occupational health
Stopped training (I was doing uppers as best I could up until now)
Get as much rest as I can.
That basically equated to lying on my couch for the entire weekend worrying about was going on with my knee and how big a set back it was. Giving in to negative thinking, despite not having a shred of evidence. Still I didn’t see the warning signs.
Thankfully, as it often does, change occurred very quickly. In fact it changed in one day, Tuesday to be exact. That’s kind of the point isn’t it? We waste energy we don’t have worrying about the future when everthing changes – usually very quickly too.
Two events triggered me into action and opened the door to some clear thinking.
The GP said my knee problems were linked to cartilage and muscle wastage. He advised me to start re-building my leg muscles. Turns out the problems I was having were due to a lack of exercise.
I realised I’d been worrying for nothing. A huge weight lifted. I felt scared but it meant I was one step closer to getting my life back.
Later that night I told my husband what the Doctor said. He looked really relieved and told me I need to get back to training. Then he said:
“the way you’ve been over the last week is the way you were every day 4 years ago before you started training”.
Another realisation; he was right and both he and my Mum had mentioned fibro flare to me in the last week. I remembered feeling surprised at the time because neither had said it for some time but again shrugged it off, I was busily attributing everything to my recovery from the RTA which has been something of a journey too.
I decided I would return to training on Saturday, but on waking up on Wednesday the fog was definitely lifting. I realised by saying I would start on Saturday was simply an extension of my fibro feelings – putting it off because I was tired and sore and scared.
Do not put off what you need to do today.
I returned to the Gym that night and have been training consistently ever since. I’ve felt anxious and it reminded me how I felt when I first started training but I’ve maintained my clear thinking and trust that unless I feel pain or my leg shakes, I’m good. It’s gone well.
It’s been 2 weeks now and the difference I feel is incredible.
Physically, I’m less tight so pain has decreased. I didn’t realise how tight my muscles were until I stretched them out. I’m enjoying that satisfying body ache not the dull ache one.
Mentally, I can almost feel the serotonin levels rising. Feeling proud of myself and ever certain that bodybuilding is my answer.
My energy levels are increasing.
For me, exercise is the only way to manage all of my health. Bodybuilding is not a hobbie, it’s not even a lifestyle…… It’s life.