chronic illness · Fitness · Uncategorized

Going To The Gym With Chronic Pain.

At the end of March I started getting serious about my fitness journey. It was something I’d talked about probably for the last 6 months. I just hadn’t got round to doing it. Honestly I think it was fear that put me off. The fear of hurting myself and ending up adding to my existing pain.

That hasn’t been the case though and I’ve enjoyed every gym session. Even the ones where I’ve felt like shite and dragging myself to a workout has been the last thing I wanna do. Don’t get me wrong it’s not been easy, but investing in a personal trainer and a gym membership has definitely been a worthwhile investment.

I’m still very early into my training programme and have been sharing my journey so far across social media, mainly for myself, as a way of holding myself accountable and keeping a visual diary of any progress.

Mentioning the decision to get fit online was really fucking scary. I’d be a liar if I said all the feedback has been positive but judging by my inbox several people have been ‘inspired’. (I’m no inspiration believe me) I hope this post helps in some way based on my experience so far.

Getting started on your fitness journey first of all requires some brutal honesty with yourself, mainly are you really ready? Whilst there’s no doubt that exercise can be helpful at any point in your chronic pain journey, jumping in full force only a few weeks after diagnosis sounds like it could only end badly. My personal belief is that you need to have already grieved for your past life and accepted your condition and limitations BEFORE making the decision to ‘get fit’.

This leads to my next point about being somewhat stable. Working out requires being able to tell the difference between what is your ‘normal’ pain that you can push past, (I hate the term normal but can’t think of another way to word this) acute pain that means something’s wrong / you need to stop and finally the good pain associated with a good training session. Yeah I know, believe it or not there is a ‘good’ type of pain, who’d of thought?

You need to be able to commit. Ready to commit. This whole journey has been outrageously frustrating at times. There’s been tears more times than I’d like to admit. There’s been a lot of laughs too though. You can’t just give up at the first hurdle. Unfortunately you’ve just gotta accept it’s gonna be hard at times.

Be open minded and flexible. Originally my goal was to just be able to get out of bed, show up and survive a training session. Now we’re coming into October and my goal has changed. Not every day or session is gonna be easy. Life gets in the way, health gets in the way. Accept that this is a journey and sometimes there’s going to be bumps in the road.

Take things one day at a time and try not to get discouraged. That’s my plan anyway.

You can follow and keep up with my journey on Instagram.

Charlotte

xxx

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