Sunday, June 21, 2009

Confession Part 1

I stole this idea from Bridget, hope she doesn't mind!

Confession: I'm afraid to exercise

Yes, it's true, my treadmill frightens me. I bought my treadmill several years ago when the one I inherited from my parents needed to go to exercise equipment heaven. When I bought it, I loved it. I would get up early 3-4 times a week to walk before work (if you know me personally then this will have extra significance since you probably know how I feel about sleep)! I felt great, I loved how I felt after walking, I had more energy, I was actually alert on my drive to work. It was all in all, a good thing.

Then I got RA and the treadmill became my enemy. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom without being in pain so the idea of doing extra walking, on purpose, was laughable. I spent a lot of time (I'm talking more than a year) altering the way I did everything to try and keep pain to a minimum. I started walking with my hands in my pockets (less chance of hitting something on accident), I got all new (flat and boring) shoes, I started avoiding touching people (if a kid accidentally bumping into you in the hallway made you cry and vomit you'd avoid it too). All in all I did everything, everyday, to minimize or avoid pain, and I am not being dramatic when I say that it's all I thought about.

Then I started to get better (by the grace of God), but despite that I still continued living in my "avoid all possible pain" way which included ignoring the treadmill in my bedroom. But now I'm 20 months into this battle, 18 months post-diagnosis, and 6 months into feeling pretty much normal (well as normal as I ever was). It's time for things to change, to get over the fear that any physical activity will lead directly to intense pain, to take my doctors advice and get moving. While I'm still likely to walk with my hands in my pockets (I'm a klutz), and avoid handshakes (can I wear a sign that says "this isn't a pissing contest just a handshake, go easy"), it's time to conquer the treadmill.

p.s. sorry for the gratuitous use of parentheses (but I really like them).


  1. Yay for getting up and moving! I know how tough it is to get up early (I feel the same way about sleep - clearly chose the wrong career for how much I like sleeping), but it really is amazing how much more energetic you are in spite of less sleep when getting up to exercise. Keep it up! (even on the most painful days - pain will still be less with moving!). Call me if you need a little cheering on...I'm usually up for my own exercise time (and also enjoy parenteses).

  2. Totally cool with you stealing it, since I stole it from somebody else. It's not really stealing if you give them credit, right?