Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Your Body Betrays You - Part I

This is a hard post for me to write. I'm all about what you CAN do, and addressing the CAN'T is difficult. I'm a positive person, and much prefer to focus on the good, occasionally the bad, and rarely the ugly. Today is the ugly. If you've been part of my journey up to this point, you know that I have some physical issues. You know that they can limit me, but that I don't let them stop me. What you might not know, what I don't often share, is that sometimes they nearly break me.

I have arthritis, a very aggressive form in my knees. It's in my shoulder's, too, along with my neck, fingers and wrists. It's starting to develop in my ankles. It is what it is, and I live with it. I have pain every day, some more than others. Most of the time I ignore it. I take my joint care supplements, my hyaluronic acid, I eat a diet high in antioxidants, and I drink a lot of water. I do what I can to give my body what it needs to fight the inflammation and resulting pain, but sometimes it's not enough. Being active & fit, maintaining a healthy weight helps, but again, sometimes it's not enough. And it serves to remind me that I cannot control everything.

I detest being limited. I detest feeling weak. I guess that makes me human. Frankly, I'd rather be a goddess. Pain sucks.

The weather changed, again, yesterday, and brought with it the aches and twinges in my joints. I could feel the inflammation building throughout the day, and by the time I got to Tab's Muscle class, I was battling for every step. I was determined to push through, and I modified accordingly, but even that wasn't enough. At one point, we were doing this set where you set up  your bench/step, with your heavy weights at one end. On the other end, you start by doing dips off the end of the step, then you crabwalk around to the other end, do bicep curls, crabwalk back around, do dips, and around and around you go. I couldn't even hold my own weight up, I just scooted  from one end to the other. By the end of class, every joint was on fire. I just wanted a cold dark cave to curl up in.

I was furious with myself, felt betrayed by my own body. Here I am, in the front row of Tab's class, and I'm doing every exercise "wrong", I know I looked like I was less than half-assing it, and that my bad performance was reflecting on Tab. Everyone knows she trained me, and here I am hardly moving, hardly working. #$%@!  I was in so much pain, and so angry, that when she asked me after class what was wrong, I just burst into tears. Aghhh! I hate crying.

Being the World's Greatest Best Friend, Tab talked me off the ledge. Reminded me that it's temporary. I don't always feel this bad, and the important thing was that I didn't stop. I finished. She's right. It might not have been a stellar workout, but I finished.  I count that as a victory.

This morning, I still hurt. It's not the nuclear level of pain I had yesterday, but I'm nauseous and still inflamed. I did my cardio, and now I'm prepping for the day. I won't let this defeat me. I might not move very fast today, but I'm still moving, and that too, is a victory.


  1. Hey Chelle
    I totally feel your pain. I have psoriatic arthritis, it's in most of my major joints all toes and feet. Right now I am battlling the pain in my hip. It's horrible. Keep your chin up, you always know that there will be good days ahead.

  2. You are such an inspiration! Most people wouldn't admit things like this, but (for me) it makes you a 'real person' with 'real trials', just like the rest of us. Tab is right, you didn't stop, you kept going. That goes to show how tough you really are. And even the toughest chicks need to take a break. I can totally relate to everything you've said. Thanks for puttin' it out there and keepin' it real! Sending you positive and healing vibes!!

  3. I lost my hearing 4 years ago due to an autoimmune disease they have not identified. I deal with joint and muscle pain, daily, as well. Like you said, some days are better than others. I have to take meds for mine. Some folks who don't have ANY joint pain bail out long before you do, my friend. Give yourself credit, you finished. That speaks volumes of your character.

  4. 4 words:

    It was really important for someone else to hear this today. Thank you for sharing.
    --Carlene Hetland

  5. Who gives a crap what the rest of the class thinks! You know you are absolutely NOT half-assing your workouts and so does Tab. The changes you have made to your body, under Tab's guidance, speak for themselves. This episode will pass and you'll put them all to shame another time.

  6. Thank you for sharing! I can TOTALLY relate to this post. You are an truly a CHAMPION!!!

  7. I think the fact that you have accomplished so much in spite of set backs and pain just confirms your Goddess status! So it wasn't the workout you wanted, but you made it the best in that moment in that many would have quit or never showed up!
    You Rock...I will be thinking of you while I push through my 39.3 miles this weekend at the Avon Walk for Breast will be nothing compared to the pain and anguish so many women have to endure with this disease. I am honored to walk for them, my mom and many friends.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. I've had an aggressive form of rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years. I've had numerous surgeries including a total shoulder replacement. I understand how frustrating and discouraging the situation can be. In reading your blog, I would never have guessed that you had any physical issues. You are such a positive person. You take care of yourself, inside and out, and this flare will pass. I want you to know that I look forward to your blog each day. You are truly an inspiration! Knowing how far you've come with all the challenges you have faced motivates me to work even harder. You really are a champion - Go Chelle!! Thank you!!