So before you leave because you think this is one of those posts about how to work out with chronic pain.
This is not that.
While I am sure I have enough information in my brain from attending the University of Google combined with real life Spoonie workout experience to write such a post, this is not it.
Instead, I want to talk about all of the ridiculous things that factor in to this particular Spoonie’s attempts to adhere to a work out regimen in hopes that someone out there will tell me I am not alone.
Every month I tell myself I am going to get back to working out on a consistent basis. Why do I tell myself this? Because I actually like to work out believe it or not. I love a good sweat session with loud music. I LOVE it. Unfortunately, on top of all the other demands of life i.e.: kids, spouse, household chores, errands, animals, social life and sleep I have my pain to contend with as well.
Living with chronic pain makes life, shall we say, interesting. It’s like having a toddler because you never really know what it’s going to do from moment to moment and if it’s ever quiet you know a shit storm is coming. I’m constantly trying to find time for me, but my workout spoons get lost to running errands or spending too long out with a friend or cooking dinner or laundry or some other seemingly more deserving task like sleep or snuggle time on the couch with The Hubs. Or sleep. Mostly sleep.
Anyway, my point is that every month I say I am going to do it, and then I don’t. Which ticks me off just the same as having a pain flare get in the way. I mean really, what the hell am I doing with all my time that I can’t just go for a stupid walk? For quite a while after I stopped working I didn’t feel like I had enough hours in the day to workout, rest after working out and then do the rest of the day’s tasks. This year, when the kids went back to school I resolved to get up with them every morning as a way to recover some of those hours. My eventual plan was to use those earlier hours to get my workout in.
I haven’t done that yet.
This week while I was doing my planner I deliberately put “workout” stickers on the Wednesday and Friday morning schedules as a way to force myself to do it. Sort of an “It’s in the schedule, have to do it!” kick in the pants. It worked, and while I was out on my walk around the neighborhood I thought of all the things that keep me from doing this consistently, and whether or not they were legitimate reasons to not get back into the swing of it. (All while constantly scanning the tree line for men in hoodies. I’ll explain in a minute.)
First, I find that this is incredibly lonely or me because I’m doing all of it by myself. The kids are at school and The Hubs is at work so it’s just me. I’d love to have workout buddy or at the very least someone who will pull me off my butt when I need to be motivated. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends who live close enough to regularly get together to work out.
I’d love to have a walking buddy or group that gets together to walk either at the indoor track or outside (my mom used to walk with a group of ladies from the neighborhood and I have always wanted to have that). I don’t like to walk by myself outside because I am afraid of being attacked so that’s out.
I’m so serious right now. You’re laughing I know it, but I am so serious. My anxiety tells me that a hooded man will jump out of the bushes near the pond and attack me if I walk by myself.
Also, walking is a HUGE trigger for my pain as it aggravates just about every aspect of my PCS. So, even if I did have a walking buddy (or group) that saved me from the hooded man in the woods I wouldn’t be able to make it a thing without giving up spoons somewhere else like cooking, or showering or breathing.
So by this point I’ve decided that the gym is the best option because it’s temperature controlled, it’s always there and it has options besides walking; like the pool or a seated bike. This opens up a whole new can of stupid. (I would also like to note that at this point in my walk it has started raining…..)
The gym is expensive.
I know, I know, insurance will give you a discount if you go x amount of times a month and all that fun stuff but you forget: I am a Spoonie. Consistency is hard in every aspect of my life. If a pain flare pops up and I have to sacrifice my gym time for hot pack and couch time I feel awful about spending the money for nothing.
Another wrinkle in this plan is that sometimes by the time I get to the gym and walk in I’m too uncomfortable to workout. So then I get that deer in headlights thing going where I don’t know if I should go for it anyway and risk a pain flare or head back home to the safety of the heating pad? It’s all so very confusing.
My brain hurts.
Now, I know this all sounds like I am leading up to an extremely justified decision to give up on that fitness life all together but I am not. I am just taking all of the constant babble that goes on in my head about the subject and giving it to you to think about now to. (You’re welcome). I’ll keep trying, and maybe it will always be this chaotic, but I will keep trying. In the meantime, if you’re an accomplished Gym Hero Spoonie I would love it if you could drop me a line and teach me your wise ways.