This week I’ve begun rigorous training of strengthening myself physically, mentally & emotionally. If I have to learn to live with a chronic disease, I cannot let Endo rule my life, otherwise I’ll spend the rest of my days in bed or on the couch. I want to toughen up (by no means be a martyr) and break the cycle I’ve fallen into where I do nothing even when my pain is at a 3 or 4 out of 10. I’m trying this new thing where I add more structure to my life and force myself to do things even when I’m in pain, rather than surrendering to it and crashing on the couch all the time.
Obviously there are days when crashing on the couch is 100% needed and doing anything is not an option but on the other days where pain is under a 7/10, I’m trying to find things I can accomplish and NOT make excuses for myself. I believe that by doing this, I can really start to achieve my short-term goals (starting a blog was one, training regularly and hard and gaining more muscle is another) and not let pain or feeling flat stop me from getting shit done. I refuse to let this disease define me and stop me from doing what I want.
An example of my progress…
This morning I got woken up at the crack of dawn by some seriously savage cramps and stabbing pains in my ovaries. (Day 4 off the pill) They took my breath away. I’m not sure how long they lasted but I was on the verge of texting Mum who was asleep upstairs to grab me a hot water bottle and my tens machine (I’m trying not to have painkillers whenever I can avoid it). Instead, once the intensity subsided, I put my earphones in and listened to my guided meditation and focussed as hard as I could on breathing deep and slow, through the pain. I don’t know how long I did that for but amazingly, I fell back asleep.
Throughout the rest of the day I’d rate my pain at a 4 – 6. However, I promised myself that I’d exercise at least 5 times this week and had committed to an important meeting with Mum and a fantastic woman – a scientist and researcher of Endo from Sydney Uni – Kathleen Peters. (She is a wealth of knowledge, SUCH a powerhouse and a major new supporter of us at EndoActive. Check out our fb page if you haven’t already.)
Having set my goals to achieve that day, I didn’t let the pain stop me. I got up and went for a fast 45 minute walk mixed in with some resistance training around Birchgrove oval near where I live in Balmain. My ovaries were caining and I was sore from heavy training the day before but once I got into a rhythm, pumping Kanye and Meg Mac through my earphones and breathing in loads of fresh, clean oxygen, I felt a million bucks. I even ran the last lap!
Right after that, I went to the meeting which went great but was long and my pain was building from being cold and sitting hard chairs but I pushed through and jumped straight into a hot bath with a cup of tea when I got home.
This is not something I ever would’ve done a couple of weeks ago. If I was in any pain at all, I’d sack everything off and stay home. Having goals propels you to achieve them and is such a great motivation to kick ass at life. (Even if it’s as simple as doing something when you’re not in the mood.)