My Love-Hate Relationship With Exercise

Yesterday I went to the gym. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking ok, so what? A lot of people go to the gym. It was my first time going this year and it hurt. A lot. I talk a fair bit about my accident a few years ago, the impact that has on my life and being able to exercise regularly can often cause me a lot of pain.

My relationship with exercise goes way back. When I was a kid I had much more fun with my nose in a book than running around. P.E was the lesson I hated most and I was the most clumsy person I knew. For that to change when I started riding was a minor miracle, there was exercise that I loved!

In the past 3 years, my weight has gone up and down. I lose the weight, I’m happy and then six months later I’ve put it back on and it goes on, again and again. This isn’t a vanity project. This isn’t me wanting to shimmy into some size 6 jeans and get revenge. It’s literally just wanting to be healthy, to get back to the size I was at university.

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Now, I know that my body has and will continue to change throughout my life, but that natural change can be controlled. I haven’t been looking after my body the way I should be in the past few months, I haven’t eaten right, I’ve done minimal exercise so this is on me.

I feel good after a workout, I feel accomplished. Sometimes I feel better, a bit sore and I can get on with my day. Other times the old pains come back and I can’t move the next day, so it’s kind of a bargaining thing. I’m determined that, when I can, I want to exercise in one way or another on a bad day swimming is better, if I’m up to it I can go to the gym. I’ll get there slowly, I might even learn to like it again.

I guess I wrote this because it’s easy to look in Instagram and see amazing people with amazing bodies talking about how much they love fitness and healthy shakes. If that’s not you, that’s ok. A lot of people aren’t athletic but you have to do it your way, I certainly am!

 

How do you feel about exercise? Let me know in the comments below!

Remembering the good.

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If you haven’t guessed already I love pictures like the one above. I love words and slogans and nice backgrounds. I guess it’s because sometimes I don’t have the image that says what I want to say or sometimes I don’t have the words to say how I feel. It’s because of that I use Pinterest a lot because sometimes the words I need are already there. I don’t use the quote I picked today because I think I’m this brave, strong person. I’ve always said I’ve simply got on with my life the best I can.

I’ve thought a lot about the accident in the past few days, about my spine. This isn’t because I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, more because I’ve been in pain again and there’s nothing more frustrating. When my doctors say the scans look normal and my physio says there’s not much he can do and yet I’m still in pain a lot of the time. When I’m in the awkward part where I still can’t walk too far or stand up for long periods of time and have to explain that I’m recovering from a spine injury. When I have to call venues and explain why I need a seat and they have to decide if I’m ‘disabled enough’, because I’m not officially registered as disabled but at the same time I’m still struggling so much. Don’t get me wrong I do not want another label at all, but sometimes it’s what other people want so I can get the help I need at concert venues for example.

So while I was feeling pretty down about this yesterday, I had a conversation with Ali about how I was feeling and why. He reminded me that while the accident was shitty, awful and did change a lot of my life, a lot of positives came out of it too. I was reminded of these again when I went to see Joe tonight.

  • I’ve got a new appreciation for my body when it’s healthy
  • I’ve gotten better at taking me time and not doing things I don’t want to do
  • I’ve learnt a lot about friendship
  • I’ve got a much better relationship with food, portion sizes and exercise
  • I met Alice, who has come to be a great friend and support to me, I would never have set foot in a gym if it wasn’t for the accident
  • My relationships gotten stronger
  • I have a new sense of understanding when it comes to physical disabilities
  • I got a job I love that I might not have applied for if I hadn’t been spending so much time online when I couldn’t move
  • I got a lot of reading done
  • As a result of the reading I finally embraced feminism and found a new passion

There’s a lot there and I think, as with anything that changes your life when you don’t expect it, there’s a lot to deal with. Sometimes I forget all the positives because I’m just having a down day, that’s all. I worried about writing tonight’s blog because I have had people in the past saying I think too much about my spine, that it takes over my life. Then I shook the thought off because of COURSE breaking your spine is going to have a huge impact on your life, it changes everything for at least the first year – two years after it happens. I no longer care about the ignorant or negative people who don’t try and understand or make throwaway comments because my spine and how I handle it is a part of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly.