So Begins My Training…

One of my goals in 2010 is to prepare myself for my Iceland sojourn in 2011. This involves conditioning myself physically. My hope is to participate in a number of physical activities, some old friends from my pre-fibromyalgia life as well as new adventures. Day hikes amid geological wonders, sea kayaking, biking around a lake and glacier hikes.

I am realistic. I know I cannot push myself every single day of the trip. I also know I can still hike and bike as long as I allow time to rest and recharge. Multi-day backpacking trips are forever out. I have to acknowledge my limitations. But I also shouldn’t sell myself short. I am fortunate that I can still engage in some of the physical activities I love if I am smart about how I manage my body. Not everyone with fibromyalgia can still hike or go biking. Of everyone I have met with fibromyalgia, each situation is slightly different and unique. I have met fibromyalgics who can still work full-time, raise a family, and play regular sports. I admit I envy them tremendously. I covet what their bodies still allow them to do. I have also met fibromyalgics who are on disability and completely unable to work. I am thankful I am not yet in that situation and am constantly aware that may yet one day be me. I do not want to take this life for granted.

For now, I seem to be somewhere in the middle. I have moments of severe flare when I can barely get out of bed in the morning and shower. I also have moments where I feel gloriously infused with energy. Typically, I hover somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  It is a bittersweet place to be – I am painfully aware of what I have lost, but also aware of just how much I am still blessed with.

While I still have the energy and physical ability, I am planning to visit the areas of the world I have always dreamed of hiking, biking, and kayaking. Iceland is one such place. New Zealand will be another. To prepare I have started a conditioning “program”. I am trying to walk every day for at least 45 minutes, something I was doing and have let slide. So I am picking up my walking regimen. I am also planning to begin a stretching and yoga schedule in the mornings beyond my typical physical therapy to help keep my body limber. I also hope to incorporate a strength-training component. Any sort of strength-training or weight-lifting can be tricky for anyone with fibromyalgia. The wrong exercises or intensity could really mess up my body or send me into flare. So I will be consulting with my doctor in a couple weeks about what type of strength-training exercises I should be trying.

My goal is to be able to engage in a day hike lasting up to 5 hours and, with a day of rest following, be able to avoid any fibroflares. If anyone has any tips or advice on what has worked for them, I would love to hear about it!


About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
This entry was posted in Exercise/sports, Iceland, Living with Fibromyalgia, travel with fibromyalgia and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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