Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Inner Athlete - Screaming to Get Out!

Over the past several weeks, I came to the realization that...

I have felt WELL!

Really, really WELL!  Yes, I'm shouting:-)

In fact, if it weren't for the eye flies I've got dashing around in both eyes, I'd swear ms has left the building.  Unless I'm just being overzealous.  I'm a bit like The Most Interesting Man In The World that way.  Like:

"I don't often feel well, but when I do...I go off the deep end..."

Over the years, I've honed the talent of lying to myself about what I was and was not able to do.  Because underneath all 12 years of neurological short-circuitry lies a facet of my personality that was shoved far down, but never forgotten or silenced.  My Inner Athlete.  And she likes to convince me to do things.  Stupid and risky things, when your symptoms are like mine.  For example, those times Inner Athlete convinced me to play basketball in our annual staff/student fundraising games at school?  I found myself dizzy and blurry eyed within about 2 mins of court time.  And how about when she coerced me into placing my ol' faithful glove on and wobbling around out at 2nd base for our church softball team.  I ended up vibrating from head to toe after hitting the ball in my first at bat of every game.  Sometimes, that vibration didn't go away until the following week.  Finally, about 2 years ago, I decided I would listen one more time.  I attempted to run for exercise.  That bright idea resulted in lots of tripping, followed by mobility and balance difficulties, as well as nerve pain from head to toe after all the jostling of my fascia.  My poor, poor fascia.  I sought relief from my cranial sacral therapist, who asked the best question ever..."what were you tryin' to do?" followed by the best statement ever..."don't try that again, okay?"

...but I still wanted to run.  Or jog.  It's all the same to me and Inner Athlete.  I couldn't help but wonder if this would be a good time to try it again, since I was feeling so WELL (shouting) and all.  The voice of my cranial sacral therapist began to argue with that of Inner Athlete.  "Don't try that again" vs "you're WELL!  Let's take you out for a spin, girlfriend!"  (she was shouting, because she's feisty like that)

In typical fashion, I made a mental list of pros and cons of things I could do.


  1. actually pull it off!  


  1. fall and hurt self  
  2. fall into path of oncoming bicycle and end run with ride in ambulance - for 2
  3. fall into path of oncoming car and end run with helicopter ride - for 1  
  4. throw my central nervous system into a tizzy, resulting in vibrations, vertigo, and...(no, that's all. I'm out of symptoms that begin with a 'v')
  5. misjudge abilities to complete run and not be able to make it back   


A helicopter ride might be a 'pro'.

As you can see, the cons far outweighed the pros in both quantity and sheer magnitude.  The choice was crystal clear.  I put my sneakers on, stretched my stiff and sedentary muscles, and broke into a jog down the road.


Within about 10 steps, searing pain shot into the muscles in my shins.  That was quite an obstacle, but the pain wasn't as much of a hindrance as the fact that those muscles stopped pulling up on my feet, meaning I risked falling.  Inner Athlete yelled, "run to the next telephone pole before you stop!" but I couldn't.  The helicopter ride, though appealing, was not desirable.  I slowed to a walking stumble and tried my best to shake those muscles out.  The pain lessened.  I decided to try to jog again.  The pattern continued.  :::jog...searing pain....slow to awkward walk...pain easing...jog:::

Rinse and repeat.


Jog after walk after jog after walk, I noticed it became a bit less painful until it wasn't really a factor.  Why not?  Because my lungs were trying to escape through my mouth.  These lungs haven't had to breathe like that in 12yrs!  And according to my shadow, my form looked a whole lot like 'Igor meets Frankenstein'.  Even neighborhood dogs didn't bark at me.  They stared in fear.  I thought about unsuspecting, innocent passers by and determined that I would not run when I saw actual people.  I didn't want them to call for an ambulance, thinking I'd already been hit by a car with that form I had going on.  In a word, whatever this thing was that I called 'running'?  Looked 'emergent'.

I began to challenge myself more and more...further and further...until finally, I arrived back at home.  I had successfully jog/walked a little over a mile - with far more jogging than walking!

How did I feel?  GREAT!  AWFUL!  But not ms-awful...more like athlete-awful!  You know, the 'pain is pleasure' sort of pain!  I was a balanced mix of exhausted, joyful, and pained.  As I was holding on for dear life in an effort to catch my picture was taken.

So pretty.

It's only fitting.  Can't have a 'before' and a 'during' without an 'after' picture :-)


This, my a 'hot mess'.  And yes, I shall try again tomorrow!


Nancy said...

Great Job!!! I completed an indoor triathlon, and both a Walk MS and Bike MS event. I also swim, which is better for me than running/leg work. Thanks for the inspiration...I'll be in yoga class tomorrow AM myself ready to get going!!!

Tina said...

Nancy, that is SO awesome!!!

I was sore today, but not nearly as sore as I've been in the past after exercising. Dare I set a goal for myself of a 'jogging 5k' by next month? Maybe! Just maybe!

God bless you and enjoy your class!