In 232 days from today, God willing, I will be prepared to partake in the Half Iron Man competition in Haines City, Florida. Living with a chronic pain condition that has a different idea about timelines and schedules, as well as a strong mind of its own, I thought it might be interesting to share my journey. It has been on my bucket list for many years now. Despite my chronic pain, which mostly pertains to my legs, I am what the medical community calls healthy. I agree, since I match all the criteria for that. I have had this condition all my life and would say that it does not define me, but makes sure I remember to have a plan B at all times.
Challenges are Friends not Food!
Of course I have used food and coffee for comfort! In the past year I have been able to overcome some vices that have kept me prisoner. I call them vices because I wanted them out of my life. You all probably have your own in some way or form. I had to keep foods out of my life that seem to cause inflammation, such as coffee (it still makes me sad), chocolate (I am beyond surprised that I don't miss it), asparagus, some legumes, whey protein (also I can have milk in moderation), eggplant, and some other foods I love. It is not really important if anyone agrees with me that these foods do to my body what I feel they are doing or not. Fact is, I feel so much better and it helps me to deal with physical pain, stress, emotions, and all other challenges much better. I also added a simple, plant based vitamin supplement to my diet. I noticed in my food log that my iron and protein intake was constantly too low. Adding more protein did not change how I felt (also it does add some iron as well) but adding the multi-vitamin geared towards women in their 40's made a significant difference.
Solid nutrition and recovery will be my focus. I know I can do the distance in all disciplines. I will train for a full Iron man, although I have been advised against it. Any discipline I have ever participated in, I have trained beyond the distance I needed, in case race day is a terrible pain day. I can participate and finish and all my work is not in vain. I never ignore my pain, I modify my movements in order to move at all. What is the alternative anyway? Please don't read this as if I am telling anyone to do the same. My condition seems unique, even though I am not alone with it in my family. I had a long time of trial and error in what works and what does not. I also know when I absolutely cannot do it. It is often discouraging but I praise God that I can walk, I praise God that I can live my life without ever having taken strong pain medication, and I praise God for my husband, my kids, my family, and my close friends who love me through my struggle, but don't pity me.
As part of this journey I want to encourage my clients to share their stories here, and I hope that will be liberating and encouraging. It is so very difficult to be told that your are imagining your suffering.
I am excited to follow the 30 week program that I found , which I think will most likely fit my abilities and schedule. I have 3 more weeks of pre- program preparations to complete, during which I am practicing adhering to a schedule and coming up with alternatives. I will elaborate on that in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your interest and your support!