If anyone has run when they are out of shape, you must know the physical sensations of that exertion. Your lungs feel on fire, you get a stitch in your side that stabs with every movement and breathing is an impossible task. Your legs are leaden and you feel every impact on the ground through the whole of your body. Set aside that a person with M.E can feel that way from getting up or going upstairs.
I want to talk about exercise. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would miss doing cross country in January with frozen mud and light snow underfoot. I hated all sports but cross country was the worst. I hated the cold, the mud and feeling like my body were unfit ( which it was), my kind of exercise was fidgeting all the time or running on my own terms by myself. Walking around school, to and from a bus kept me in ok shape. There was muscle and I was happy to leave it at that. Being 5 11′ at twelve made me so self-conscious and sport made me feel out of my comfort zone and vulnerable.
I always thought that when the sport wasn’t compulsory I would go to a gym and find my exercise and get into shape then. Sadly, that time never came. I never found out what I liked and suddenly I craved the feeling of my muscles working hard and feeling like I had worked myself towards being strong. Exercise suddenly shifted from a preference to a why doesn’t everyone do this just because they can and its good for your body? One of my early consultants drilled into me that when I recovered I needed to keep my body strong by working out and that would help prevent me from getting ill again. As always I’m not too sure about the science or fact from that but it stuck in my head. I needed to grasp onto my physical strength to help myself. After a massive relapse, all of that went out of the window, I was not eating or drinking because of the effort of bringing it to my mouth. I still now use plastic or bamboo cups because they are lighter. I still struggle to eat when I feel really poorly. I had to start by being able to use a knife and a fork at the same time.
Exercising was the last thing on my mind, but in my dreams, I ran and most of the time I had some horrific accident. I either got run down by a car on a road or my shoe would get caught inside a treadmill and my leg would be ripped to shreds. In my dreams even though they had horrible endings I loved the feel of my legs stretching and my body being pushed to being better. The thumping of my feet on the road and the clarity of mind that comes with it.
Funny how life goes isn’t it? You always want what you can’t have and I miss having the choice to be spontaneous and active. I used to say I was grateful that my only hobby was baking so when I got ill there wasn’t too much taken away from me like some who are so active and play numerous sports and its part of their identity. That I can’t imagine going from always on the go to stuck on the sofa. I don’t fidget anymore, that I miss.
One day in the future, sport and the gym may become part of my world again and for that, I would be truly blessed and grateful. This I should say is about 3 decades away I’m sure.
What do you miss? Were you super sporty or more like me before you got ill?
Comment down below I’d love to hear from you.