Monday, August 17, 2015

Living with chronic illness

My yoga mat & foam roller are life savers for me. As you may know, I have suffered from scoliosis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, a mysterious "floating virus" & a number of other chronic health issues. It took SIX long, miserable years just to get a diagnosis, and even now some Dr's don't recognize them as 'real.' 

Some days I have so much pain I have to cancel everything. It takes an emotional toll & it affects day to day living.

But the good news is that even though it does affect me, by making some adjustments I still lead a rich full life.

I still sometimes mourn over what has been taken & it's important to allow those feelings. But I also rejoice because I look over the many blessings God has poured on me through this. He has given me a natural love for fitness & healthy eating that I started at age 9 and have kept all this time. What a wonderful gift because if I had given up on my health I would be so much worse.

My docs tell me that with the level my issues are I should be disabled, very very ill and obese (these usually cause weight gain). Wow. Yet I can healthily run marathons, triathlons & everything in between. They tell me to KEEP DOING IT because whatever I've been doing has been my saving grace from really bad times.

I have to be extremely careful with my training because I have limited energy (they say 60% of my energy goes towards fighting these illnesses) & my body doesn't adapt as a normal body does. But I've learned to maximize every little bit I have & enjoy what I do all the more. It's made me a better trainer because I can do the same for others & have a perspective I otherwise wouldn't.
Yoga & foam rolling is many times the only thing that helps with pain. I also get chiropractic adjustments & massage which is wonderful.

I'm thankful I became a trainer so I can encourage others toward bettering their health. It's important to me and I hope that by sharing my story it inspires you to strive for better health, wherever you are. You CAN be at a better place even if you have had injury or illness. Never give up on yourself. You are worth the effort! - Emily Collins, owner of OnTrack Fitness