Monday, August 7, 2017

Listening to my body

It's hard for me to talk about my health problems. Maybe it's because they have never been able to pinpoint exactly what's wrong so I'm left with a vague explanation of what's happening. 

I think it's also because you never know the reaction you'll get when you mention chronic illness. When I first started having problems I ran into some people who had the attitude of 'you're making this up' or I got the feeling they somehow thought I brought it on myself. I guess from all the years of eating right & exercising...

So yes I still get anxious about discussing things. But I'm working on pushing past my comfort level to talk more about chronic illness. There's a lot of you that deal with it also on a daily basis, and I think it's important to stop feeling awkward about it is a good step.

In that light, I'd like to share my year. It's not been great for this coach. Not horrible but not great. I haven't felt well. A low to moderate level of just kinda miserable, very tired and spiraling. Around June my body was just physically exhausted. Now, this isn't workout exhausted and this isn't from over training. I want to be clear that I didn't become ill from working out. In fact, my doctor's haven't agreed on much but one thing they do agree on is keep exercising because it's been a life saver. 
I'm working on cadence & smooth pedal
stroke on my bike.

Since June's breaking point I made the decision to drop all races for the rest of 2017. I decided my body was telling me to break from specific training. This is the first since 1994 that I've taken the summer off from races. I'm due.

I'm still exercising but I'm keeping it shorter, lower intensity and going on how my body feel vs what my schedule says. However that doesn't mean I have to 'start over' when I'm ready. There's plenty I can do. I'm keeping it short but I can still improve on technique, skills & enjoy the swim bike run lifestyle.

I feel really good about listening to my body. In some ways having chronic illness helps because it forces you to learn and listen to your body. In that sense, I'm blessed...in a way...

I don't know if they'll ever figure out what's wrong with me. But until then I'm focused on leading the best life possible and I hope to inspire others to do the same. 

Please feel free to contact me if you need to talk to someone about chronic illness. Sometimes just a listening ear from another person that understands makes things better. - coach Emily Collins