Since I’m a few weeks out from beginning any sort of formal training plan, I decided that I should explore my baseline fitness/pain level so that I have something to look back on and reference. As I’ve said, my more fluid goal is to improve my overall wellness, which is a vacuous concept involving my physical and mental health (emotional and intellectual). I’m further breaking that down into a few parts:
- pain tolerance: How does my pain affect my mood and vice versa? Can I try to pinpoint various stressers in my life that cause pain? How does my outlook on life and my relationship with the people in it change when I’m in pain? What strategies can I employ to minimize the mind-bending, mood-snapping effects of pain?
- physical fitness: What can I do to minimize the amount of time I spend in pain? What physical activities cause pain and why? Is there anything I can do to alter those activities to make sure I don’t finish in pain? (N.B. The tough part about EDS is that often the pain starts after a physical activity–I could be walking pleasantly on a softly-graded woodland path for an hour or so and spend the evening and the better part of the next morning with my pelvis in a vice grip and my hips screaming, so this question will involve some serious retrospection and careful examination!)
- event-specific readiness: How can I train for a triathlon in a beneficial method? What training schedule allows me to gain endurance and readiness while letting me listen respectfully to my body (and not allowing me to wimp out)?
Notice that although I am medically considered overweight by about 30-40 pounds, none of my goals involve watching my weight. I’ve done this on purpose because I know that if I start stepping on the scale on a regular basis, I will lose track of my ultimate goal of full-body wellness. If I can achieve better mind-body awareness, I think that weight loss will happen naturally because I will automatically become more careful about what I put into my body for fuel and I will be moving more! 🙂 I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to health, so I’ll probably do my fair share of nutrition research along the way.
In addition, I plan on seeing a nutritionist when I get back to school! I discovered that I am gluten-intolerant (it goes along with the EDS for many people) and whey-intolerant, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m mildly lactose-intolerant, so I’m looking forward to talking through my dietary restrictions with a professional to make sure that I’m eating a balanced diet and providing my body with the fuel it needs to be as pain-free as possible.
So here’s my baseline:
- subluxations in my SI joints and pelvis on a daily basis
- subluxations in my shoulders, knees, and elbows on a 2-3x-weekly basis
- right ankle still in recovery from dislocation and subsequent sprain 4 months ago (still in elastic support)
- left foot: bones collapse on a biweekly basis
- left elbow currently subluxed/mildly sprained
- 3-4x weekly full-body ache, but more often if low pressure system moves in or if hormones are going wild!
- eating a gluten-free, mostly plant-based diet with more sweets than I like (my eating habits are out of whack: I eat when I’m in pain, and the subsequent pounds the sugar packs on cause more pain–what a vicious cycle!)
I think that’s about it for today. I managed to get my bike out of a very-packed shed this morning without incident, so I’m excited!!