By the way this is not me!
I am constantly learning about myself on this journey. I think more deeply about things than I did before in a number of ways.
I have written before about ‘Exercise as medicine’ and there are many articles about the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s. Some have been able to reduce their medications or even stop some of them altogether.
I have a number of different health issues, my life is not just about Parkinson’s. However, none are as significant. The thing is though, they impact on my confidence to get out there and exercise like I should. I have issues with my back which makes shooting pains shoot down my leg. It is not entirely clear to me – despite talking to Doctors – whether this is just age related spinal deterioration, the result of my fall late in December, related to Parkinson’s or a combination of all three.
This single issue, amongst a myriad of other health bits and pieces has made me hesitant to really get out there and challenge myself to get more active. However, I have met with a Sports Doctor and she assures me that far from causing damage to my back, exercise will in all likelihood improve my mobility and strength and in doing so decrease pain.
So, now the excuses are all gone!
I have bitten the bullet and signed up with one of the local gyms. I have found one where the instructor/personal trainer is familiar with Parkinson’s and when I met her proceeded to talk about the things we Parkies folk need to work on. Without me telling her about anything I thought I needed, she absolutely nailed it!
I have gone to the gym on and off over the years for many years. In recent times more ‘off’ than ‘on’. I used to enjoy the gym, particularly free weights and while it can sometimes be hard to set aside time to go, I always felt good after a workout. So, tomorrow after work I meet with my new trainer and we talk things through properly and then she will make up a programme for me. I am a mixture of hopeful expectation and trepidation in equal measure. The ‘Post-Parkies’ me has never been to the gym. Will it be so different from ‘Pre-Parkies’ me? Will I be self-conscious that I might be even more uncoordinated than previously? There is a very good reason why I have never really got on with group fitness… Too unco!
Whatever my hesitation I know that I need to grasp every opportunity to have the best outcome for the longest time with this condition. There is no cure, no magic bullet, but there are proven ways I can help myself and one of them is exercise. Not just a quiet stroll down the road, but heart pumping, strength building, sweat inducing workouts! I hope I’m ready for this!
So tomorrow is ‘D-Day’ the day that I start taking more control of my body, taking it out of it’s comfort zone and fighting against this sneaky, nasty, insidiously creeping condition I call Parkies. Before I allow it to take over my life, I am taking control. I am fighting back and giving it my best shot!
Tomorrow night we meet to figure out what we need to work on. Then next week I start my programme for real.
So, from next week evenings may see me prostrate on the couch after working out properly for the first time in what seems ages.
Thank God for takeaways cos one pooped Parkies person may be too knackered to cook!