The Gym – 23/07/14 15:06

The one thing that doctors and consultants have always said to me is “stay active”, and I’ve always questioned exactly what they meant by that, and they’d always reply “go to the gym”.

Now, going to the gym isn’t something new to me. I used to go quite regularly with an old friend of mine, and it was enjoyable for the most part, and we’d always have that ‘after gym’ burn. We’d seriously push ourselves.. Dangerously so, when I think about it now.

Anyway, this time around, it’s me and the other half that are going to the gym together, which is actually really nice. It’s something that we can do together, get quite fit, and we can keep each other motivated when we’re there. We’re still “newbies” to this new gym, but I’m sure we’ll settle in soon enough. One of the things which we adore, is the fact that this gym has a Hydro-pool, Sauna, Steam room, and a Sanarium.

I have been told numerous times to seek out a Hydro-pool, because apparently they’re fantastic for people with my condition, and just general arthritis. To be honest, I quite agree with them. I can safely say that whilst in the pool, I generally feel more relaxed, and in some cases, my pain has actually reduced because of the gravity free environment and the soft (or powerful) jets.

Last night we decided to head into the Hydro-pool, because in case anybody hadn’t noticed… It’s stupidly hot. I mean seriously… 28 Degrees in the UK? That’s just unheard of.

Anyway, so we went into the Hydro-pool, and surprisingly enough it was colder than usual. It’s usually quite warm because warmer temperatures help reduces inflammation and tries to encourage flexibility, but this time, it was a lot colder. Not that it mattered, I was just happy to get into the water and relieve the pressure. I was most certainly worn out yesterday because of the night before, so the gravity-free environment, was a joy to my bones.

It’s also nice to spend some time in the sanarium, because the humidity and heat certainly adds to the relaxation, and calming of my muscles and joints. Furthermore, it’s lovely to be able to do this with someone, you know? It really does add to the relaxation factor, and actually almost adds to the purpose of being there.

It was then that I decided, I’m going to come to the gym today when I’ve dropped the other half off at work at 8:30. I’ll go straight to the gym, and see what I can do, then go home. Great idea!

The only trouble is… Today I awoke in agony again. Not so much as the other day, good god no, but I was, and still am, in agony today. So trying to motivate myself to keep this idea of going to the gym today, was absolutely awful. Seriously, I put on my trackies and gym top, and I think I just stood there in my room just looking round at things, because I was just having this fight and debate in my head of going, or not going, to the gym.

That’s the daily struggle that I have. The fact that I want to do something, but the pain just puts me off from doing it. So in the end, I didn’t think, and instead I just “did”. I made it to the gym, but kind of made a little deal with myself as I was driving there. I won’t do any core exercises, such as my abs or lower back muscles, as to not aggravate the pain even more, and I wont do any leg exercises either, because I’m already not too steady on my feet, I’d rather not make that worse either. If I fall over at any point, I’m in big trouble.

So an hour later, after I’d mainly focused on my upper body, I had to pack it in.

I didn’t want to, because I would have liked to have stayed there, but as I was up and down off the machines, my back was getting sorer. I’ve also realised that if I’m tensing when lifting a weight, for some reason, my back even tenses, causing some discomfort. That being said, after an hour, I couldn’t physically lift any more weights, my arms just wouldn’t work, so I suppose it was best me leaving.

The good thing was, is I actually felt better for going. I’d had this battle in my head with myself about whether to go or not, and I’d won, then I’d actually just gone to the gym in the first place. Yes okay, it’s only an hour, but at least it’s an hour more than I would have done, and it’s actually made me feel a bit better today. My pain is still bad, if not actually worse than it was this morning, but I’m proud of myself for doing something at least a slight bit productive.

It’s things like that, that help me to keep doing things. Little bits of something, that just keep me ticking over, and feeling proud of myself, because it is hard you know… It is hard to be proud of yourself when all you can think of is pain.

I don’t think I’ll end up going tomorrow though, purely because I don’t want to push it, and at the end of the day, I don’t know how I’ll feel either. Perhaps I’ll go Friday.. I don’t know, we’ll see.

For now, I’m just proud of myself for today. The gym helps, because it does make you feel better about yourself, and I’d encourage everybody to join one, even if you go to relax in the pools or saunas etc. It’s so worth the money. Yet, it also helps me, because it keeps my confidence up a little, and gives me a little kick in the right direction.

I’m hoping that when I end up going back to Uni, I’ll be able to develop some sort of regime, and apparently, the guys at the gym can help with that too, so it will be nice, especially when me and the other half go too. I’m hoping to get into a routine of going at least three times a week when I’m at Uni, doing a number of things from weights, to classes, to going in the pools. I’m actually really looking forward to it.

For now though, I’ll just settle with going whenever I can, and whenever I can also go with the missus.

Pain Rating: 7

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