It’s officially spring here in the northern hemisphere! The days are getting longer and warmer, and life is starting to wake up from its winter slumber. Spring is my favorite season, and always has been. It might be because I’m a March baby, but there’s something so pleasant about the gentle, warm days and the smell of blooming flowers!
Winter officially lasts from mid-December until mid-March, even though “winter weather” doesn’t always listen to the calendar. Here in Colorado, we usually get a large storm in October, and possibly another one or two before the year is over, but the majority of our snowstorms occur in January, February, and March. This year, that was especially true, with several feet of snow over the last two months! Technically, we’re not fully out of our winter weather here in Colorado, but we’re getting close. (Our official “planting outside is safe now” time is the end of April.)
Here in the northern hemisphere, the weather is cooling off as we move into fall. Well, it’s supposed to be anyway, but Colorado has still been unseasonably hot; I’m optimistic though! Heat and dysautonomia are a rough combination on me, so the slightly cooler weather of early fall allows me to do a lot more! This summer seems to have been hotter than usual for most people, and even my able-bodied friends that are extremely active in summer have been struggling.
In the southern hemisphere, I know it’s starting to get a little warmer as you move into spring. The “transition seasons” have some gorgeous weather for getting outside and being active. Even though they can be a tad unpredictable, the nice days tend to be full of weather that’s neither too hot nor too cold. I always try to take full advantage of these short seasons!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of only showing the negative aspects of chronic illness. When we’re “healthy” (for us) and feeling well, we tend to go out and live! When we’re sick and feeling awful, that’s when we think “I haven’t written in a while, and this is something interesting to write about.” If we’re just so-so then we’re probably doing something that we deem ‘boring’ and don’t write about it. I try to keep my blog focused on my entire life, not just the chronic illness pieces, but it’s definitely easier to write about the “bad times.”
However, I have been quite lucky lately: my body is cooperating. For the most part, I’ve been able to feel relatively normal in the past few weeks. No, I’m not ‘better’ but I’ve been able to do more than I had been able to do in over a year! My Pilates classes went surprisingly well, my physical therapy was going really well, and I’ve been able to be significantly more active day-to-day! Of course, I’m waiting to accidentally run off a cliff (metaphorically of course), but until then I’m really excited that my body is letting me be ‘normal’ most of the time! Continue reading
Today was my Reformer for Recovery Pilates class. We started by doing a few gentle squats. When I say a few, I mean three or four. Gentle means a very shallow squat, just as far as is comfortable, and no added weight at all. I did one just fine. Then every single other one had my quadriceps (thigh muscles) burning. We weren’t holding them, we were just dipping down and straightening up. The muscles were only burning when I was in the squat position. I was barely squatting. As soon as I’d stand up, the burning would stop. The burn is EXTREMELY intense, and makes me want to collapse; pushing through the pain is almost impossible.
This photo shows me squatting (I took it just for this post) about the same I did in class. I may be a little lower than I was in class, actually. And yes, getting this photo burned really badly again, but I am currently on 1/2 a Tramadol and a full metaxalone so it wasn’t as intense. As you can see, these
aren’t shouldn’t be very taxing squats.
I’m so crazy sore from skiing on Monday! I used muscles I haven’t really used in three years. Ouch! The last time I went skiing was March 2013. Crazy how many unique muscles it uses! Thankfully, it’s just the type of sore from working out hard, not from fibro or anything like that! Pilates helped me dramatically. I don’t think I could have lasted as long as I did if I hadn’t been doing Pilates. Seriously, Pilates is changing my life in so many amazing ways! Everyone should try it!!!!
In fact, I was able to do a Pilates reformer class today (a gentle one called “Pilates for Recovery” led by Joleen). I was completely shocked I was able to do everything! Sure, some of my range of motion was restricted so I could maintain proper form (fatigued muscles get super shaky), but I didn’t have to completely sit out anything. Joleen was even impressed at how well I did!
This is a reformer.
The class was fantastic and relatively easy. It gave me a good workout, but in a very gentle and accessible way. I think I’m going to add it into my weekly routine; I’ll have to discuss with Joleen if she thinks I could do that. So, hopefully, I will be doing Pilates Beginner Mat class every other Monday (or two Mondays in a row) alternating with private sessions, then Pilates Reformer for Recovery every Wednesday. I’m also hoping to add back in the biking on Fridays. My body finally seems to be getting stronger and more capable! I’ll keep ya’ll posted of course.