Good Pain to You All!

Yippee! I have a day off! Yes, I realise that I’m not working but I’ve been filling my days with Pilates, acupuncture, doctors’ visits, warm water classes, babysitting, etc. So, today is all mine!

I just woke up and spent two hours trying to work out how to get of bed. I couldn’t sit myself up. Damn Joseph Pilates! The muscles deep, deep (under all and any fat) inside my tummy have said ‘No More!’ The pains are right where my appendix scar is (on the right side – and before they did it laproscopically) and the mirror image on my left side.  I need one of those metal thingys that they have above hospital beds for patients to lift themselves up.

When you exercise, your abdominal muscles contract and expand over and over again. Repeating an activity several times causes the tissue fibres in your muscles to tear at the microscopic level. This is how you build muscle and bulk up. But it can also be (slightly?) painful – I can’t cough without feeling excruciating pain tearing at my insides; and I can’t sit upright (I can sit hunched over or I can lean back against the couch).

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong, but not all pain is bad. Many people seek out exercise that gives them the ‘good pain factor’ (WHAT-THE-?) as they like to feel that they have worked themselves hard.  So how are we supposed to distinguish good pain from bad pain?

Good pain feels like a moderate to strong discomfort (sometimes burning as in lactic acid build up sensation) in the muscles you are working and should go away after discontinuing the movement.  Any delayed onset muscle soreness, as a result of the exercises session, should disappear within a day or two after exercise. Ummm, oops, I may have overdone it (again?)

So between attempts at getting out of bed and dozing, I finally worked out that I can bend my legs (no lifting them) and roll onto my side, then I have to unfold my legs and angle them over the side of the bed, and push myself up using my elbows – long process but I’m up!

And now it’s my day off – so I have time (and maybe the energy) to hang out my washing, do another load, pick up the clean clothes that I had thrown on my bed so I would put them away before bed (two nights ago) but, instead just shoved them onto the floor. I want to attempt to put my FM Awareness nail decals on. Oh, yeah, Passover starts tonight so early dinner at my Dad’s; and I have to remember to pick up the flowers for Dad’s partner, Yvonne.

Umm, did anyone say day off?

Happy Easter and Passover to you all!

Pilates Pleasure

Yesterday, I downloaded my FREE 14 day pass to the local gym (which is very local – it’s about 500 metres down the street!) and went to have a chat to a lovely lady about my condition and what her gym could do for me. We talked about the yoga and Pilates sessions; and we talked about what would happen after the 14 days was up. (I had to explain that I was absolutely broke and had to be very careful about where I chose to invest my limited funds.) Firstly, she gave me an extra week on my pass. Then she said that, if I find the classes are working for me, she could work out a special price so I could attend just those classes and not have to pay for the use of the entire gym. WOW! Nice lady!

To today:

Getting out of bed early, so my body will be functioning (not necessarily well), for a 9.20am Pilates class is not easy, but I’m motivated and I promised you guys a report…

So, I just got out of the shower (yes! I had a shower) after cooling down from the session. And I gotta say: Whoo Eee! (that’s a shout of glee!)Am I feeling energised! Already my muscles ache – but it’s a different sensation than the FM pain. It’s the pleasurable awareness that all my muscles are there and have been stretched and manipulated. (For those who don’t have sex very often, it’s sort of like the day after feeling…yeah, you feel tired and achy but hey! It was worth it and let’s do it again!)

Now I didn’t do that kind of stuff!

We did Mat-based Pilates (not so easy to get up off the floor at the end, though) – this is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide the resistance. The central aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of the body to improve posture, balance and coordination. By focusing on your core strength, you (supposedly) enhance the little muscles in the body so you’re better able to support the larger ligaments, tendons and joints. Pilates is a very intense stretching class that incorporates workouts for your abdominal, leg, arm and back muscles – I found the stretching remarkable (it was like my poor, exhausted muscles could finally open up and take a breath of fresh air) and it’s nice to know that I still have some flexibility. Strength-wise? I have none! Anything that involved holding up my own body – even standing on my tippy-toes – was challenging. But it’s only the beginning of my learning curve…

Pilates encourages you to think about how you perform everyday movements. It heightens your body awareness; it helps you ensure your body is working at its optimal level all the time. Pilates will give you more of a holistic result than most other exercises regimes. It will make you focus on your breathing which is great for improving circulation and relieving stress. It is alleged to be a fantastic way to balance out your health and wellbeing.

Pilates is actually great for people with injuries, weak muscles and particularly bad posture because it encourages you to strengthen your problem areas in a relaxed and low impact way. (NB: It is advisable that anyone with serious injuries consults their doctor or physio though. Pregnant women should also get the okay from their doctor before proceeding.)

Now, tomorrow (or maybe even later on today) I know I’m going to hurt – I’m hoping it is the spent muscle type of hurt and not the FM hurt (but I may be kidding myself – I’ll let you know then).

Joseph Pilate

But I’ll know exactly who to blame: Joseph Pilates developed the yoga-like moves to rehabilitate Second World War soldiers. He then modified the style for injured dancers and so the modern-day method was born.

I’m looking after the beautiful Z tomorrow too, so I had better not hurt too much – playing with Z involves at least one walk to the park and a lot of kicking (then chasing) a ball around. I then have hydrotherapy so the warm water will soothe my tired, spent, exhausted, weary, drained, fatigued, wiped out body.

From just sitting on the couch last week, I‘ve suddenly got a REALLY busy schedule!