Monday, March 24, 2008

** Yes, there is a Fine Line... **

This morning before work, I got up and got on the bike to do an easy spin for about 45 minutes. My ego was so shot from Saturday's slow and sluggish ride that I thought i'd recover by adding some more time to my ride. Well, I think i was humbled even further this morning instead - I was fatigued, way fatigued to do anything. I started spinning, and the pedals felt so heavy. My cadence (revolution of the pedals/minute) was barely reaching 76 (i try to keep at mid-80's), my heart rate was exceptionally low but my energy could not be mustered up to bring it up to a healthy aerobic level (around 120bps). I was really struggling.

What am I trying to say here? I learned that there is a very fine line between fatigue and feeling tired. I suppose *fatigue* is when your body cannot be energized by exercise or stretching, and just being tired is a condition you can recover from by exercising or doing something active (even stretching). Sometimes it's hard to tell. The only way you'll know is by trying. After about 20 minutes of forced, miserable spinning on the bike, I got off and just rested while icing my hips. My body was fatigued from a sudden spike in activity - 2 hr bike ride on Saturday, and then yoga on Sunday. The longest aerobic activity i've done in the last 3 months barely lasted an hour.

Today, i was planning on swimming this evening after work. Although I would love to do as planned, my earlier incident tells me maybe my body needs a break. I am going to humble myself and listen to my body. It is a difficult admission to make. I hate not doing what i planned on doing. However, I am hopeful that if i rest tonight, I will have a couple of healthy weeks ahead, instead of a possible breakdown tomorrow. I realize that this is a life-long battle (hopefully not), so i have to be wise about it.

I want to make sure that i communicate to everyone (and to myself) that it is not always wise to just go for it when you feel less than optimal. Some of my previous entries talk about how just trying Yoga made me feel 10 times better than before - here, trying spinning made me feel 10 times worse. Instead of pushing it, i stopped and rested. We can try when we're iffy about our conditions - but ultimately, we have to listen to our body. There is a very fine line, and the only way to find that line is by ... stepping on it a little and pay attention to how we feel, maybe?

And i know that many FM patients such as myself are type-A personalities, so we hate giving up or stopping what we started. We also dislike admitting defeat or admit that we can't do something. BUT one thing i am learning through my battle with fibromyalgia is the discretion to say no when I have to, the patience to wait and prepare for the next upturn, and the wisdom to stop and think. It's still a working progress, but it's progress...

Hey, what can I say, i'm living on the edge, walking on a thin line.... :)

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