Before you click to another page, I tell you my story not as a pointy finger, “see it can happen” narrative but to illustrate how this thyroid malarkey has unexpected surprises. My motive for writing is to see how many others of you share my experiences.
How many times a week do you exercise? None, three, six? How long for? High impact, low impact?
For many thyroid people, you’re exhausted anyway and the last thing you’re able to do is go bouncing off for a run. Believe me, I’ve worn the wrinkled t-shirt on that matter. (Wrinkled from curling up in bed that is.)
My relationship with exercise has been odd. There is a distinct difference between pre-knowing-there-was-anything-wrong-and-getting-treatment and post diagnosis.
At school, I enjoyed sports, sprinting, trampolining, hockey, rounders, netball, football, anything really. After school sports club, I’d be there. I’d be tired but got over it.
I started working, in due course joined a gym like a good girl. I pushed myself even when tired and the result? I was even more tired, got bored as I wasn’t progressing, so gave that up and went back to walking everywhere possible.
Once treatment started my muscles ached. Not just twinges, full on aching, the kind I only remember on the odd occasion I’ve had a virus such as the flu. It hurt to move, my limbs were heavy, hot baths, endless walking, nothing made any difference.
It got me thinking, what could I do? I think my logic was, “I need a sport that exercises all the muscles. That’ll be belly dancing or swimming”. Swimming was simply more accessible.
It wasn’t an easy thing getting back in the pool. I hadn’t been in the pool for 16yrs. Just one length left me breathless but it felt good, though my technique had disappeared. The muscles soon ceased aching over the weeks. Relief!
I’m now in the pool up to four times a week clocking up kilometres. I’ve been sensible with it. I had local authority lessons to re-learn the forgotten techniques and later found a company who apply the Alexander Technique to swimming and now, it’s oh, so simple now and less chance of injury.
I have to mention there are times when I don’t have the energy. That’s fine, my hair can do with a break from the chlorine after all but I’m soon back in there, focussing on my technique, tilting my head oh so slightly upwards, pulling differently there, all to gain speed with the minimum energy expended.
Who would have thought that a condition that robs me of energy would throw me into a focused exercise routine? It’s become the centre of my life, everyone knows how much swimming means to me.
The swimming has also won me a great deal of respect from my Endo. I suspect it demonstrates I’m prepared to try things to improve my situation. It’s good he recognises that and I’m grateful. Sadly, not all doctors would.
Your turn! What surprises has your thyroid brought about? How do you cope with exercise? What difficulties do you face in exercising? What has or hasn’t worked for you?
Don’t be shy, please do leave a comment. I’d really, really like to know what you think. You’re the only people who understand!