The Beginning of a Fitness Journey
Fourth of July weekend in 2016, I went and tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Considering I have gone caving, hiking, kayaking, I thought this would be something fun and new to try. Everything started out fine, we were off, practicing turns, stopping in the marina. After about thirty minutes we began to head out to the Cumberland River. On our way down the river along the bluff, I began to feel lightheaded. This was something very new to me, it is not typical for me to faint or feel lightheaded. Finally, I got the attention of the woman in charge of our group, she encouraged me to sit on the board and get my feet and legs in the water.
After a couple of weeks at work, I felt I had enough of this feeling and took a couple days off.
Now, 18 months later I am dealing with something very similar, but at an entire new level. Driving down the road I feel lightheaded, uneasy, ‘off’. Occasionally I need to pull over to get a handle on this feeling. During an appointment at my chiropractor, who is more holistic than any doctor I have ever been to before. I mentioned to him how the past couple of days I had coffee and then hit with a headache. I further went on describing how on the drive to the house the day before I had to pull over multiple times to get out of the car. He asked me a couple more questions and said, “you have adrenal failure”. Considering anything that has the word ‘failure’ in the name, it cannot be good.
I went online and did some research and discovered the only way to recover from adrenal failure, is rest, and basically a change in lifestyle. The severity of my current condition, due to several years of this build up to this crash, can take up to ten months.
My biggest struggle is I do not well taking time out for me. It has been a reoccurring issue trying to get myself to relax. I think a lot of it has to do with growing up on a farm. If I wanted to do anything fun, I needed to get up early before I was sent to the fields to go to work. When I got back I would go to the house to help my Mom with lunch or dinner. Then it was back out to the fields or the barn. After chores, it was my time to do what I wanted to do, and then repeat the next day. Once in college I worked three jobs to pay for college. The cycle continued out in the real world as I worked, worked, worked. I became consumed by the idea that I HAD TO PAY THE BILLS. Part of me always thought there would be someone who would help carry the load. But, I also wanted to be strong, independent and then…after basically working 12 hour days for months…my body had enough. My workaholic addiction has gotten me into a situation I could no longer ignore.
I had increasingly found it more and more difficult to get up and out of bed. Therefore, my workouts were getting eliminated slowly. I couldn’t always find the energy to make it to my 6am zumba class. Work would get in the way with my Friday night salsa class. My life was basically get up, take care of my dog, go to work between 6:30am and 7:00am, get back to the house around 8pm, feed the dog, eat, go to bed. I told myself I was working towards a goal. That I was working towards a day when I could take a break, and establish the life I really wanted. I just had to earn enough money to build up a savings to buy a house and feel comfortable enough to take some time off. Unfortunately, that timeline does not seem to be working out as I planned.
Today I began to start my day without coffee, hoping that would help ease up on the uneasy feeling. Instead I got a massive headache, caffeine withdrawal. I left work and went to the house where I hoped a nap would help. After a three hour nap, my headache felt worse. I went back to work, and after about two hours I realized that uneasy feeling had returned. I had to give up, and go to the house and do (gasp) nothing.
Sitting in the living room with my dog and my roommates cat watching television, it was nice, and yet weird. I could not remember the last time I had actually felt myself just sit. It is not how I wanted to ‘get there’. But, it seems this is how it is going to be. I always thought this part of my journey would be shared, not another part of my life being traveled alone.
How does one ‘find balance’ in the midst of trying to work, take care of kids, chase after dreams and goals? This is my journey to figure that out.
Step one… I want to try and get back into the gym and get more yoga into my daily routine.
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