I’ve never been what I’d consider “very physically fit” but I’ve always been active. Over the last 18 months, however, it has been as if instead of multiple sclerosis, my diagnosis was actually Suddenly Lazy Syndrome. I was fortunate to have recovered completely from the exacerbation with full function in every extremity. I have also thus far not experienced the heat sensitivity that many with MS describe. There should have been no reason for my decline into soft and mushy. Yet, here I am.
My most prevalent symptom is stiffness and inflexibility in my legs and back. I did gymnastics recreationally as a pre-teen, and I recall with some nostalgia the long-gone-by days when I could slide effortlessly into the splits or kick my leg high into the air. Now, I can’t even touch my toes. Hell, I can’t even get remotely near my toes. I used to have biceps I was proud of (I could thank my job for that, supplemented at the gym). While not totally atrophied, I now see my arms as closer to limp chicken wing than “wow, nice arms!”. Again, there is no excuse for this. I have absolutely no restrictions on physical activity (doctor-imposed or otherwise). I work a physical job, so I’m not unaccustomed to getting moving.
I’m starting over, very slowly. I think resuming regular exercise (in addition to what I get at work) will help in remaining permanently mobile, increasing my flexibility, and maintaining my emotional health, which is just as important as my physical health. I’ve decided to forgo the gym for now and focus on at-home bodyweight and dumbbell exercises as I rebuild strength and cardiovascular fitness. Just another way to remain Mostly the Same…despite my MS.
(A great website for practical fitness and nutrition for a rockstar body is by Josh Hillis, found at www.joshsgarage.typepad.com)