Mobility Monday - You hear me talk a lot about mobilities, coach used to teach a mobilities class on Mondays in our beautiful park, and that is where the "Mobility Monday" title comes from.
It involved a lot of stretching, which can be tricky for some of us, especially those with EDS (Ehlers–Danlos syndrome), because of overly flexible joints that can dislocate easily. I suspect I have a bit of EDS, because I can easily twist an ankle or knee, and have to be mindful during stretching that I don't go too far, which can be super tricky as stretching feels so good to me.
Functional Mobility - What Does It Mean to You???
This got me thinking about functional mobility, and what it takes for us to be able to move about in our lives. Which is different for each of us, some are more active, maybe because our job requires more activity, we have little ones to chase after, or we like participating in activities like going to the gym, etc., and some of us are less active, our job is a desk job, our children are older, or we do not have children, or our bodies are in so much pain that standing, let alone walking, is just too painful.
Five plus years ago I could barely stand, and walking involved getting to/from my desk at work. I would park as close as I could and the walk from the parking lot down the hall to my desk was excruciating, my lower back was where I felt the majority of my pain. I would not get up much during the 8+ hour shift, and then make the painful walk back to my car and repeat the next day. Weekends were spent in my chair with legs elevated, which led to less and less activity, because it just hurt too much to do so.
So how does one start to be more active? For me it began with the CrossFit warmup, modified by my husband to my specific abilities (he is a certified CF coach). I started with a couple push-ups on the kitchen sink, then a couple pull-ups on that same sink, a yoga ball was used to do my sit-ups, the railing on the steps in my breezeway gave support for squats, the wall was used for my Sampson stretches (I was incredibly off balance when I started so using the help of the wall, or railing, was critical), and good mornings - which were the easiest for me, picture bowing, but so good for hip opening/closing.
Eventually I moved up to do 3 sets of 10 reps of each of those movements, and now all our WODs (workouts of the day) typically start with the same warmup, followed by whatever fun activity Coach has for us that day.
I won't lie, it was hard to begin. It hurt, it made me feel embarrassed, and angry. I think mostly angry for what I had lost. I used that anger to my advantage, it helped fuel my desire to take control back, and not let this condition dictate where my life was going.
I started very slowly, and you know what? That slow progression was impactful. It changed my life. My core got stronger, my body got used to being active again, and it started with a few minutes of activity.
I remember thinking of how far away I was from my ideal fitness, and thinking I would never get there, but pretty quickly I began to notice real changes, I began to notice increased strength, feeling more balanced, more flexible, etc. I began to focus on those changes, those small improvements, and they built up over the past five years. If you would have said I would be doing an annual triathlon every year, I would have said you are nuts. But that is exactly what happened. I am still blown away by that, and in the last leg (the 5K) of my recent Lipedema Triathlon (on June 16), my least favorite part of the triathlon, when all my energy was gone, my strength was weaning, and I had no sure knowledge if I could finish the walk, my coach reminded me of all those doctors, and people "in the know" about Lipedema at the time, telling us to not exercise years ago, as it could make us worse, all those who look at us and don't think we can do this level of activity. THEY DON'T GET TO HAVE A SAY IN MY LIFE, or in your life! I can tell you it fueled me to push through and finish that triathlon!
Fight my friends, fight for it. Your mobility is so key, keep as mobile as you can, for as long as you can, and then fight some more to regain what has been lost. I am here, reach out if you need support, there are almost 2000 other members in our facebook support group, all at various stages and abilities, all fighting along side you, and most importantly cheering you on!