If you have read any of my previous blogs then you probably know that I have been rowing in an adaptive program for about a year now. At the same time, I started Tecfidera and increased my Ampara. The exercise is hard and the electrical stimulation that they use can often be very uncomfortable. Most of us in the program are paraplegics and so I guess it makes sense that there would be some discomfort when you consider that you are firing otherwise absent quad muscles with stim. Your progress depends heavily on your increased aerobic capacity and your upper body strength. The longer and harder you row over time, the better the workout. I'm really okay with all of the variables so long as I continue to make progress and this is where things have gotten tricky over the past few weeks.
For someone who has had MS over 20 years, I should know that you can't go to bed late, get up early, eat on the run and expect to have a great workout. Did I mention the stress? Here's a bit about myself, I don't like to compromise. I have been engaged in an emotional case that involves bullying on behalf of my son since October. We just settled the case with the school system this past week and I am happy to say that my son will be starting a brand-new school next week. Here's the kicker, everything comes at a cost. Months of high stress and poor sleep have not made my life any easier. Still, I showed up to row three times a week and brought my A game with me each time - only it didn't pay off until today. For the first time, I completed 1700 meters in less than 30 minutes. I rowed further and faster than I have since I started 12 months ago and finally I can see the enormous rewards of unrelenting exercise. It doesn't hurt that my trainer Colleen is an absolutely terrific person or that or that the gym is infused with some rocking tunes from Pandora. For me, this was a big milestone. This has taught me a valuable lesson about MS. While I don't like to compromise, I know that I will need to pick my emotional battles carefully, keep a balanced diet, rest, exercise, and maintain a low stress lifestyle to beat this thing. Today was my reward for all of my hard work these past months and my son was there to see it!
I have never liked being tied to so much structure but in this case, it has been paramount. I have learned some valuable lessons these past months. Go one day at a time and above all, don't ever give up!