People who don’t know me, say that I have to have a problem, that I am obsessive, that how is it possible that exercise has such a big role in my life, that I might have an eating disorder, that I am obsessed with my body and appearance, they have also said that I have a lover because they never see me around. What do I say to them? Nothing. Over the years I learned that the way a person speaks, acts or reacts says more about themselves than about me. It is like when you look in a mirror and you see your own reflection. There are many others that really want to know why, to those I tell my story and I have to say that most of them get inspired and sometimes they even end up giving me a call trying to get some advice, and I love it. I am always in the seek of playmates! And come on, let’s keep it real, I am 46 years old, with scars, three c-sections, I have cellulitis and stretch marks training hard is not gonna make me get any sexier nor younger.
When I just got diagnosed with AS the rheumatologist prescribed me really strong medicine. He advised me to try to engage in any kind of physical low impact activity, but my body was in so much pain that I didn’t even consider it. I started taking medicine but after few weeks I felt worse, the side effects were horrible for me, yes, it took the pain away but it always came back and on top I was feeling emotionally destroyed! Low impact activity as the doctor suggested, was way too boring for me and I am the kind of person that needs challenges, the bigger the better, that is the reason why I first started with running and eventually moved into triathlons.
The first triathlon was, to be honest, just for the challenge I didn’t even considered that it will be part of my life at all, but after I finished I realized how much I loved it. When I am training my pain goes away, I sleep so much better, and it makes me feel young and healthy! on top of it keeps my body strong, I get to connect with a community of focused, healthy people and being part of it helps me forget everything. So yes, I do have a problem, I carry AS inside of my body for the rest of my life and triathlon is the only natural way that I have found to fight the pain, and stay healthy, active and focused.
I don’t know for how long I will be able to keep it going, I have no idea but as long as I enjoy it and my body allows me to, why will I stop? I am a happy me.
Even though it is said that there are not enough scientific evidences to prove the role of endorphins some reports affirm that when you exercise your body releases endorphins, these endorphins interact with receptors in our brain that reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In addition the secretion of endorphins leads to feeling of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. I am not a doctor nor a scientist, but this is exactly what I feel when I train and lets not talk about the race days… it gets even higher! I might have become an “Endorphin’s junky”.
Exercise has worked for me and for so many others, give it a try, look for an activity that helps you get your own dose of endorphins. I know that it is hard to start, but there is always a reason within our hearts that will help us get and keep motivated. Get into your heart and look for it, and don’t stop until you make yourself proud!