For the love of swimming, pilates and physio

From a young age I’ve always been quite an active sporty person, give or take a few things. PE in school in the cold outside was a personal hate of mine, mainly because everything hurt for no reason but I never understood why or that no one else felt like their joints were on fire as they slowly turned blue across the hands. I swam most nights after school and competed at weekends until the age of 14 when I dislocated a shoulder boxing… I went on to find boys and alcohol.

Since my illness has deteriorated and I can no longer run 5K and 10K four times a week I’ve rediscovered my love of swimming. Swimming is a good form of exercise as it does not put too much strain and pressure on the joints, plus sometimes it even helps me to click them back into position.

For me, I personally think I’m quite a decent swimmer. When I’m swimming I feel normal for a change, like I can fully do something the same as everyone else. I’ve been asked why I don’t compete anymore as a disability swimmer but my illness isn’t covered by a specific category and I could no way put in the amount of work it takes. After a swim I always feel great, it lifts my mood and helps clear my head.

I do reformer pilates once a week usually with a trained physio in a class with other people who also suffer with joint issues. I absolutely love it as I feel like I’m flying on the reformer and again it’s something I can keep up at. Physio is painful don’t get me wrong but at least this way I can enjoy it and have a laugh with other people about our problems.

I wish I could exercise all the time as it makes me feel amazing but the truth is I can’t. These last few weeks have been tough on my health and my fitness has taken a tumble. I’ve been non-stop vomiting and have excruciating back pain. Now when I get back it’s like starting all over again because I’ve lost muscle mass.

I love going hiking and walking when my pain levels are low, especially on holidays. For some reason when I’m abroad I seem to be in a lot less pain once I’ve gotten over the flight. I love to go exploring places and climbing up stuff where I can. Walking is one of the things I get most upset when I’m unable to do, yeah my crutches are great but I feel like I’m missing out on seeing the world sometimes and it bloody sucks.

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