Training Journal Week 8

The weeks have been flying by lately, and once again I find myself behind on writing my weekly training journal! Part of the reason I’ve been struggling to get these done lately is that back in February I joined the Health Central team as a monthly contributor! Since then I’ve been writing two posts a month, and you can catch up on all of my articles here. This is an awesome opportunity to reach a much larger audience than I usually do, but it’s left me struggling to create additional content for this blog.

I’ve also been meaning to switch up the format of these weekly training journals, because while the “the good, the bad and the ugly” format is cute, at the end of the day it focuses on more the negatives than positives of my training. Perhaps I’ll go try a cliché sports metaphor and do weekly “wins and losses” instead… Feel free to chime in here, friends, because I’m clearly struggling.

So let’s just consider this an interim journal while I figure the whole format thing out!

This week is off to a pretty good start. On Monday I had a killer gym session, and yesterday I forced myself to get out and walk (and even run some intervals!) with the Wonder Pup despite the weekly chemo hangover. But then last night I found myself laying in the dark on the verge of tears from searing wrist pain untouched by meds, Salonpas, salves, ice, KT Tape and my wrist brace which is to say nothing of the pain in my back or knees.

I laid there silently, my jaw clenched, but in my head, I was screaming at the top of my lungs: FUCK ALL OF THIS. And by this, I don’t mean RA (that’s a given) I meant working out, running, yoga, races, my life as an athlete – all of it. Because as much as it’s a huge part of my life, how I identify myself and how I fight back against my disease, in those dark, lonely moments of soul-crushing pain, it’s hard to want to do anything more than lay in the fetal position… forever.

My left wrist has become a serious problem lately. X-rays show joint space narrowing and bone erosion, and I know it’s getting worse because gripping objects is becoming increasingly difficult. First I couldn’t hold a dumbbell long enough to complete a set of Romanian deadlifts last week, and I found myself on the verge of a temper tantrum at the gym. The weight I use is challenging, but I can lift it – I just can’t hold it anymore. Then the other day I picked up a glass of water, and before I could get it to my mouth, my fingers just let go and I watched it hit the floor. Vin called out from the other room to see if I was OK, and it took every ounce of self-restraint not to completely lose my shit in response.

Today I’m exhausted and still nauseous from Methotrexate, but I’ve been able to pull myself back from the brink. Am I excited to go to the gym today and try those deadlifts again? Not remotely. But if I don’t go it just feels too much like letting RA win, and I just can’t do that. Not for as long as I can still get up, get dressed, put my sneakers on and GO.

4 Replies to “Training Journal Week 8”

  1. I am so sorry for how tough this week has been for you. For years the only thing I know how to do is get up and keep going, never giving myself a break. As I have aged (the last five years) I can see myself liking the floor a little more. Really, what I love most is not needing to get up, then doing it out of spite toward RA. Now that is best thing of all.

    Your blog back many memories of the mornings i would get up for work and feel so bad that i could barley move, so yes I totally get Fuck All Of This.

    1. Sometimes the only thing that gets me up and out of bed for the day (or at the door to the gym later on that same day) is doing it out of spite for my RA. I’m glad to know I’m not alone on that one!

  2. I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but … maybe deadlifts aren’t the best exercise to do with a wonky wrist? Are there other types that might yield similar fitness and strengthening results without requiring you to hold on tightly to something heavy? (And that might injure you if dropped? Some things just aren’t worth the risk.)

    But you know, I absolutely understand your frustration. My heart just broke as I read about how you felt, laying there in the dark, in so much unrelenting pain. I’ve been there too many times, myself. RA takes so much from us! And yet you’ve simply refused to let it rule your life, Anna, and that’s an amazing and incredibly courageous stance.

    I know you’re going to find good work-arounds for this and other challenges along your way, both in athletic training and in your life. Please know that I–and many others–are out here cheering you on.

    1. Thank you so much, Wren. Your message absolutely made my day! Yesterday was another tough once, but knowing that I have the support and the encouragement of you and others means the world to me.There really are times during training that I think about everyone who has ever commented or tweeted or emailed their support and it keeps me going. I’m taking a rest day today, but I’ll try again tomorrrow!


      P.S. I have thought about other exercises, and eventually I’ll switch things up a bit! Just being stubborn right now 😉

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