On the 1 November, it marked 5 years of doing intensive adaptive training. This is something I am proud of as it is a commitment that I have made to better my life. I know if i had not of taken this journey I would not be where I am today. I am often asked why I train, the answer is really simple for me. I no longer have structural back pain and my anxiety has reduced significantly.
Having had sat in a wheelchair for almost 23 years that comes with a whole range of complications. Spinal injury and sitting means; lack of blood flow meaning poor circulation, pain in the body from the inability to move or to stand and stretch, skin issues and pressure sores, reduce functioning to organs, depression and anxiety from having to fight the perceptions and attitudes of people all the time, and the constant having to navigate accessibility. Spinal injury means that you may be required to get around using a wheelchair like I do. Using your arms to walk is not natural and your legs are the biggest muscle in your body.
Training keeps me strong, and strengthens muscles I don’t use in propelling the wheelchair to avoid overuse injury or injury period. If i am true to myself and true to everyone else, training actually scares me; scares me that i am going to end up with an injury. This is outweighed though when I see and feel how much less pain I am in these days and also how much healthier and happier I am. I also know if i strengthen the little muscles that if I do ever injure myself I am more likely to heal quicker.
But what does training ACTUALLY really do for me? Well, this last few weeks it has been mayhem, working full time, travelling for work, doing a subject in my uni degree, launching my website, doing personal talks. These are all things that have been very positive and very exciting. However, to be able to fit so much in my life and be on the constant go I need to be head ready, and training helps with that. If I don’t train I become sore and feel depressed and then the flow on effect of that is I am unable to manage everything in my life. I also have the most amazing trainer who knows what my head and body need. I know I owe a lot to him, but I know he would never take credit for that either. Whilst I have had amazing stuff happen lately, I have also faced a large degree of stress which affects my mental health but exercise pushes me through that and stops that storm from overtaking my world. I could talk about training for days, and I will with the upcoming blogs. Training is so personal to everyone, there are different reasons people exercise, but one thing is for sure most people train or exercise to reduce stress levels. In the world we live today, stress is all around. Knowing how to manage that can be a hard thing and a daily struggle. For me finding the passion with exercising and training has helped me function as a person and to keep me active in my life and free from enduring medical complications relating to having a spinal injury. Training helps me challenge my head, keep me focused and push my limits. We all benefit from finding things that do this for us.