It’s a little counterintuitive on the macro level, but light-to-moderate exercise really does make me, a chronically fatigued and in-pain spoon-counter, feel better most of the time. I don’t claim to say this is a universal truth that applies to lymies and spoonies everywhere, but it’s a useful thing for me to try to remember on those days when moving whatsoever sounds like an idea to rival New Coke for idiocy. Those are the days I have to force myself to do something.
There was once a time when doing something on an off day amounted to kickboxing for 45 minutes instead of an hour and a half. I was that girl. But now I feel pretty fancy when I drag my carcass out of bed and bounce on my trampoline for an entire song, or stand up to do my breathing exercises, or (when things are really bad) do them at all. Because my body hurts. It hurts when I don’t move, but it hurts even more when I do.
But lymphatic flow! Neurotransmitters! Hormonal balance! Reasons! Lazy’s siren song features lyrics that lie. I get that. So I try for something, even when nothing seems more reasonable and pleasant.
These days, “exercise” usually means breathing, walking, trampoline, or yoga, and I’ve basically put them in order of probability if I’m feeling horrid. Although breathing isn’t exactly easy for me all the time (allergies, muscle pain, possible lung granulomas), it’s something I can usually manage to do. The giveaway on this is the fact that I’m still alive. Walking, with or without cane, is the second easiest. I bought a mini trampoline a while ago, and it’s surprisingly useful. It’s easy on my joints, apparently amazing for moving lymph; I just have to be careful not to overdo it because it seems to work a lot of muscles, and while I can deal with some post-workout soreness, it can easily compound on me and make my life very difficult. Yoga requires the most investment in health and energy up-front, so I haven’t been able to do much of it lately, but it has an incredible payoff as long as I’m having a good enough day to go for it, and I’m careful.
For years I self-identified as an endorphin addict; working out was my anchor, my sanity, my hobby. And now the thing that kept me centered and happy every day is no longer what it once was. It’s grueling, painful, a reminder that my body is a testament to entropy. I guess that’s true of every body, but mine is really sort of overenthusiastic about it.
I liked taking kung fu more than I like taking pills, dammit.