The Balance of Pushing Through (Or Not) Chronic Illness

Posted: July 10, 2015 in Disability
Tags: , , ,

Someecards says: “I’m so happy I got this debilitating illness so I can stay in bed for the rest of my life instead of participating in society and making a difference,” said no sick person ever.

So  I was thinking last night about the difficulty of balancing with chronic illness pushing through being ill to work out and listening to your body when it tells you it needs rest.

I was thinking about this last night because I was feeling very frustrated. I’ve been very ill for days, and as a result haven’t worked out in a few days. It might not seem like it from my posts here but I’ve actually been doing well at working out more frequently again.Keeping a calendar of the month where I very briefly state if I workout and what kind (lifting, running, et cetera) that day it makes it easier to see how often I workout vs how many days I don’t. I easily lose track of days sometimes, and it makes it too easy to not notice that several days have gone by without a workout but I swear it was just like yesterday that I did squats…

Anyways, so I’ve been getting better at that and trying to get even better at improving frequency,so I was really frustrating yesterday when my workouts get cancelled from my plans several days in a row due to being ill and I was feeling even more awful yesterday- pretty much not even functional level of feeling like shit. But I still felt like I should workout.

I ended up not because it was just far too clear that I needed to rest because my body clearly needed it. But it got me thinking about the difficulty I frequently find myself in with a chronic illness. I want to push through it all the time, but it’s not realistic. I need more rest because of it, and sometimes I will be too sick to workout, and I want that to not be the case, but it is. So I can’t follow the idea a lot of folks in fitness promote of just working out no matter what and pushing through anything.

On the other hand, it’s a difficult balancing act because I can’t take the approach other promote of “just listen to your body when it tells you you need rest”. Because my body is always saying it needs rest. And because I’m pretty much always sick, I’m going to workout despite things that are cause to take a rest day for other people (and for good reason. If you are generally healthy and feeling nauseous and throwing up, you should probably stop and get some rest. But dealing with chronic nausea, I know it’s probably not a sign of a flu or anything like that, so I will try to work through it whenever possible.)

Sometimes it’s clear when it’s something I can and should push through. Sometimes it’s clear when I’m really not ok and I need to just get as much rest as possible. But there are also a lot of times when it’s not clear if I should just try to power though, or if I really should just go ahead and rest. (And sometimes I don’t realize it’s the latter until I try to do something and just cannot.)

  1. […] and not knowing for sure how many spoons tomorrow will even have to begin with. Which to use my last post as an example of this, maybe I could have gotten in a workout despite how I was feeling by […]

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