Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What to do when you can't do anything

So, according to my schedule I should have done high intensity intervals on Thursday and Friday evening, a full weights workout on Saturday, a yoga class last night and another load of intervals tonight.  And in between all of that been a teacher and kept my house running.

I haven't done any of those things, because, following a slight altercation with an errant hoover attachment in which I came out far worse than the hoover, I am currently joined by my old friend Si. Attica.

I was only saying the other day how he hadn't popped round for a while.  Never, Tempt. Fate.  Or accidentally try to ice skate down a corridor on a hoover head.

Oh, and I have a giant head cold.

So, I can't actually do anything.


Ok, granted, to begin with I couldn't get out of bed unaided...but what I could do was rest.  Something my body has been trying to tell me to do for ages but I've been ignoring.  So, rest it is.

Then, when I did manage to shuffle out of bed and hobble to the kitchen, what I could do was make sure I eat right.  I may not be able to throw a 20k kettlebell about the place, but I can make sure I eat plenty of green leafy stuff and stay away from the sugar, dairy and caffeine (inflammatory, snot inducing and mood sucking the lot of them).

Ok, so I'm actually doing pretty good here, I can rest and I can eat well.  Boom.

Turns out after a few pain killers I can actually move a smidgeon as well.  So, every hour or so, in between resting (and watching complete turd on the TV), I move.  It may be just to shift position, it maybe to hobble 3 steps across the room and back, but I move.

I also learn I can crawl a lot more comfortably than I can walk.  I probably won't get a week's shopping done that way, but it's a start. And actually crawling is recommended as a fab all body exercise...possibly not the way I was doing it but there we go.

After the first few days I can move a little more so I build in some upper body stretching because all this lying around and bracing myself to protect my lower back plays havoc on the rest of it.  Have I ever mentioned how utterly excruciatingly painful it is to have a coughing fit when you also have sciatica?  Horrible.

Next I try to get some fresh air and actually make it to the doctors to stock up on anti-inflammatories which speed things up nicely.

Next I discover that a few of the yoga poses and stretches I've learnt recently are doable and also feel like they're helping.  Clearly lots more of them are definitely not doable and won't even be attempted, and that's ok.  

But, it turns out that if you're very careful, even a few chaturanga dandasanas are possible.  And anyone who's done a few of them knows that's a workout right there!  

So really, it's not about focusing on what I can't do right now, it's trying to work out what I can do.  It's just about trying to figure out what are the bare minimums I can do here to try and help myself out a bit.  Charging into the gym the minute I can actually move is not going to solve anything, it'll make it a whole load worse.  Lying in a heap of pity feeling sorry for myself and not moving from the sofa for 4 days? Same.  Heroically shuffling into work because I feel like I should? No need and not even possible. Can't drive. Can't sit down.   But I know I would have opted for one of those routes in the past.

I haven't done what I 'was supposed to do' these last five days or so.  I haven't completed a single day's work or a single work out.  My exercise has not been 'perfect'. But it has been better than nothing. And every day I've done a little bit more. Apart from when I've got it wrong and tried something that clearly very much hurts, I've enjoyed experimenting, seeing how I can work around this, which movement patterns and stretches help, what I can do that actually feels like some kind of a challenge without injuring myself further.  

And eating properly throughout  has kept me in a fairly positive mood.  I say fairly because it's been quite miserable, yukky, painful and lonely too to be honest, but it would have been a whole load worse in many ways if I'd tried to treat it with pizza and icecream.

Now, if only this cold would shift...


  1. Emma, Had this happen this morning.. not knowing what to do on a cold Saturday.. did my chores.. kept listening and reflecting that I had been out out out all week and more.. decided to make myself create something.. meditate pray listen to Sylvia Nakkach.. Invocation.. starting to feel better... time to gather power and get juiced up...

    1. Hi Cindi, it's great when you make a decision to just do something that really nurtures you and leaves you feeling better than before. Sometimes those things that we know we enjoy or will be grateful for afterwards, are so difficult to get around to or to fit in. We are such funny creatures. I hope you gathered lots of lovely new power!

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