Let me begin by apologising for the lateness of this blog. I appreciate Gina posted that I would blog yesterday evening but the whole family fell asleep once we got home 😴........Home? Home from where?......................
Well, this weekend we completed the UK Running Events Inflatable 5k in Exeter. A kind of combination of limping (well for me!!!) and it's a knock out (for those of a certain age) 😉.
Various grown up size bouncy castles were meant to bar the way between the start and the finish. Along the way runners had to, crawl through tunnels, climb and descend enormous inflatable steps, negotiate spiders webs of bungee cords, an inflatable equivalent of running through rows of tires lying on their sides (which I can personally assure you does not forgive short legs) and the oddest collection of pillar box type things, that as you ran past them the inflatable foot bed deformed to allow them to smack you in the head 🤪! There were a number of other obstacles to but I can't begin to describe them 🤔 .
The event ended up being much more running than I had anticipated, largely due to the fact they had moved the inflatable obstacles indoors for the first time as an all weather experiment. This meant that rather than an obstacle every few hundred meters, to break up the running, a lap of the ground was required, followed by two or three inflatables in a row, followed by another lap of the grounds. The result of this was that the runners actually had to run a proper distance before each loop back to the indoor section 😬.
Now this is where it becomes important in my mind, that the event went from shorts burst of running to long sections of running!
The very fact that Gina had entered us, (notice that was Gina entered us, not her 😂) into this event had caught me out a little and got me a somewhat concerned, why?
Well Gina is not one to make a fuss. So whilst some people may be aware, an awful lot are not, when it comes to knowing that Gina suffers from a form of systemic arthritis. When I met Gina she had not long finished a long stint in hospital while they got the condition under control, I think about a week before I met her she had been stuck on the floor of her house for several hours, with of course, nobody around to help her up. 🤔 She has disc bars and joint damage all over the place and was on some very strong medications to try and keep everything under control. Of course she never talks about this, never makes a fuss and doesn't like to be made a fuss of.
So why mention it now? Well it is a simple case of demonstrating, that even a severe condition like this does not have to stop you enjoying an active lifestyle, if you give yourself some time and care and seek the right help from therapists and exercise professionals. Just like the ones here at The Reinge Clinic 😀 (who really do understand your chronic condition).
One thing our client's find a little odd is that we don't treat ourselves. In the same way I would be surprised if a mechanic did not fix his own car. But unlike the mechanic we can't walk around our own body to observe it and we can't reach most of our own muscles, so we have to rely on somebody else. So despite being a therapist, Gina was only able to make limited progress with her condition herself, we had to combine forces to make inroads and that's exactly what we have done over the last decade or so. Worked hard and applied every bit of advice we would give to a client with an arthritic condition. A few years ago, we even managed to stabilise the condition enough, that her consultant agreed to take her off all her medications.
So how did we get Gina ready for this event. Well, we didn't do a huge amount of running.... assuming that there would only be short bursts of running 😖 we chose to build up the cardiovascular fitness in a less impactful way, so Gina did a weekly spinning class for an hour each week. To get the more dynamic fitness needed for the obstacles she completed a High Intensity Training (HIT) gym class each week. Then over the last few weeks she added some running building up to running about 1.5miles at a time prior to the event.
So, yes I was concerned about the event, especially the impact through the joints, I was concerned that the unfamiliar type of efforts required would kick off a flare up. Gina was concerned too (so that was one reason we did it together).
The result, well, it was more impressive that due to my ailments (more of this next week 🤣) I was actually holding Gina back! So she went on ahead completing the course alone 👍 (yes I did finish........eventually 🤣). So the point we are trying to make is don't be limited by your chronic health condition. If you fancy trying something, however crazy, get yourself a bit of specialist help and give it a go. We work with many people with fairly extreme chronic conditions and we love using our unique knowledge base to work out how to enable them to complete their own challenges. Gina enjoyed it so much she has just signed up for the 5k Color Obstacle Rush in Bath this summer.... maybe we will do a bit more running before this one!😆