Keeping it Positive- Real Life Story

There are days when forgetting to hit the “Publish” button really saves your integrity.

Tuesday was a rough day for me. About the roughest since my husband was diagnosed with kidney disease in October of 2017. I would venture even rougher, because it is me we are talking about, and not someone else (albeit, someone I care for deeply).

When I got home Tuesday night, I rushed and wrote a scathing report about my day. I felt hopeless and fearful, and it was apparent in my writing. It’s not every day you are told to change your dreams by a doctor. I cried over my keyboard as I dwelled on the news I received from the orthopedic specialist. Arthritis. At 41.

Even today I am getting a little teary-eyed typing it. It changes my goals so much. ZooFit changes so much because of this.

My original post was me sobbing about how the doctor literally told me point blank to get a different job. That I shouldn’t do anything where I would be squatting a lot. After a couple of days to wallow in self-pity, I realize the doctor was A) being super extra cautious, as most doctors tend to be, B) has never done CrossFit or other cross training type workouts, and C) is not God. Not to mention, what? No squatting? I mean, doesn’t he realize squatting is, like, the most basic and fundamental movement humans need to do?

Being in my head Tuesday and Wednesday led me down a dark hole, and I wrote a real knee-jerk response to the news in a blog. Which I then promptly forgot to publish.

I really did forget to hit the publish button. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this heart-felt apology for such a depressing and Negative Nancy post that I discovered I HADN’T posted it. Don’t worry, you aren’t missing anything. It was just 577 words of me rambling about how all my dreams are over, and I will never smile again.

I don’t blame myself for feeling as down as I did. When hit with life-changing, dream crushing news, one’s mind tends to reel. The doctor told me some bleak and soul-crushing information. Yes, my case is really mild, in beginning stages currently. But it is plain as day present. I saw the spurs along the knee caps myself. Arthritis pain is manageable through medication, but it isn’t curable. It is degenerative, which means this is going to get worse.

On Wednesday morning, I tried going to CrossFit, but the news was still too fresh, too raw. I was still trying to wrap my mind around it. I ended up going home without working out, I was still too upset. At home, I cried some more, until I fell asleep and slept some of the sadness away.

Two days later, and things are getting better. I mean, not my knees. They still have arthritis, but my spirit is a little higher.

ZooFit is going to change because of this. I may need to re-evaluate how I approach marketing and promoting in my community. It’s going to be hard for me to get a job as a fitness instructor when I can’t do most of the exercises I am prescribing.

But I am something of a master when it comes to modifications. I teach the Masters class at CrossFit, all I DO in class is modify. And my knees have been bothering me so long, modifying squats and other exercises is second nature for me. It may not be what I intended for ZooFit, but now I can show how modifications still make a huge difference in your fitness. It will be my niche.

Not to mention, almost all zookeepers I know have aching backs, knees, hips, shoulders, necks, you name it. I invented ZooFit  with zookeepers in mind. Bringing it to the world just means more people partake in the amazingness. So, I don’t change that much about ZooFit. I just modify.

Today was much better, also because I put together an action plan. I did some research while wallowing in self-pity about dealing with arthritis. Yes, it’s true arthritis never goes away, and does progressively get worse with time. Sooner or later, I may need to get knee surgery to replace my decrepit knee caps. But it’s not hopeless.

Losing weight is one of the best things one can do to reduce the impact of pressure on your knees. I can still do lots of cardio. Running and jumping are restricted for now (and yes, I say “for now”, not “forever”- I don’t know what is in my future). Rowing machine, spin class, BURPEES- all great exercises which get your heart pumping.

I am also tackling my diet, immediately. Yesterday I stopped by the library to put a bunch of holds on anti-inflammatory diets. I picked up a Turmeric Cookbook (sorry, THE Turmeric Cookbook). My nutrition studies taught me how good turmeric is for inflammation. Chris and I already tackled lowering our meat intake and going virtually meat-free. This is just a simple little add on.

The Turmeric Cookbook looks great already. I love turmeric because it’s a great spice to use when trying to cut out salt. I can make turmeric tea, turmeric frittatas, and turmeric muesli in the morning. And then there is turmeric gnocchi, ginger and turmeric carrot soup, turmeric hummus. This is going to be a great experience.

The doctor wasn’t very optimistic about treatments for my condition. I persuaded him to give me a prescription for knee braces and physical therapy, opting to try taping, cold laser therapy, and anything else they want to throw at me. His lack of optimism affected me, but thank goodness distance is not making the heart grow fonder. Now, I am confident working with a physical therapist, going to pilates, and mobility classes are going to work great for me. And once I get my knee braces, along with weight loss, and my new diet, I will once again be ready to take on the world.

I’m REALLY glad I forgot to hit “publish” on my post Tuesday night. But I think it’s understandable. What I’m dealing with is a big shock. I am glad to have support and empathy from my friends.

I know this isn’t going to be easy. You know what they say, though. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. My road ahead of me is long. I’m probably going to stumble a little along the way. But that is the beauty of life, especially with ZooFit. It’s a long journey, with tons of scenery and learning opportunities along the way.

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