Back in 2007, I began training for my first marathon on a dare. It only took one and I was hooked. I soon became a personal trainer and helped many others reach their marathon goals. Through all my clients, as I taught them how to safely reach the finish line, there was an irony happening. I was constantly injuring myself. From stress fractures and soft tissue injuries to dislocations! I was constantly reprimanded by my doctors and was told to "ease up". The problem was, I wasn't doing anything different than the average marathoner (if there can be such a thing). I was practicing my own precautions to avoid injury.
As the injuries progressed, I found myself in the orthopedic doctor's office once again, pissed off. I wanted answers. I had come up with a diagnosis just 3 years prior and was laughed at by my chiropractor. "That's not you," he laughed. Because the diagnosis was 1 in 10,000, I held my head down and felt stupid, forgetting I ever researched it. As my ortho doc left the room, I opened up my file on his computer and counted. 16 injuries in 4 years, and those were only the ones I felt needed medical attention! Something was not right! Just a few days later, I met a women with that same diagnosis I had researched a few years prior. Our lives were identical, down to the premature births of our children. I immediately found a specialist and was indeed diagnosed with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome, Type 3, hypermobile.
EDS is a connective tissue disorder. Basically, my tissue stretches beyond what's humanly possible...but it doesn't like to stretch back. Hence, my injuries in any kind of endurance activity.
I'm hoping I can help someone out there with the same problem. The worst of my diagnosis is not only giving up my endurance activities, but coming to terms with working out like "an average person". The alternative is a life of pain in my later years if I ignore my condition.
I started painting out of the blue one day and it has filled that hole in my heart. I get the same adrenaline rush painting as I did crossing a finish line and placing in my age group. I think God sent me a gift to keep me content, and I thank Him for that. I quit my training company and now paint full-time because of the sudden demand for my art.
Happy, safe running everybody!
8/25/2013 03:05:07 am
Great story, inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
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