I’m much better at Yoga than I am at selfies

Can someone please teach me how to look a bit less awful on social media?

Cross eyed, bag eyed, one eye bigger than the other, one tooth longer than the other. Don’t suppose it matters really.

The hair. I know. Storm Brian is to blame.

That’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is the weird not-quite-confident-enough-to-pout-or-do-the-side-angle-selfie-face (I’ve tried it. I look and feel ridiculous).

I look like a mum trying to do a selfie. Oh. I am a mum trying to do a selfie. My poor kids are going to be so embarassed in a few years time.

Anyway the point of this blog is NOT to analyse a block of pretty crap pictures of me looking a lot older than I had hoped I do.

It’s about me trying stuff that’s not that comfortable and easy for me.

Like the yoga class I went to this morning.

It felt amazing to be practising back where my yoga started. In an Iyengar yoga class that felt like a real challenge. And after ten years of MS progression, the challenges are different.

The teacher had no idea that I am a teacher. He noticed when I needed help and I accepted the help as if I knew nothing. Which at certain points, was true.

*You never stop learning yoga. Every class you teach, attend or practise at home uncovers something new. That’s one of the many things I love about it.

Some days I feel that it would be easier to stick to what I know I can manage. Fear of worsening my symptoms or bringing on fatigue often holds me back. But on a sunny, well-rested Sunday like today, I felt strong enough to ignore my MS. And I am so pleased I did.

I’m nearly forty-two. This morning when I was upside down feeling strong and focused, I felt twenty-two.

Bring. It. On.

Thanks lovely yoga centre. I will most certainly be back for more of the magic.

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A Perfect View

C34E30EC-7764-44E5-9A46-367A2771FD02Two years ago I stood on this hill behind my little family thinking how perfect the day was. Sunny, warm and calm on the outside. A bag of nerves on my inside.

It was the perfect “last day” before filling my body with enough toxins to wipe out a large part of my immune system.

“Shit I hope this treatment works and doesn’t make things worse” I remember thinking.

So far so good.

Phew.

 

The Forest Look

Living with MS means I am constantly thinking about how to take good care of myself. What I eat, how much I eat, sleep and exercise all makes such a difference to me. And if I spend a couple of weeks on holiday eating and drinking too much (like now) then I try and counteract the overindulgence with more exercise (preferably in a forest-it really is true what they say about forests and forest bathing).

I’m currently trying all sorts to get fitter and stronger. This can be quite a challenge due to the fact that my leg gives up after a few minutes of walking or running, and I barely break into a sweat before I have to stop to rest my crazy leg.

So yesterday I cycled up a massive hill pulling my (heavy) children in a trailer behind me to try and get a sweat on.

The husband was getting loads of dirty looks as I struggled up behind him. He even got heckled at one point.

I was mostly giggling at my ridiculousness and the dirty looks hubby was getting  (the giggling makes it impossible to cycle up steep hills by the way). He was mostly taking the piss out of my cycling-up-a-hill-tactics, and trying to explain to the heckling strangers how stubborn I can be.

But I did it. I broke into a sweat and was quite out of breath at the top.

And I felt a sense of achievement that you get from things like childbirth and completing a marathon. (By the way a marathon for me now is walking further than I did yesterday, which isn’t very far, so please don’t think I only consider 26.2 miles a worthy challenge. I’ve done both. And my mini walks are so much harder than when I actually could run a marathon).

So here it is. My sweaty-forest-look. Crazy hair optional.

Here’s to finding ways to stay as strong and fit as you can for as long as you can. It feels pretty amazing.

Love, Lynne x

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Healthy, Happy and MS-y

IMG_6645I am always grateful to have been diagnosed with MS when I was relatively young.
Yes it was a shock. And yes I cried incessantly for a month. I feared that all the things I wanted in life were now impossible.
Luckily the control-freak in me took over and I have since been doing lots and lots to keep myself as well as possible.
So far, so good.
MS has forced me to take care of myself in ways which I’m not sure I would have done without it.  I have an in-built warning system which means I get a definite warning such as numbness or a headache when I am overdoing it. But after ten years of living with MS, I now don’t even have to get to this point before I realise I need to down tools for a few days (well, as much as I can with two small children to take care of!).
Here’s a great video clip of Nicola Chapman of pixiwoo talking about her experience of MS. It feels good to hear that others are living and managing MS in the way that I am.
As everyone affected by MS knows, there are different types and levels of disease progression, but as more and more treatments become available, I really hope that we will all have the ability to improve our health further with simple lifestyle choices. It has had such a positive effect on me, physically and mentally, and I hope that this is something that is available to everyone with MS very soon.  
Take care of your precious selves.
Love, Lynne ❤

It’s all about the gym faces

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Last week was my first trip to the gym in at least 3 years.

I hadn’t been there since my leg decided to start doing its own thing about 3 years ago, so I had no idea how long it would be before I needed to sit down; however, I was hoping to at least break into a sweat before I needed a rest.

I decided that if it was an embarrassingly short time before that happened, I could pad things out with some yoga (for which I never seem to run out of energy). However, I would risk being that person who does yoga postures in front of the mirror, in the gym, wearing trainers.

At least I would have this lovely lunatic with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.

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In the morning I was disproportionately excited. I used to be extremely fit, so not being able to exercise properly for the last few years has been really frustrating. This week was the first time in ages I felt I might be able to get at least a chunk of that life back.

And as it turns out, I did alright. And in spite of not being able to lift my arms above shoulder height without pulling the face above (not that helpful for a yoga teacher), I’m already planning my next trip.

For now I’m off to whip up some post-workout energy balls. And then sit down for a bit. Because aside from the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis, I am also 41 and a half…

Love, Lynne x