The Hardest “Workout” I’ve Ever Done

Darkness.

Silence.

Breath.

This is all I experience.

Until slowly my mind wanders.

I see …

a gathering of angels above my head.

a grocery list forming itself in my mind. Milk, apples, spinach…

a memory of our family sailing, when dad was alive and we were smiling, the sun on our faces, the wind blowing our hair and lifting the sails pushing us forward.

Song lyrics begin repeating themselves.

“Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle?
I’m losing my mind just a little
So why don’t you just meet me in the middle?
In the middle
Baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle?
I’m losing my mind just a little
So why don’t you just meet me in the middle?
In the middle, oh”

My brain is in overdrive.
It flies from one thing to another.
All while my body lays silent and still, the only sound is my breath.

Through the “noise” I hear a voice softly calling my name.

“Brook slowly wiggle your toes, move your fingers and when you’re ready roll over to your right side and lift yourself up into a seated position.”

 

 

This is my new “workout”.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it.

How could just sitting still for over an hour be one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done?

Because I NEVER sit still.

In fact, I’m on vacation right now writing this because I just can’t “be”. I’m always moving, going, doing.

Especially when it comes to my workouts.

I’m the one that would bike, swim, run, lift, do a gazillion burpees, kickbox, never stopping always moving. I’ve tried to do yoga, but it was never the relaxation kind of yoga. It was always a “booty burner” or “core strength”.

For years, I lived the mantra “Work Hard. Play Harder.”

Until now.

Now my body is tired.

It’s rebelling against all the moving, going, doing.

I was working out 5 days a week, hour-long workouts consisting of kickboxing, and hard-core strength sessions, that in the past would have made me feel invincible, powerful, energetic. But within the past six months, they were making me feel EXHAUSTED.

This is adrenal fatigue.

As defined…
The adrenal fatigue diagnosis claim this is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress. The unproven theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.

This is how adrenal fatigue manifests itself in my life:

My body no matter where it is, just decides it is done.

I’ve fallen asleep waiting at the dentist, I’ve dozed off at my desk, and then ironically, I’m wide awake and can’t sleep at bedtime.

I can’t lose weight no matter what I do, I exercise, eat right and there’s no change. In fact, when I was over exercising I was gaining weight and my body was inflamed.

I had swollen fingers and ankles resulting in joint pain.

My anxiety and depression quickly escalated.

Low to little sex drive.

Horrible brain fog where I would forget common words or names for lengthy periods of time.

These are just a few symptoms and issues.

 

How did I get adrenal fatigue?

Well, I’m over 90 percent sure it was due to an overload of stress from my former job. I was living in a constantly agitated state and it was perpetuated by hormonal imbalances due to perimenopause.

 

So, what am I doing to fix it?

The hardest workout of my life – RESTORATIVE YOGA.

One of the main ways to heal your adrenals, without drugs, is to RELAX or as I like to say, “calm the fuck down.” This isn’t easy for a Type A personality. Relaxing for me is the equivalent of giving in or giving up. It took two doctors and two other fitness professionals to finally convince me that I needed to slow down. Not just slow down, but in some cases, STOP.

 

 

I needed to STOP working out so hard.

I needed to START relaxing and healing.

So, with the help of Marcie at Serenity Yoga and Pilates I started Restorative Yoga. It was hard and still is hard. My body has learned over the past three months that when it’s dark, and there is silence it can relax. My brain, on the other hand, is having a difficult time learning.

As with any “workout”, it takes time to see results.

Things I have seen are:

Less anxiety.

Faster relaxation.

Sleeping better.

Less pain.

More energy.

Some inches are gone.

Happier.

The best part is instead of dreading the whole idea of slowing down. I’m looking for it, all day and every day. I’m not so wired and controlling. I’m able to see the benefits of just going with the flow.

This concept is overflowing into my family life as well. I’m constantly teaching the kids relaxation techniques, how to breathe and to retreat if they need silence.

I’ll be continuing restorative yoga even after I’ve “healed”.  I’ve learned after many years, that a slower workout practice is beneficial and more sustainable.

 

Yup, I’m under there somewhere.

 

If you are in the Iowa City area and want to try Restorative Yoga Healing, check out Serenity Yoga and Pilates Facebook or Website for classes and information.

Comments

  1. Adrenal fatigue stinks. I’m glad that you are seeing results from restorative yoga. Stress is funny because sometimes you don’t notice it until it’s built up so far that you can’t take it.

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