Why I exercise differently now
All through my life until my mid 30s I considered myself an inactive person. In hindsight that’s clearly not true – I spent 5 years living in the Alps and skiing several times a week, and I have always enjoyed walking. Funny how your mind warps these things.
In my mid 30s
I started doing triathlons. So much fun. I will always remember my very first one, and how invincible it made me feel when I’d finished. The first middle distance triathlon I did will always stay in my mind as one of my favourite days. And around this time I was fortunate enough to get a place in the London Marathon.
Another amazing day – I really should have incorporated grinning like a loon and high 5-ing everyone into my training, as I was exhausted by about half way!
Then, when I was 39,
I started experiencing huge fatigue. I couldn’t find the energy to train any longer, and when I did get out there my times got slower and slower.
The last race I took part in was a middle distance triathlon on my 41st birthday. I needed to maintain 12mph on the bike to get round before the cutoff, which should have been 100% doable, yet I couldn’t get my speed to average over 10mph.
Even the 12mph I needed was slow by my previous standards, but 10mph was frankly depressing. When I got back to the transition area the lovely men told me I couldn’t continue onto the run, which to be honest was what I wanted to hear as I wouldn’t have been able to find the energy for a half marathon at that stage.
I had to take the sensible decision not to travel to the Ironman I had been training for – there is no way I would have been able to complete it, such was the toll the fatigue was taking on my training and my performance.
As a personal trainer, suddenly not being able to do the training you want to can come as quite a shock. And at this point I didn’t know why I was feeling like this.
Fast forward a couple more years
finally I joined all the dots and realised this was all part of perimenopausal symptoms. Suddenly looking back it all made perfect sense. And therefore I could move forwards. So triathlon is off the cards for me at the moment. Cardio exercise fuels my fatigue, and leaves me wiped out for a couple of days afterwards. It’s not pretty!
So what does a PT who can’t swim, bike or run any longer do? Well obviously she takes up powerlifting! It’s amazing. I have been lifting ever heavier since last autumn, and I honestly think I’ve found my “thing”. My body is changing shape – I can’t wear shirts any longer because my shoulders are getting broader – I am getting stronger and stronger, and I love the time I spend at the gym.
I have long been saying that I advise everyone to find their “thing”, and whatever your circumstances have a look around you and see if there’s something you haven’t yet tried that just might be right for you, and only you.
Thank you perimenopause for bringing powerlifting into my life.
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