The Body Makeover Part 1


I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been working out with a trainer and have seen some pretty significant results in a short period of time. As several people have requested to hear about this, this is the first of several posts.

Pre RA, I was incredibly active. I grew up dancing and then got into running, step classes, kick boxing and boot camp classes. When I started having problems, I was literally in the best shape of my life. I was working out with a trainer several times a week: she kicked my butt!

After my diagnosis, I tried to get my activity level up. I even ran three 5K’s with my trainer but it was really pushing it for me. I wasn’t stable on my meds so my symptoms made it hard for me to be consistent so I just stopped.

Stopping turned into fear of activity after an unrelated ankle sprain. Well, three ankle sprains actually. Same ankle. And then I started having some disease activity at the site of the injury, something that I have since learned is quite common.

I started Orencia a year and a half ago and have done well on it. I stopped feeling symptoms in many places, ankle included, but what I then felt was a very weak ankle that wouldn’t let me walk far, had balance issues, and couldn’t even jump.

I should also mention that both wrists were a mess. Same story: my March ultrasound finally showed no signs of inflammation and no permanent damage but I now had these wrists with no flexibility and no strength.

By feeling the Orencia working and hearing from the doctor that I had no inflammation, I decided it was time to get this body back together.

I wanted to have fun on vacation, and I realized how important it was to take this window of opportunity to make my body stronger.

My gym is one of those chain gyms. Truthfully, I joined it because it has a pool and a steam room as those are two things that make me feel better when I flare. So I was a little unsure of what to expect when I went to talk to them about personal training.

All of their trainers are certified and do continuing education on a quarterly basis. They asked me a lot of questions as to what I hoped to accomplish from training and what I wanted in a trainer. My answers? I want to work on ankle strength and stability, wrist strength and flexibility, and overall stamina. I also didn’t care if my trainer was male or female but it was a requirement to me that they at least know what rheumatoid arthritis is.

I paused when I said that, looked at the Director of Training and asked him to tell me what it is. He knew the differentiation between OA and RA and while he didn’t know many specifics, I was fine with that. That part I can educate him on.

A day later, I got a phone call from the trainer he assigned to me. Let’s call her C.

She was very friendly and ran through my goals on the phone. As we set up our first appointment, I started to mention my RA when she surprised me and brought it up first.

‘He mentioned to me that you have RA and it was important to you for me to understand what that is. In addition to my personal training certifications, I have a BS in Exercise Science and am getting ready to start on my Masters. I think this is going to be good for both of us.’

You’re hired.

Why yes, C, I think this will work out just fine!

Next: my first appointment and assessment aka OMG how did I let myself get so out of shape that jumping jacks make me want to vomit!!!

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