Begin again. Always begin again.

As I lay here on a Sunday night, a basket of laundry in my peripheral vision calling me (very quietly) to put it away (I never really do) with SVU back on the tube, I reflect on the last two years of my life. They have been no doubt the best, and also that worst of my life. Tonight, at dinner, my sweet Rowan turned to me and said, “Daddy saved you, didn’t he, Mommy?” I blinked. And then said yes baby, I think he did. We have been keeping each other going. Quietly. Slowly. We have spent the last two years trying to get settled. Ive had a million reasons not to write or reach out. I’ll share them all, eventually.

Recently, I realized I need to start looking outward. I’ve taken the better part of the past year to just focus inward. On my child, my husband, myself. I changed my position at work so that I could keep my tunnel vision. It was what I needed to do right then. For my body too. A few weeks ago, my mind came back. It started to work again. Ideas. Passion. Like something broke back open.

Here I am. Beginning again.

My name is Irish. I’m a 33 year old Harry Potter addict who works out on the side. No but seriously. I have been a personal trainer, yoga, Pilates & barre instructor for over ten years. Teaching is my happy place. It’s how I share light (and pain) with those I love. My clients become my friends, my family. I want to share that with you too.

I will be posting workouts. Sometimes 5 minutes of stretching, like today. To be kind to yourself. Because no matter what your fitness goals, that is so very important. I cannot tell you how much kindness & happiness can change the body. Kindness to yourself, and happiness in your body will alter your appearance. You will read my rants about this.

Sometimes I will post challenges. Ways to push yourself, to find creativity in your workouts to keep your mind alive, and your body progressing.

Sometimes, like today… I’ll be thinking about the need to begin again. To have the courage to keep beginning again. No matter what. It’s ok to take time when you need it. Pause. For minutes, days, months…but you have to begin again. You have to wake up and try again.

My name is Irish. I have anxiety, chronic migraines and nerve damage in my left shoulder. I am hyper-mobile in many of my joints and have been working for years to find the correct way to workout to care for myself. I’ve taken this search for knowledge, this search, and translated it to helping others. The greatest majority of my clients who see me in person, come to me for help with pain. Pain management tends to be like a puzzle. Each piece has to be found and put together the right way to find relief. I pride myself in being part of the puzzle for so many.

My pain also helps me see the world a little differently. Perspective is so very important. My anxiety skews it from time to time…but the workouts help.

My name is Irish, I love donuts, perusing the ‘we made too much’ section of Lululemon, drinking too much iced coffee and leaving cupboard doors wide open so that it looks like a crazy person has been in my kitchen always.

I started teaching because I liked the workouts and benefits of yoga and Pilates, but I could not find anyone who had a message that resonated with me. The explanation of how my body was supposed to find what it needed was….. lacking. There was not enough. I wanted more. Different. So that’s what I became. I became the instructor I was looking for. I teach classes that are meaningful to me.

This life is meaningful to me. I’m not a super nice person. I’m not a cheer leader. My teaching style has been rebellious, and sometimes compared to a dominatrix. I don’t have all the answers. I’m on a quest to find them and share each one.

Trying to be well, fit & sane….while pregnant

Hello! I’ve been away for some time from my blog. We got married, we got stuck in a hurricane on our honeymoon in September and fast forward to Christmas, we found out I was having a baby. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. I spent most of 2014 trying to get my body to be well enough to enjoy my wedding. My chronic migraine treatment was intense. Then as soon as we got home from our wicked and wonderful retreat to Mexico, where I was forced to wean off many medications due to being stranded without them (or power, or running water….) I went off all medications completely. I’ve always wanted children. My mom had a horrible time getting and staying pregnant and I always assumed the same would be true for me. I am 30 years old, let’s take out the goalies and see what happens we said! It will probably take awhile we said! Ha! We were blessed ever so quickly with the news that a baby girl was going to join us by our first wedding anniversary.

Like many chronic migraine sufferers, I dreamed of a reprieve during pregnancy. That has not been the case. I am hyper mobile in most joints- I have never been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos officially but that is what my current doctor is leaning towards. The hormones in pregnancy have made most of my issues worse, not better. My joints are ‘slipping’ out of place easier, I’m seeing the chiropractor every 2 weeks instead of every few months and my migraines, although less frequent/severe, still come. Sigh.

My workouts have had to change. I still teach but no longer as much. I am currently teaching 2 barre, 3 yoga, and one bootcamp regularly. I can no longer do the majority of the bootcamp. I found that my hips would come out of place. Barre, with its small isometric movements has been my best option.

I am frustrated to say the least. I am taking magnesium to help with headaches and when absolutely necessary having tylenol, a cup of coffee, and ice pack and rest….. but for all you migraine sufferers out there, you know how little that actually does.

I am angry with myself. I wanted to be pregnant and have a baby for so long in my life that I told myself I would always enjoy it, no matter how dreadful pieces can be. And I’m failing at that. My first trimester was miserable with nausea that wouldn’t quit, could wake me from my sleep. Now my second trimester almost finished, I am striving to just find joy in each day… which is her- her kicks usually or spending time in her baby room trying to find simple ways to make it beautiful. I’m getting pain in my hands & wrists, even though I’ve gained very little weight…. trying desperately to get my mind to be ok.

I’m thankful I’m able to be active. I teach. I walk my pup. I got in the pool last week, I’ll do that again this week.

I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep trying to be well. For me and for her.

I will remember that not all days will be good and to do what I can, when I can.

Trying Gluten-Free (Again)

It’s no secret that our bodies change with age. We grow, wrinkle, slouch, gain aches and pains, grow hair where we don’t want it… Time can be cruel. But that’s just to our outsides really. Recently, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the havoc gluten can wreak on a seemingly innocent victim. Aches, pains, swelling, headaches, blurred vision, stomach issues and migraines just to name a few. Very similar to the side effects of aspartame, which if you haven’t given up yet, I urge you strongly. I am not a nutritionist, I am not a dietician. I am a person living with chronic pain who has sought the advice of experts in this field. I am currently on day 2 of living without gluten. My words don’t come together the way I want, but otherwise I am feeling quite well. I had been on a hard stint of pain that escalated after a meal heavy in gluten. I believe it’s time to try again. I have done this before without any result, but I believe our bodies our constantly evolving. Certain foods become harder to process, either due to age, too many preservatives or just because it plain doesn’t want to anymore. Share with me your story. Tell me what you changed in your diet that made the difference, whether it is in pain, irritability, discomfort or aesthetics (sometimes leaving something out of your diet allows you to finally process food the right way instead of storing it). Did a book lead you to it? Wheat belly or the China Study perhaps?