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.

No fun allowed

So a few weeks back I had a really awful pain flare up. Since my usual tricks of ice, rest, and lots of biofreeze/icyhot/tiger balm weren’t working, I went for acupuncture. I love acupuncture. It feels like it releases energy out of my body that is otherwise trapped and causing pain. This was my first visit to a new acupuncturist, and she recommended some new supplements and to cut out all caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol. That was easy for me to remember because in my mind that equals no fun. I do pretty well with avoiding these things, especially when my pain is high. Occasionally though, I want to be normal. I want a cup of coffee without fear that it won’t cause my nerves to react so strongly I can’t turn my head from the pain. I want to have a beer in hopes for a normal sized hangover. I don’t care much for sugar so that isn’t a terrible, I can get over that. But I love coffee. I adore a glass of whiskey out on the patio with Jon.

 

It’s strange though, I used to use caffeine to help ward off the headaches. One of my medications even has it in it. Now that I’ve been off it for a few weeks, I feel so sensitive to it that I can’t decide if I should go back. How long should I have no fun?? My neck and shoulder are better but my head is worse. If anyone has advice, I would love to hear it.

Sail away

Sometimes when I try to fall asleep I imagine being drifted away on a boat. I’m lying there in the sun, I can hear the waves, feel them rocking the boat gently. There is no pain. I keep repeating, there is no pain. My mom taught me this, and imagining the sun on my face, like it will draw the pain out, keep the sharp stings from coming on, protect me somehow. I’m thankful for it. Sometimes all my brain & body needs is rest but it won’t let go. This meditation soothes me, takes me away.

I’ve only been taking the added magnesium for a few days. I’m not the best with patience. Ok, I’m the worst actually. But for nerves to heal and pain to lessen takes time. More time than I want to be robbed of, so I quietly try not to be frustrated with my body.

Instead I cling to what it can do. I remind myself of my strengths & talents- after all, perfection would be boring really. Then what would I strive for? To maintain? Never! Always a new goal, always more ways to heal & help. Just not always at the pace I want. So I’m working on enjoying the little things more. Playing with my little piglet, who although is four, still looks like a perpetual puppy to me. Taking care of my flowers. Cooking! Maybe this pain is a reminder sometimes to slow down. I have so much to do that I end up like the white rabbit, when really I need to reign it in and get back to the beach.

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Pain

Pain is high today. It started up last night with the twitching in my arms and stiffness setting in. Today I have lunch plans with my dear friend Kurt, but it’s near the Willy St Co-op and I’m going to see if they have geranium oil. I’ve been reading that it could help with nerve pain. You can order it online but I want to smell it first. I don’t want to trade pain out for nausea because it’s so pungent! The weather and pressure changes seem to cause my pain to swing. Do you notice that? Or is it always over use? Bad posture? A combo? Stress is always a key player as well. My search for relief plugs on! I won’t quit til I’ve tried everything really. ver