I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty independent thinker (what my parents would call stubborn and defiant - side note genetics are a bitch and my parents love watching me parent somewhat independent thinking children of my own….) who has no problem questioning things and coming up with my own conclusions. That was until the day I was diagnosed with prolapse….. I sat in my specialist room and was told many things but the words that stuck in my brain and have haunted my decisions every since were, “yes you do have prolapse” (I was still living in a bubble of hope that it was all a bad dream, even with the sensation of falling apart screaming at me - ever the optimist), “it is no longer safe for you to run, jump, lift, box, race…..”, “walking, swimming and seated cycling are great exercise choices for women with prolapse”, and the absolute kicker for me was, “if you ever go back packing somebody will have to carry your bag”.
Now please don’t get me wrong my specialist (at the time as I have since changed) is an amazing woman who is incredibly good at her job and has helped many many woman but she has no idea of the impact of those few little words on my life…..
From that moment forth I 100% believed EVERYTHING she said. I followed the “prolapse safe” exercises to a tee! My world changed 100% in that moment. So much so that one day at work (I worked as an accountant at a fancy golf course) I was out and about on the golf course with a few colleagues of mine and it started to rain and I don’t mean a little rain I mean absolutely bucketed down! All of my colleagues sprinted to cover out of the rain and yelled for me to do the same. Those words “it is not safe to run” were so powerful that even in that moment getting absolutely saturated in front of all of my unaware male colleagues I walked for cover instead of ran…...I was just so petrified if I ran that everything would fall apart. My workouts completely changed, the way I played with my kids completely changed, the way I moved in my body completely changed, everything completely changed.
Words are powerful little nuggets indeed!!
But luckily for me I still had that defiant independent thinker streak……. I had a small voice in the back of my mind saying, you are only 34 and you have recovered from so many other things… why can you not recover from this as well…?
That’s where the real journey started - in my own little streak of defiance where I decided, hell no this is not how I am going to live my life!
Fast forward a few years and I have done countless hours of my own research to understand how my body works, countless hours of rehab and re-training, attended countless course about women specific movement, seen bucket loads more specialists and even changed my career all to try and come up with my own conclusions about how it is best for me to move my body through this life.
Not long ago the real test came when I decided in a moment of defiance (well researched, rehabbed and thought out defiance that is!) to enter the Wild Kiwi…. A 15km off road run in the beautiful Whangarei Heads. Pre prolapse this was no big deal at all - this was my pure happy place. But after prolapse - even with two years of my own research, rehab and new specialists clearing me to run under my belt those words from that initial appointment - “no longer safe to run” still haunted me. I entered the race as a “walker” something I had never done before but figured it was better than not getting out there at all.
The day came and I was nervous as sh#t! I drove out to the start line with two amazing woman - both absolute running enthusiast whippets. They chatted all the way out about events they had done, events they were going to do and for the first time in my life I was absolutely packing myself as to what had I done? Why was I doing this, could my body handle this, was I fit enough, was my core strong enough, were my bits going to fall apart, was my first specialist right, would I regret this, why oh why had I agreed to this. We got to the start line and I was absolutely TERRIFIED! Everyone was talking about the stairs…. 1200 or so stairs straight up with no break….. with excited trepidation. I knew I could nail the stairs (that’s all I had been doing for two years - bloody stairs cause I was too scared to run) but the running part that absolutely scared the bejepernaughts out of me. At the start line I said, “seeya at the finish” to my whippet friends knowing they would leave me for dust. The start hooter went and off I went at a racing walking speed. Those words absolutely forefront in my mind….”unsafe to run”. As time went by my mindset slowly changed and I remembered a cool podcast I had listened to about fear. Fear robs you of the present moment. Fear is living in anticipation of some future event that may not happen. I decided feck it I am going to be present in my body listen to my symptoms and see what happens! I hit the stairs (passing my whippet runner friends on the way up - winning 🏃🤸😁 ) and the adrenaline of the event started to kick in. I forgot about my bits and just focused on the present moment and it felt AMAZING! I ended up running the rest of the event and loving every second of it! My bits luckily did not fall apart!
Words - what someone has said to you or what you say to yourself - are powerful little nuggets. Let them be powerful in the right way. Let them inspire you to rise to the challenge and live your best life possible. Let them light you up inside. Let them make you smile to yourself and say hell yeah I can and I will!
(Side note I am in no way saying ignore specialists advise!! Or suggesting you should run with prolapse! Obviously always listen to medical professionals………..just keep looking until you find one that appreciates your way of life as important 😜).