Going To The Gym aka Extreme Sports

13593724_s editedAm I able to use the gym? The questions people ask! Heavens, I inhabit the same world as the rest of you…or do I?

Going to the gym is like careening through a rabbit hole into a surreal Wonderland full of disquieting adventures! While I watch fellow “athletes” deftly execute coups of gluteus, hamstring and trapezius on strange, weight-bearing apparatus, I largely refrain from partaking in their revelry, instead creating my own zany tea party.

For starters, any unstable surface challenges this house of cards, causing my muscles to go haywire and summoning my core to control the show. My Mad Hatter is a device I call the “marshmallow” – flat on one side, rounded rubber cushion on the other (exercise mavens know this as the Bosu ball). My feat? I “stand” on the rounded surface and wave my arms in the air to further mess with my balance. Give that device a go during an earthquake and you’ll see my task isn’t quite so easy as it looks.

My personal triathlon involves a deceptively simple maneuver – the one-legged squat – on stable ground. Try supporting your entire corpus on one leg and then bobbing up and down while engaging in bodily combat with movement disorder! My left leg insists on a quirky diagonal directional that precariously holds my weight as I teeter through the motion while somehow remaining upright. Three sets: that’s a workout!

For much of my life, the gym didn’t even appear as a blip on my radar. Courtesy of a handful of trainers who’ve done Lewis Carroll proud, I’ve crafted my own realm of possibilities. Rather than coveting unreasonable exploits beyond my reach, I rule over the territory I’ve conquered including a tamed Madame Bosu – now that deserves a spotlight on my résumé!


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19 responses to “Going To The Gym aka Extreme Sports

  1. Dear Pamela Funny you should bring up the gym. I just started crossfit class yesterday. It’s a different kind of physical torture, but I’m hoping it will do some good. Especially since what we have is muscular in nature. I’m hoping this new form of exercise will strengthen the weak muscles that can’t keep up.
    Cheers to on you journey.

    • Mike, Wonderful to hear from you again. You’ve hit the nail on the head! Notwithstanding our Dystonia, we need to try to keep ourselves in shape and, as far as I’m concerned, our unaffected muscles as strong as possible. Doesn’t take much to challenge me in the gym but I know my accomplishments! -Pamela-

    • Mike, I’m really hoping you checked the little box that gives you the option of receiving follow up comments by email. I’m quite interested to find out how your experiences with CrossFit are going!

      I have tardive generalized dystonia and have been a member and a coach at a CrossFit gym for about five years ago. It’s been an… interesting experience. But one that I think that has ultimately helped me (also it’s been a lot of fun). And it’s also raised a lot of questions like what happens in my brain where I can snatch 95lbs or do a muscle up without signs of disordered movement when symptomatic but can’t walk through a crowded class without going into a posture? Super cool stuff!

      Would LOVE to hear more and compare experiences!

  2. Meredith Berkman

    You amaze me in so many Ways I love the way u write!!! What kind of response are u getting?

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Meredith, Praise from you is of the highest order! I’m very happy with the response to my blog, not only here but on the various Facebook groups and pages where I post. I undertake a tremendous effort to spread awareness and support others via Chronicles Of A Dystonia Muse and my social media activities. Who ever thought I’d become a Tweeter! -Pam-

  3. healthiestbeauty

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

    • Thank you for the reblog and following Chronicles Of A Dystonia Muse. This is such an important undertaking for me and I cannot tell you how much it means when other bloggers help me spread awareness. Best to you. -Pamela-

  4. Pamela, I’m enjoying your writing and understand your frustration with a body that refuses to cooperate. But mostly, I admire your courage, your humor, and your spirit.
    Kudos to you!

    • Hello Tonya, Wonderful to see you here and thank you for your kind words. While my body can be a source of frustration, I really try to keep things in perspective and face my challenges with humor. After all, a smile is way better than a frown! Enjoy your weekend. -Pamela-

  5. Pam, your metaphors get better and better! You are truly amazing!
    Love, Roxene

  6. you are doing great way ahead of me. I consider walking to the bathroom a marathon and using a stretchy band thing while sitting a woekout!

    • Margo, I’ll take that as a compliment though I must say walking 5 blocks to the subway is my version of a marathon! Battling those muscles certainly consumes energy. The bright side: mini-workouts every day! -Pamela-

  7. Hi Pam Keep up the good work. The harder I work the better I feel. We all have our own way of keeping fit. For me it’s working hard and staying active.

    • Hello Donald, Always a treat to see you here. Exercise certainly has its rewards. Once I’m at the gym, I’m happy as a clam. The challenge is motivating myself to get there in the first place. Hope all is well with you. -Pam-

  8. Angela Harshbarger

    Good for you. I read The God Squad. Quite an eye opener.

    • Angela, I truly appreciate all your comments; I can always count on you! Yes, The God Squad is an incredible read – heart-wrenching, revealing and inspiring. Not often does a book come along that so profoundly influences me. I’m thrilled to have shared it with you. Take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of your weekend. -Pamela-

  9. You are amazing . I totally believe in exercise. i’d like to RUN, but find walking is possible …..so, i walk on treadmill and do lots of floor exercises…..stretching, etc. hanging in and ..also do my exercycle …..just have trouble when I stop and start…..freezing and knees lock and hips…..so I consciously have to say, slow down……..YOU move too fast….slow is OK!!!!!! keep movin, Pam and love to get your updates……….

    • Iris, Lovely to hear from you again. I enjoy a bit of variety at the gym and I’m sure to stretch every time. I’ve a bad back so my level of exercise depends from the state of my back…and my motivation getting to the gym in the first place! Once I’m there, I love my “toys!” As for cardio, walking to the subway can be a workout but I aim for that stationary bike. -Pam-

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