Friday, September 14, 2018

Can You Practice Krav Maga When You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Update: I added an extra graphic below 11/26/18

Hi! I’m back. It’s been awhile. I’ve been gone so long, I’m having to re-read some of my old posts just to refresh my memory about what I did or said when I was actively practicing Krav Maga. I’m just dropping in to give my readers an update. As most of you know, I haven’t been myself for a very long time. Particularly jarring, is that when doctors can’t find a diagnosis, it’s difficult to climb out of the vicious cycle of self-doubt and loneliness that comes from feeling like you know something is wrong, but the rest of the world can’t see it. You feel misunderstood for the most part, like a complete failure in others, right before hopelessness creeps up to give you a good kick in the pants. Giving up the things you love to do and having to paradigm shift your goals and pursuits, because you simply can’t keep up like you did before is especially unsettling, not to mention what effect that has on the people who love you. Those unrealized goals seem to be lost forever, and the only thing you have left is asking yourself one question:

Is what I’m going through going to defeat me or define me?

Thankfully, I chose the latter, but it didn’t come without it’s set of giant-size obstacles, and when it came to practicing Krav Maga, I think I also went through the typical cycle that starts with denial, anger, bargaining, depression, to finally acceptance of the fact that I was going to have to place it on hold for a while. I needed to find a solution to the dark cloud that loomed over my health. It’s humbling and sobering all at once, and if you’ve been following my recovery to health blog, about how I found answers to my problem out the fog, pain, and fatigue, then you know it hasn't come without its share of difficulties.

If you’re new to this blog post, you might want to refer to previous posts about what stress and overtraining did to my body, to get some context about what I’m saying, but to sum up briefly, I’ve been healing from metabolic damage for the last several years. This caused a conglomeration of symptoms that gave me adrenal fatigue, low vit D levels, methylation issues, joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, sleeplessness, inflammation, weight gain, fibromyalgia, and brain fog. This didn’t come up suddenly. I’m a carrier of a mutated gene (MTHFR) that expressed itself in a very negative way due to years of unhealthy eating choices, chronic stress, deferring sleep, and past trauma. Basically, I ran myself to the ground until my body simply said: STOP! Which leads to the question posed in the title of this blog:

If I have adrenal fatigue, can I practice Krav Maga?

The clearest answer I can give is to stop until you have fully recovered.When you do recover, consider withholding severe stress drills until you can get your cortisol hormone levels (the hormone that helps you battle stress) to a state of balance. Otherwise, you’re going to keep running yourself to the ground, repeatedly. Not to mention that when your cortisol levels are shot, so is your ability to lose fat. I’ve gained up to 75 lbs. all over again, ugh. If you're going through something similar, please listen to your body's signals and what it is telling you. Trust me when I say that's it's so easy to get wrapped up in that whole, "No pain, no gain, pick up your big girl panties, and suck it up mindset," especially when other people seem to be doing this without breaking a sweat. Continuing, when your cortisol levels are shot, would be counterproductive, and perhaps even detrimental if not addressed.

Everyone has a basic understanding that it’s important to eat well, stay hydrated, and get good, restful sleep, but so many people disregard this simple advice. Your body knows what it’s telling you. It requires rest, sleep, a reduction in stress, eating well, and a host of other things to get it back to a state of balance, and that’s where we all need to be. It’s those little things that count that are going to help you recover much faster. I tried to get back to Krav Maga in the last five years, and each time I did, I paid a heavy price. I was wiped out, got flu-like symptoms, and the pain and inflammation over my body lasted longer than three days. So, I stopped. Yoga, Pilates, walking, cycling, swimming, in moderate amounts, saved me, along with a host of other things that included restored restful sleep, bioidentical hormone treatment, genetic testing, etc. To read more about that visit my health blog, here.

I’m now focusing on weight loss again. It’s hard to believe that when I first started Krav, it was Krav that helped me drop down the weight, but the over-training coupled with life stressors and other issues, did me in, and I couldn’t continue a self-defense system that I really loved and enjoyed. Yesterday, I went back and took a self-defense class to try again. Although the adrenal fatigue is gone, I live with this constant fear in the back of my mind that it might come back. It’s very unsettling, because I can’t afford it. I’m an independent author, and I also freelance for other businesses to earn a living. Having the brain fog creep up again, would be a cost to my livelihood.

So, I didn’t go to this class without trepidation. My 
former partner, who I passed the instructor test with, invited me to take one of his classes. It also took a little nudging and encouragement from my wonderful husband, who offered to partner up with me. Reluctantly, I agreed. I taped up my creaking knees and stepped inside. I struggled to keep up and my strikes were short of disappointing, but things felt slightly differently this time. I also paced myself and did what I could. I could see others in the room, there were people there half my age, slimmer, and so much stronger. Somehow, I found myself in similar territory, like I did when I first started, sigh. 

I think…no, scratch that… I know I weigh more now than when I initially started training in Krav Maga. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. But I remembered something that I learned early on when I first became a practitioner of this self-defense system, and I had to talk myself through the following: 

The blows you take and your ability to get up and keep going are far more important. You may get knocked on your a**, but you have to get up and stay in the fight. The only competition in this room is with yourself, no one else, so do what you can, give it your best, and keep moving.

I got a few bumps and bruises from holding the bags, and
Krav Maga Kisses
holding the bag for my husband
who kicks like a mule
although I woke up sore today, I don’t feel sick. Also, I can tell that the muscle soreness is coming from not having practiced for so long. It no longer feels like I’ve been run over by a semi. That's progress! 

I believe I can do this again, but at a few years shy of 50, I must be cautious I don’t over train. I can’t give up. It’s what Krav Maga does. It teaches you to embrace survival over victimhood, and that type of mindset is what’s going to prepare you for life's biggest challenges.

Don't get me wrong. There's great beauty in living, but life can sometimes be a real sh** sandwich, and if you find yourself each day taking another bite, you can’t throw your hands up in the air in despair. Find an opening. Figure out a way. Escape, and keep moving forward!

Till next time…

No comments:

Post a Comment