Cerebral palsy can easily leave you feeling like an outsider. When talking about staying fit though, we in the CP community possess company. Others with physical disabilities encounter similar sentiments. Short people pardon the pun go overlooked. Bigger individuals may feel self-conscious. Such emotions make pursuing an active lifestyle intimidating.
Trust me, I know the struggle. As a fellow fitness outsider I am intimately familiar with the anxieties. The worries you will not belong. Internal inquiries questioning your abilities, “Do I have good enough balance?” “Am I fast enough?” Today I aim to empower you to tell your concerns “Shut up!”
Let me begin by sharing a little more about myself. After all context gives advice credibility. Therefore I assume you want me to list my credentials before I enter into my active lifestyle tips.
Never An Athlete
One occasion in elementary school I recall bleeding in gym class. Although I can’t say the blood originated from a competitive, aggressive play. Rather I managed to staple my thumb. Somehow I missed the presidential testing paperwork, my intended target.
That comedic tale illustrates well my origins. The kid too uncoordinated to safely use a stapler! Time passed and athletics only became less tangible for me. In junior high school I assisted the gym teacher to earn my physical education credits. A situation I detail in my memoir Off Balanced.
Then come high school I received a complete physical education exemption. Prior to my freshman year I underwent back surgery. Post-surgery I could not move my right leg. Thankfully the paralysis proved temporary. Still I endured a long and frustrating journey to recovery. Again, occurrences documented in Off Balanced.
Really I stayed a fitness outsider until college. Many use college to experiment and I turned the campus fitness center into my metaphorical science lab. Initially doubts plagued me. “Would I be welcomed?” I wondered, imagining student athletes glaring at me. Their facial expressions communicating “What’s this intruder doing here?”
Said uncertainties ended up baseless. Over the years my interest in an active lifestyle increased. I started completing 5ks (3.1 miles) and training for a half marathon (13.1 miles). New adventures raised new reservations. Each reservation ultimately rendered untrue. So, stop listening to your nagging negativity. Instead focus on the ensuing.
Active Lifestyle Tip #1- Seek Knowledge From the Knowledgeable
Whatever activity you wish to pursue, seek out someone knowledgeable. Guidance remains important. Identifying a person to provide guidance varies by activity. Yoga or dance might involve researching local studios. Call and ask how they can accommodate you. If one studio blows you off, try a different one.
Also share aspirations with friends and family. When I originally set my half marathon goal, I knew nothing about finding and registering for races. However, a college acquaintance instructed me to visit Hermes Cleveland.
Active Lifestyle Tip #2- Set a Schedule
Starting and maintaining an active lifestyle stand two separate tasks. Setting a schedule works tremendously for the latter. Taking a formal class will supply a default schedule.
Yet, maybe you plan to go forth on an informal path. Here I suggest goal setting. Your goals will dictate your schedule. My half marathon training offers an example.
See, I realized to complete a half marathon I needed more than simple endurance. Balance and range in motion additionally matter. Hence I decided to exercise twice a week. Following a few months the frequency became routine.
Active Lifestyle Tip #3- Dress for the Occasion
Perhaps basic but I deemed worth mentioning, dress for the occasion. Wear breathable clothes which enable movement. Personally I recommend Sport-Tek gear. Particularly I favor Sport-Tek’s sleeveless performance shirts.
My preference set in once we at #CPChatNow held our first t-shirt and tank-top sale. I ordered a sleeveless performance shirt for my half marathon training. So impressed by the product I decided on the Sports-Tek sleeveless performance shirt for the eventual However You Move workout shirt I designed using Customink.
Go ahead and gear up. Get a breathable wardrobe going. Show up to your yoga or dance class prepared. Or, venture off to explore an active lifestyle on your own. Just consult with knowledgeable friends and family. Their wisdom will assist keeping your active lifestyle a positive experience.
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