Everyone in my family worked in the trades. My father was a plumber, my mother a welder, my brother an electrician, and I was a carpenter. They are honest livings that also involve a lot of physical work.
While never in the best shape, I never considered myself overweight or terribly out-of-shape. There wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do because of a lack of mobility or stamina.
I could roll around on the floor with my dogs. Mowing my lawn a couple of times a week was easy. Every Tuesday evening I’d play basketball with some old friends. In the fall I’d go camping and hunting with those same buddies. None of it was any problem.
When I started experiencing joint pain at work, I didn’t pay it much mind. Because it wasn’t intense. Its severity slowly, gradually increased over time. Eventually, I had to start taking non-prescription painkillers.
I just wrote the joint pain off as an unfortunate side effect of my job. After all, I worked a lot with my hands and arms as a carpenter. That was always bound to have an effect and cause some lingering issues. It didn’t make me worried at all.
Things started to make a change for the worse over the course of a year. I started feeling under the weather, constantly. All-day every day, I was tired, run-down, like I hadn’t slept. Those joint pains spread throughout my body.
The alarm didn’t go off in my head until one afternoon, I was playing with my dogs, rolling around on the floor, wrestling with them. When I tried to get up I was worried that I couldn’t. I tried to hold my weight with my hands and wrists as I attempted to push up to my feet and the pain was too much. It took me five minutes just to stand up.
That all body pain and fatigue made it hard to impossible to play basketball on Tuesdays. I had to sit while at work. My lawn was overgrown and unkempt. All of my dogs had to settle for playing in the tall grass of my backyard instead of going for walks. The only thing me and my body wanted to do was sit on the couch, turn on the television and do all that I could to not physically exert myself.
When I went to the doctor they ordered some blood work. The results came back and I was shocked. I had Lyme disease. He told me that considering how much time I spent hunting and camping combined with having so many dogs, I most likely picked up an infected tick somewhere along the way.
Other than prescribing some medications, my doctor advised that I figure out a workout routine that would be friendly to my condition and helped me stay in shape. Like any medical condition, being unhealthy and unfit wouldn’t help me manage it and get to a place where it no longer played a big part in my life.
Working out regularly sounded like a daunting prospect. I worked, a lot, every day except Sunday. And when I was done working I was often so sore and tired that hitting the gym was the last thing on my mind. But I found a solution.
I stumbled upon a service - CoPilot- that provided personal trainers/coaches that can help clients achieve their fitness and health goals, online. I didn’t need a gym, home workout equipment, or even a bench. After finding the right trainer, Jared, I told him about my circumstances and what I wanted out of our session.
Jared whipped up a fantastic exercise program for me. He understood that stamina and joint pains were an issue for me and decided that the best path wasn’t to use weights but to use bodyweight and cardio exercises. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard or that I didn’t seriously consider quitting. Because it was and I did. Multiple times. But he was very motivational and had a unique way of spurring me on to do one more rep.
Working out while managing what can be a physically debilitating condition is and continues to be difficult. However, without Jared to help me, I never would have reached my goals. I was able to start playing basketball again. I was able to mow my lawn, go hunting, and camping again. And yes, when playing with my dogs, I was able to get up off the floor without any issues.
I’m not saying that without Jared or the company he works for, I wouldn’t have been able to recover and live the life I loved before Lyme disease. I am saying that having them as a partner, a friend, and a coach made it much easier and, frankly, enjoyable. Do yourself a favor and don’t settle for the circumstances life throws at you. Be proactive!
The story of CoPilot member Aditya B.