Stubborn or Determined

I have always been athletic and active whether it was dancing or playing basketball. I felt that all I had to offer was my athletic ability. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I felt everything was taken away from me. My rheumatologist told me I was never to run again and only do moderate exercise like walking...seriously?

Since I've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I have met a lot of people battling the same battle; I've also met a lot of people with RA being really active. They are still running, participating in triathlons, lifting weights and setting high active goals for themselves. They are inspiring people and get me motivated to get off the couch and not feel sorry for myself.

So I'm wondering, are people with RA determined or stubborn?

Are we stubborn in ignoring our doctors to do only minimum activity or are we defying the odds with our determination? Do we have something to prove to others and ourselves?

I feel that being active helps me be sane, pain free and feel healthy like a "normal" person.

All my life I have never been able to sit still and now I was being told that I have to sit still because of my health. I was angry when I heard the news; but decided that this wouldn't change my active body and mind. It took a couple of weeks to have the medication bring down the swelling in my knee and then I felt ready to run again. I wanted to run 5 miles like I have been able to every single day before my RA flared, however I was only able to manage a painful 0.5 mile run.

At that moment I realized that it was going to take a while to repair my athletic body and get back to running marathons, build up muscle and strength. I'm now able to run 3 miles easily and apply weights to my training and workouts. It hasn't been an easy journey but I feel so much better for doing it.

I hope you find this post to be inspiring and gets you motivated to move for your physical and mental health.
Know that You Are Stronger Than RA and you can do anything you put your mind to.

Aimee Matsumoto