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Playing tennis

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by MichaelDaw, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. MichaelDaw

    MichaelDaw New Member

    In a rash moment on day 2 of the programme (yesterday), I made a commitment to play tennis this Saturday. (I haven't played all year.) However, whilst rationally I know I have TMS so I shouldn't come to any harm, I feel pretty scared about the prospect. The last time I exercised was a few weeks back when I went swimming. Whilst I had no pain at the time, my arms really hurt for about a week afterwards. Right now (on day 3 of the programme), my arms/hands still hurt so I wonder if it's too soon for such a big step? Would it be better to build up my confidence more first (after all, I've stopped avoiding typing - perhaps that's enough for now)?

    Opinions/experiences welcome!
  2. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    Sounds like you are hesitant about this big step. Perhaps taking a more gradual approach and building up to the tennis would be good, like you stated.

    What transitional step or phase could be a part of building more confidence toward actually playing tennis?

    You will know when you are ready ;)
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    The main thing is to do whatever you are comfortable with. As perfectionists, I think we all have the tendency to try and recover as soon as possible and push ourselves. While it is okay to push yourself, we just need to be aware of the role our TMS personality is playing in everything.

    It is also great to hear that you stopped avoiding typing. This was one of the first activities that I did in my recovery, and it really built up my confidence in myself and the TMS approach. Each time I did a new activity I was also a little nervous about it each time. When I think about it, my fear and anxiety about doing these activities revolved around my fear that I would get hurt or my symptoms would get worse.

    It sounds like this is sort of what is going on with you. You mentioned the last time you really pushed yourself, your symptoms increased, and you are nervous that this will happen again. But this is where accepting the diagnosis comes in. When you fully believe that you have TMS and understand what it is about, you understand that being physically active will not damage you. You are not frail.

    For me, accepting the diagnosis, helped me challenge my beliefs that I was frail and gave me the confidence to really push myself physically. I had really severe knee and leg pain. However, I really enjoyed plaing broomball with friends. At first I thought I couldn't run around and be that active, but once I accepted the diagnosis and being active, I noticed that my symptoms did not worsen.

    I will say that part of this requires being stubborn and just go for it. You basically have to decide to focus of your symptoms and to not let them prevent you from doing the activities you enjoy doing. In my case, I just told myself that I do not want to continue to limit myself and that I do not have a structural problem. This allowed me to turn my focus from my leg pain to the activity I loved to do. There is a great thread that you may have read about this called I'm a TMSer Triathlete. In it Enrique, talks about how he had pain in his achilles and decided to just go out and do an intense FTP test and then run a half marathon.

    I would also add that with TMS there is a chance that your symptoms may pop up or flare up the next day. If this happens don't let it distract you. Your unconscious mind will increase your symptoms, because it knows that you are about to root it out and it is desperate to have you focus on it again.

    Whether you start playing tennis this week or next is totally up to you. You know your body and where your confidence level is at. There is no right or wrong answer here. Continue to educate yourself about TMS and your repressed emotions and you will get there.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the way it works is something like this: If you get overly ambitious and over do exercising, you'll get real sore afterwards, more than you would if you didn't have TMS. However, once the soreness wears off, you'll have advanced another step in the recovery process. So, you'll get sore and hurt more for a few days? So what. It's like Dr. Sarno says, you can't really hurt yourself because your pain is due to TMS or the MBS or whatever else you want to call it. IOWs: Nothing to really be afraid of, except maybe fear itself to paraphrase FDR. I raised the bar last weekend on a three-day trip to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. Took a 1000 ft uphill hike, did traverses on a big granite apron, went bouldering at the Knobs area, tried to do traverses on a big granite slab and, sure enough, after two days, I got really, really sore. However, when I came back down to the Bay Area after resting a few days, I felt much much better and noticed a big improvement in the strength in my left leg walking up flights of stairs. You might get real sore after that tennis match, but does it really matter? If you keep doing challenging stuff like that, you will begin to notice real improvement. For example, I went out for a bike ride two days' after returning from the mountains and was amazed at the improved amount of coordination in my hips and legs. Seems as though overdoing it can hurt, but the amount of improvement is well worth it. If you're sore after your tennis match, you're sure to improve a lot from it in the long run. I think that's what Dr. Sarno means by overcoming your fear of physical activity.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    While you may be a little sore as it's muscles you may not have used for awhile, playing tennis doesn't cause harm.
    I hesitated to do certain exercises for a long time, then one day decided to just go for it. And I was just fine.
    Fear is very powerful!


    MorComm: I loved Yosemite! Bridal veil Falls, the huge pinecones, the massive trees. . .
  6. MichaelDaw

    MichaelDaw New Member

    Thanks everyone for your responses. (I didn't notice because I was expecting to be emailed when anyone replied and wasn't - and there was I, thinking no one loved me!) Anyway, you may like to know that I didn't play tennis last week. The real reason was that I felt I just wasn't ready (though it was raining, and the Olympics were on, so there were plenty of excuses). I will play tennis, and soon, but I think it's important to play when feel like I'm ready and not too scared. Though I will take on board your comments about just going for it, and the fact that it may lead to temporary soreness. It's a journey!

    The good news is that I think I will be ready soon because I am noticing a distinct lessening of the pain since I started the structured programme. The day-by-day improvement is pretty subtle, but when I think back to how I was almost two weeks ago, it's not subtle at all.

    The bad news is that I've noticed that one trigger for my nerve pain is excitement. When I think I'm getting better, I get excited, then the pain comes back! But I'm sure that will pass.

    Keep up the good work everyone - it's great knowing there's lots of support and great using all the resources put together with your hard work.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Michael, it seems as though the psyche doesn't distinguish between plain old excitement (which can be emotionally positive) and downright bad emotions with negative connotations. Both can act as psychological "triggers" for TMS pain.
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    This happened to me this week--in my case I think I was at some level putting more pressure on myself--like now I'm all better so I can't be having pain or anxiety again. I keep reminding myself it's a process and it takes as long as it takes.
    Livvygurl likes this.

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