Yesterday during my Cross fit session we did a lot of dumbbell weight training and since my strength is improving I grabbed some heavier weights than normal.  I learned very quickly that my muscles are strong enough to endure the new weight but my hands don’t have the strength to grip a dumbbell that well and then to add the weight to it my grip was even less.  I struggle with my hand strength and find it hard to make fists many days from stiffness and just the sheer volume of my hands and fingers with the added fluid.

I was talking to my trainer and when I’m using a weight machine I don’t have to grip so hard because the machine helps me so I can really increase my weight by a lot on those.  Using the dumbbell, as I grip it I feel my hands stiffen and then in motion I feel them slip.  We are going to work on my hand strength by having me carry dumbbells around and put them down when I slip and pick them back until I can start to gain the strength needed.  This trainer is not an autoimmune expert even though I have had other trainers tell me they were experts in training people with autoimmune, but I think what this trainer has is an understanding of women in general.  If an older woman walks in with arthritic hands she won’t be able to hold a dumbbell right away so I think she knows what women in general need.

I’m learning so much from her, and I’m learning so much about myself.  I was once a “delicate flower” as my husband so lovingly likes to call me but not anymore.  He has truly seen me change in front of his very eyes in the last 6 or 7 months.  There was a time when he wouldn’t want to ask me to do certain things for fear that I couldn’t or wouldn’t or even shouldn’t.  Now he has no problem asking me to go get a 50lbs bag of pellets for our wood stove.  This is really liberating for both of us.  The other day we lost electricity, which happens pretty regularly rural Maine so I’m used to it.  In the past I would have gone upstairs and woken up my loving husband to ask him if he could manually open our garage door so I could head to the gym.  This particular morning I went out to the garage popped the chain and lifted the garage door by myself and headed to the gym for my cross fit session.  This might not seem like a big deal to most people but when you feel like you have limitations you are overcoming regardless of how big or small this is a huge accomplishment.  My husband was shocked, but awed and realizes his once delicate wife that could barely walk out to the mailbox 9 years ago is lifting garage doors, doing 130 push-ups, walking 15k steps a day,  putting on snowshoes to go snowshoeing by herself and truly enjoying life.  There is real reward in that for both of us.


4 thoughts on “HOLDING WEIGHTS

  1. You’re an inspiration. I’ve been slowly getting back into yoga and walking after falling on my foot over a month ago. Still limping somewhat but much better. I must start trying to do some weights.

    • mevsmctd January 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply

      Weight training can be benefical especially when walking isn’t so comfortable for you right now. Try light to moderate weights and a few reps, just a little can go such a long way. I hope your foot gets better soon and you get back to your regular walking

  2. Michelle C February 15, 2013 at 2:57 am Reply

    I am so glad I found this! I have MCTD and do strength training, regular cardio and in training for a half marathon. People get so confused when I struggle sometimes with my wrists and hand strength but I finally found some like minded people with similar challenges. I am based in Queensland, Australia. I have my appointment with my rheumatologist today (my 3 monthly check up) and I am going to excitedly tell him what I’ve found. Are you on facebook? Is there anyway that we can connect? I have lots of questions for you and I think we can inspire each other. In the past twelve weeks I’ve lost 20.8 centimetres overall (8.18 inches) and lost about 4kg. I got a body composition scan and I am currently at 22.2% body fat. In a year I am hoping to be at 20% and I want to increase my lean muscle mass. My bone density was tested as well and while I am in the healthy range it’s in the lower end of the scale for my age (31). Hence weight training is becoming my focus. I really want to have strong, females in my life that also live with MCTD. I am at the tail end of a flare up now (my left ankle was swollen and puffy for the last week). I still went to the gym every day and doing non weight bearing exercises/strength and core training. I haven’t been able to run over 5km for a few weeks either due to a knee injury but I am determined to run a half marathon (I run 15km in about 1.5 hours). I am so close but given my MCTD I am giving myself an undefined period to reach my goal. Let me know if you want to connect.

    So happy for you and your new found strength. xx

    • mevsmctd February 15, 2013 at 9:24 am Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your story. Finding people not only living with MCTD but really managing the lifestyle is amazing and inspiring to me. I’m so blown away by the fact that you are looking to run half marathon and I know your doctor is going to be very proud of you also. I find myself walking for hours upon hours when the weather is nice but running only comes in the shape of sprints for me these days. I wish you the best of luck in all the aspects of your training and look forward to communicating with you more.


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