I’m Seeking Learning Opportunities as I Expand My Exercise Regimen

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by Young Lee |

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“No, it’s not really my thing,” I responded to a friend and self-admitted “gym junkie” in college when he offered to show me the ropes in weight training.

These days, I regret turning down his offer.

If life were a video game, my friend’s offer would have been the tutorial level, meaning I had just skipped an important training stage — an opportunity to learn how to play the game of life.

But life is very different from video games. Every stage of life brings learning opportunities, and we don’t always know when the important and potentially life-changing lessons are about to happen.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about this dynamic in life, and in weight training in particular, because I’ve been trying to incorporate more weight training into my exercise regimen. After all, as many folks with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) know, fitness is key to managing the disease and its accompanying symptoms.

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Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Exercise

While I’ve always known this, I’m realizing I had underestimated how difficult maintaining a decent level of fitness can be as my symptoms start to progress more quickly.

For much of my life, my feelings about fitness were that “it’s not really my thing” or “it’s too embarrassing.” After all, progress rarely happens overnight, and gains are easily lost with a CMT body. Because of that, it’s easy to fall into such dismissive thinking.

However, when I look back, I should have realized that fitness, exercise, and self-care aren’t only for a certain groups of folks. Especially with a condition such as CMT, such activities only get harder and more essential as we get older.

Therefore, it’s important to learn and develop good habits sooner than later. So, ultimately, despite all my regrets about not starting earlier, that’s what I’m taking to heart: It’s never too late to start, and today is still sooner than tomorrow.

I’m not at all close to meeting my fitness goals, but I feel like I’ve been taking a few positive steps in the right direction over the past few weeks. I still feel comically underleveled, but even in video games, you can always grind out a few levels later on in the game and learn new tricks.

Going forward, I’m trying my best to keep an open mind, experience new things, and never be too quick to say, “No, that’s not really my thing” without giving it a chance first. I can’t let fear or my aversion to risk minimize my chances of learning new things and gaining new skills.

Seeking only comfort doesn’t lead to opportunities to learn. Oftentimes the best lessons are gained from learning to pick ourselves up when we fall down — sometimes literally.


Note: Charcot-Marie-Tooth News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Charcot-Marie-Tooth News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Charcot-Marie-Tooth.


Christine Wodke avatar

Christine Wodke

The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation have been doing zoom events with different exercise. They have also done a couple of patient conferences before COVID called Movement is Medicine. They can be reached at hnf-cure.org
I also am very active with type 1a CMT. You can learn about me at www.run4cmt.com

Robert Glass avatar

Robert Glass

Looking for exercises that will help with my Charcot foot I am curious most of the cycling exercises refer you to a stationary bike what are the opinions on using a regular bicycle additionally what are some of the top beneficialExercises for Charcot foot regards robert


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