I have been to see a hypermobility specialist in London now and although she was exceptionally nice, caring and helpful essentially all that the team there are able to offer me are courses in pain management and pacing. There is no getting better from my knee, or other ongoing problems. One of the things she told me is that I shouldn’t run (I had kind of realised that, but not fully internalised it), and I shouldn’t be doing too much exercise – walking my dog, going swimming for twenty minutes a couple of times a week and a pilates lesson is enough for me.
For someone who was training for a marathon and had an olympic distance triathlon in her sights for last year and had signed up for 2 mile outdoor swims this year this is a bit of a shock. Sport was a huge part of my life – it takes a lot of time to train for a marathon, swims of that distance and triathlons. So, this is a big part of my life which can no longer be.
Obviously I am very upset about this, but luckily I have recently been expanding my creativity – as you can see by all of the posts around Sketchbook Skool. I have also just bought a djembe and a ukulele, which I am very excited about learning to play.
Music has always been an important part of my life – playing the flute, drums and singing a lot as a child. As an adult I have joined a few choirs, but nothing has been right for me. I have taken flute lessons and done my grade three exam – it is really nerve racking as an adult to be surrounded by tiny children doing the same exam as you!. But I miss drumming – I certainly do not have room for a drum kit in my house, and I am not sure I would be able to prise it away from my dad either. So a djembe is perfect for me – I can play by myself and I can go and join drumming circles as I wish to. There is something really primitive about drumming which really stirs my soul!.
I have bought a guitar in the past, but never managed to get on with it, not least because with my thin skin (literally and metaphorically) the strings have been too tough, I also never managed to get the hang of holding it – it was too big and bulky for me. So as part of my birthday celebrations I went to a fab music shop and bought a second hand ukulele. I already love it. It is much kinder to my fingers, and I can get my fingers into the positions I need, which I never did with guitar. And of course the best thing is I can sing as I play!
Although losing sport from my life (even though I was never particularly good at it) has been rather painful it has also opened up the time to allow for creativity – music and art. Exploring different musical forms to what I have done in the past – I will not be working towards grades in djembe or ukulele – and taking the big, bold step into the art world, and the storytelling one too. Only time will tell if I turn out to be any good at any of them, but I am having so much fun and getting a lot of pleasure from doing them!