Fear of Losing what I SWEAT to build . . .

Before I go any further, I have to say how excited and thankful I am to have the possibility of a kidney transplant to look forward to. I remember how it was last time, I have an amazing new chapter in my life to look forward to.

My concern is with the necessary change in my fitness schedule after I have the transplant.

I will need to stop or severely restrict my fitness schedule because of the operation. I will have to stick to this restriction for a set amount of time as not to damage my new kidney.

I get it.

On the other hand, I have to admit this break from what I’ve strived to create as my “normal” scares me.

I have worked very hard to drill my fitness routine into my consciousness. Doing between 5 and 8 classes a week was not an easy routine to get into. Even now – a year and a half into this new lifestyle – I still have moments where the lure of the couch (and some snacks) calls me. I rarely give into it but being honest, the struggle to stick to my fitness regiment is a little bit easier than before but it’s still an on-going challenge.

I’m scared that a break like that – however necessary – will undermine what my hard work and consistency has built.


I think I’m due some photos for my blog. My body has never looked better. I still have a way to go but I am really happy with how my hard work has translated onto me physically. I promise to post some photos soon. (Maybe in my new yellow bikini.)

With a break my muscles and physical progress will atrophy. I am going to have to start again.

My stamina will be undermined. Three days a week I do two classes in a row at the gym. There are a core of us that all do this – so it’s not that special – but it’s still something to really be proud of. Especially for a person living with chronic illness and doing dialysis. In this area I will also have to start again.

What are my fears around rebuilding?

For one, a main reason that I am so consistent with my gym schedule is because I hate having a class kick my butt. I like to work hard and push myself but it’s hard for me to struggle in a class. With consistency I rarely struggle. Missing even one or two classes can set me up for an up-hill battle at my next class. Not fun. In my experience being consistent is better than being sporadic and having to play catch-up. Catch-up sucks!

So what is the plan?

First I am going to reach out to all of my expert resources; Dr. Trisha Parsons, Diana Hopkins-Rosseel and my nephrologists. Trish and Diana can help me formulate a “post-operation fitness plan” and the nephrologists can sign off on this plan.

I would hope to have details as far as time-lines and stage-specific exercises.

I can imagine that I should only walk for the first period of time. Perhaps I can get back to using my pedometer and have increasing walking goals to reach?

There will be a time when I’d be allowed to incorporate light weights again. Core work. Etcetera. And eventually I will be allowed to get back into my classes and work back towards my weekly schedule.

(It just occurred to me . . . I will miss my classmates too and instructors. My gym family has become very special to me.)

As always, I can deal with this fear by working to build a plan. Having something in mind as I move forward will relieve my apprehension.

And there are a few bonuses . . .

With a healthy new kidney my body will likely adjust to the exercise quickly. What I have fought to build with a sick body will be accomplished more easily with a healthier body.

I remember having a lot of energy after my last transplant. Right now I struggle to accomplish my fitness schedule with a deficit in energy . . . and still get it done. Having more energy will be good.

I know that I am such great shape that even a few months off won’t completely undermine what I’ve built. Some of that reserve and foundation will “keep” and set me up for success when I get back out there.

All in all, I think everything will be fine. And again, in true Type A fashion, I will formulate a plan to get myself back on the road to success as quickly as possible. And in a safe and healthy way too.

Look out though . . . when I am cleared to get back into it full-speed, my fitness schedule will be ON!! 

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