The New Normal

I am new to the Rheumatoid Arthritis world and this is my first article on I was recently diagnosed with RA and I am still trying to understand the diagnosis. At first, I was upset and angry. Why was this happening to me? I’ve taken care of myself, exercised, and eaten relatively healthy.

Changing my lifestyle due to an RA diagnosis

Fitness has been a huge aspect of my life. For the last 5 years, I have taught both spin and boot camp classes. I’ve run everything from a 5k to a marathon. I’ve competed in Spartan races and hiked all types of terrain. I’ve even crossed bikini fitness competitions off my bucket list. Pushing my body to the limit and always striving to be a better and stronger version of myself is what I live for.

RA has forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my life. Running has always been my “therapy”. How is it possible that the stress that is driving me to run is the same reason I’m unable to do so? I can’t run from Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s my new normal. The stiff, achy joints, painful feet, and fatigue are all a part of me.

A positive spin: Appreciating the things I CAN do

Instead of being angry about what I can’t do, I’ve decided to appreciate the things I can do. Sure, I can’t run a marathon right now, but I’m grateful I can walk and sometimes jog. I can’t grip heavy weights but I can lift lighter ones! Finding the positive has helped me to accept the things I can not change.

As I said at the beginning of this article, this diagnosis is still fresh. Other than a round of prednisone, I have yet to try any sort of medicine to manage my RA. I am hoping along with my acceptance and medication, my “new normal” will begin to resemble my “ old normal”. Stay tuned!!

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