5 for Friday

The last weekend of March is here! Can you believe how fast time has flown?! And time has flown since I have done a “5 for Friday” post – since the beginning of September 2013 to be precise. So without further ado, here are five things that have caught my attention recently, that I want to bring to your attention.

1. Exercise IS NOT HARMFUL to those with CMT

CMT is my nerve disease (Charcot Marie Tooth – I have confirmed type 1A, or a problem with my myelin production). For YEARS people (patients, doctors, therapists) have cited a single study drawing a conclusion that exercise is BAD for people with CMT.

This has always seemed COMPLETELY COUNTERINTUITIVE to me. I mean, I have a problem with my nerves. This problem leads to muscle atrophy. My belief – and that of my doctors and therapists – has been that for this reason, EXERCISE IS A MUST. It is vital to keep healthy muscles active.

But still, the old orthodoxy persisted.  Until now.

In the March 2014 online edition of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry the findings of the Inherited Neuropathy Consortia study into overuse and CMT were published. The study, involving the an international collaboration of over 40 researchers and 270 patients FINALLY overturned outdated and poor advice. FINALLY.

A friend remarked that this is known true, that surely money could be better spent. Yes, of course we know this is true. But the fact is, without disproof our trusted medical practitioners were still advising people to stop exercising. *shake my head*

Anyway, sense prevails. Now we know exercise is not harmful to those with CMT. Next step: to prove exercise is beneficial.

2. Did you hear? ME! On the Triathlon Sherpa podcast!

Completely tooting my own horn here, but I am super honoured to have been asked onto the Triathlon Sherpa podcast hosted by Graham and Angie. Normally the duo focus on long distance triathlon, but they have also done features on other endurance sports nuts like Epic Bill Bradley, and they have also interviewed my friend Jason Bahamundi. I couldn’t believe it when they asked me if I wanted to be interviewed!

I had the chance to spend a bit talking about how I stumble my way into triathlon, about getting diagnosed with CMT, about doing my first tri with a completely shattered elbow (what got me my diagnosis of EDS), and more.

You can find me on the Triathlon Sherpa podcast episode 17 on iTunes, or on the Triathlon Sherpa site.

3. The Benefits of Compression

One of the questions Graham asked me on the TriSherpa podcast was whether or not I thought the benefit of wearing compression (socks and tights) was real.

As many people know, I swear by compression, following races, long training sessions, and on long haul flights. As one of my physiotherapists told me, when it comes to many things with our health, a lot is not proven scientifically. But even if something offers a placebo effect and makes us feel better, why should we not try it and do it? 

Compression has mixed reports. All I know is that I believe in it. So much so that I was able to become a brand ambassador for 2XU USA.  You can see the latest 2XU video on compression here.

4. Butter is Back

Did everyone see the Mark Bittman opinion piece in the New York times on how butter is back?

Frankly, butter never left my house. In fact, when I moved abroad for the first time way back in 1993 I discovered butter in all of its glory for doing things like making pie crusts, instead of Crisco which my mother swore by (but which I could not find). I have been “butter or nothing” since then.

Well, kind of. Back in January I received food intolerance testing results which highlighted a dairy intolerance. Cow dairy includes butter.  So I cut out butter for a good month, and then now very mindfully have it, watching my body’s reactions.  The end result?  When I have a little butter, like green beans in a butter, or a small amount on a baked potato, I seem fine.  However, tarte tatin throws me over the edge. As does grilled lobster in butter. And other such yummy treats.


5. Buzzfeed and Three Wishes

Yeah yeah I know. Not another Buzzfeed quiz…  This is only somewhat quiz related though.

The other day I clicked mindlessly onto a Buzzfeed quiz that my friend Amy shared over on Facebook, the one about what grade you are getting in life. I took it and wound up with an F! (haha! I went back and changed two answers and wound up with an A+ – such a fickle grading system!)

Anyway, the quiz… One of the questions was what you would do if you had three wishes.

Being a multiple choice quiz of course it did not have the answers I would choose. But it got me thinking – what would I do if I had three wishes.

Definitely one of them would be to be able to take all the time off I could to go everywhere and see everyone who has touched and made a difference to my life, to thank them. From online friends to real life friends, there are so many people I would LOVE to go and visit, to spend time with, to let them know in person how they have made me a better person.

I am not sure what my other two would be.

My friend Rob shared that one of his would be to give three wishes to all of his friends. And another would be to give to all the douchebags in the world a permanent unicorn horn in the middle of their forehead.

What would your three wishes be?


Here is a Felix “the little dog” photo for Friday, and to start your weekend with a smile… Felix is now 5 months and 16 kg in weight – he is growing so fast!

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