Just Started Tennis Lessons

Hot on the heals of my recent insight into Mickel Therapy’s hypothalamus theory, I’ve recently signed up for tennis lessons. I exercise every morning now, but up until now I have always done it alone which isn’t likely to alleviate feelings of boredom and loneliness. So I decided to pick a social sport that I could do instead, and tennis seems like a good choice.

I used to play soccer when I was a kid, but I always ran myself into exhaustion. I played volleyball a few years before falling ill, but it’s hard on the knees and I kept spraining thumbs which isn’t what I want now that I’m a musician.

So I picked tennis, and found that a local community college runs lessons at 8am on Saturday morning which is perfect for having me up and exercising early in the morning. I’m still pretty limited in how many evenings I can spend out but for the most part I have a fairly normal life now and rarely feel like I need to spend a whole day in bed. Sundays are my rest day when I take it easy and don’t consciously do any exercise. I figure even a healthy body needs time to regenerate.

Author: Graham

I'm a guy in his late 40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009. I now offer coaching and support to other people with CFS/ME.

8 thoughts on “Just Started Tennis Lessons”

  1. Howdy Graham. Just stumbled across your fascinating blog. I have enjoyed reading your candid comments about your journey through the ups and downs of life with CFS. I too have CFS and Fibro (as an added bonus) – 3 yrs duration, but to be honest I can now see that it started long before that. A nasty virus (cytomegalovirus) was the straw that broke my camels back. As a naturopath I had researched extensively as to why I was afflicted with this terrible condition. I felt very sorry for myself during the first year and like you I had this terrible feeling that I was heading into a chronic fatigue state. Unfortunately I was led down so many dead end treatments – elusive supplements that i thought would miraculously transform me – CoQ10, N acetylcysteine, D ribose, natural antifungals and antivirals etc etc…I reduced or restricted wheat, eggs, dairy…. With little or no effect. I recently went to a naturopathic seminar about the treatment of CFS and Fibro and heard the same story all over again. One of the presenters (an old work colleague of mine) asked what I thought of the seminar. I told her that I had tried everything that they had suggested. A few days later she sent me an email and told me to check out Mickel therapy which I had never heard about.
    So, 3 Mickel therapy sessions along I cannot say that my symptoms are greatly improved but I now “get it” or perhaps I should say that “the penny has dropped”. I am now noticing a direct correlation between my emotional state and my physical state. If anything, it is teaching me to be a lot more assertive. I can now see that my hypothamus has been completely in overdrive for many years. Even though I am yet to make leaps and bounds in my health I feel that I now know what to work on. Past trauma, chronic anxiety, repressed emotions, being a “yes, yes, yes” person, unrealistic ideals of perfection etc etc. it is not about finding a miraculous potion or supplement which is what I have been chasing for all these years (thanks to my naturopathic training!).
    Thanks to your blog I have learnt a lot more. My mickel therapist (who is actually helping me a lot, however she is pretty firm with me though!) has not yet touched upon the issue of boredom. So, I am going to try mixing it up a little more and find those things in life that bring me pleasure and enjoyment. I have deranged cortisol levels as well, so I like your naturopaths advice about exercising in the morn rather than evening. It makes sense. The other thing I like about my mickel therapist is that she is not militant about only using Mickel therapy. I told her that I am finding meditation helpful which she encouraged me to continue. She also has some tips (non Mickel) for overcoming guilt which is one of my worst emotional traits. Guilt is not really addressed by Mickel therapy as it is regarded as a false emotion. False emotion or not it certainly exacerbates my symptoms.

    Please keep us updated with your progress. I appreciate your honesty and I hope that in the future other sufferers of CFS will see the light and understand that this dis-ease is here to teach us something. It is not about trying to get back to where we were, but how we can create a new future for ourselves with more meaning, understanding and fulfilment.

    Yours in health and happiness,

    1. Thanks Rachel. Glad you’re finding my blog helpful. I had a pretty rough afternoon yesterday so I do appreciate the encouragement. I totally relate to a lot of what you’ve written, so it’s nice not to feel totally alone in this whole thing. Cheers, Graham

    1. Thanks Bill! I really appreciate your story. I’m hoping for the day exercise flips the switch for me too. Meanwhile, I seem to be gradually making progress… Cheers, Graham

    2. With all due respect Bill — a ‘solid two years’ is nothing, compared to the suffering of most ME/CFS patients. Try telling patients who have been bedridden for years that they can ‘think their way’ to remission.

      Like Whitney Dafoe for example?


      I’d also be interested in hearing how Graham would approach someone who is so severely disabled. What kind of advice would you think is appropriate?

      1. Hi Robin,

        I hear alarm bells when someone starts playing “my illness is worse than your illness”. Phrases like “With all due respect…” also sound vacuous to me, because they’re usually followed by something less than respectful. In this case, misrepresenting Bill’s well-intentioned comment. I see nothing in his story suggesting that patients who have been bedridden for years can ‘think their way’ to remission. According to his story, he recovered using graded exercise and persistence; not cognitive techniques.

        Watching videos like that seems to make my symptoms worse, probably because they fill me with fear. If Whitney was to ask my advice, I’d start by asking what was going on at the time he fell ill, and my next question would be: Who are you angry with, and why? In my experience, it takes a few gos to get to the bottom of this. (“A few gos” being the understatement of the century)


        1. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful to Bill, but I guess I can see how it might read that way.

          I also understand your concern about the whole thing where different levels of illness are compared to others, as I’ve heard that many times myself.

          But at the same time, Bill wrote this advice in his story of how to recover:

          “Get out of bed. Eat as healthy as you can and literally put one foot in front of the other each and every day. If you don’t feel like doing it…do it anyway. If you don’t feel like you can…try it anyway. And if you don’t feel it is doing you any good…keep it up anyway.”

          Whitney Dafoe can’t move, let alone get out of bed. And as I’m sure you know, the difference between depression and ME/CFS is that when one is depressed, perhaps they don’t want to get out of bed, but with ME/CFS that’s what everyone wants to do — get out of bed and get on with their life. So when he says even if “you don’t feel like doing it…do it anyway” — that suggests advice helpful for depressed patients, but not those who are truly bedridden with ME/CFS and cannot even lift a finger.

          Yes, it would be nice to know what was going on in his life when he first became ill. I have read that he was traveling all over the world taking pictures, and perhaps may have developed parasite infections that were never dealt with sufficiently. But he could possibly have been ‘running’ from something as well, who knows. But now he can’t communicate with anyone, so in his case it may be too late. Hopefully not.

          And yes, I totally agree — “a few goes” — definitely the understatement of the century. This clearly has a mind-body connection, but I think in many cases that means also addressing possible infections, deficiencies, etc., while working on angers, fears, resentments, abandoments, etc.

          Thanks for your reply, and your blog. 🙂

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