When faced with problems, Zayd is not the type of person to sit back and wait for others to fix them. He’s a natural problem solver, and that hands-on attitude has led him to discover key things about himself.
“Tai chi represented a lifeline for me. My whole life I’d heard, ‘You’re limited, you’re limited, you’re limited. You’re not going to be able to do this and that.’ Then I read about tai chi, where your body can respond to certain movements. It was the first thing I had seen that offered hope that it was possible to move beyond those limits.”
“My experience with exercise until then was dumbbells and push-ups—building muscle and pushing through the pain. It was completely physical.”
People with Hunter syndrome should always talk with their healthcare provider before starting an exercise routine.
Tai chi was focused beyond just the physical. It had a lot to do with mental focus and with moving the internal energy of your body. That was incredible for me.
“This came right after a back surgery, at a time where I was even more physically limited than usual. I realized that even if my Hunter syndrome is limiting, I could still do certain things. Tai chi and qigong have very flowing, soft movements that I can do without pain.
“I found that my body did respond, and that started a whole journey toward discovering that exercise goes beyond just building muscles. It’s more of a holistic, mind-body-spirit kind of thing. My condition does still limit me considerably. But now it’s a constant interplay, almost a call and response between my condition and my exercise as I move forward and push back those limits, even if just a little bit.”
Zayd has found a physical activity that he feels comfortable with and that helps him feel good. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently to exercise. You should always talk to your healthcare provider about your specific situation and needs. Your healthcare team will always be your best source of information.
Tagged in: Self-discovery, Mind & body, Problem solving, Physical activity