Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome may be unfamiliar to most people, but for one of our members it has presented a complex challenge. EDS is a hereditary condition characterised by extreme hyper mobility and gastro-intestinal issues, resulting from excess collagen in the connective tissues. Joint instability and susceptibility to dislocation make participation in sport and physical activity extremely difficult, as Claire found out when she had to cut short a competitive netball career.
“I genuinely thought I would never find another ‘sport’ that I could compete in…everything I tried was too intense on my joints and the risk of injury too high…then my friend introduced me to CrossFit, which has given me my life back!”
For those of you haven’t yet met Claire, she has been a member at CrossFit Leyland since January. Like many of our members, CrossFit has had a huge impact on her life. Since the EDS diagnosis three years ago, Claire has undergone intensive physiotherapy and regular surgeries (up to three per year on her hips and shoulders).
“I became resentful towards my condition and its limitations. I adopted a negative ‘can’t do’ attitude, which seemed to extend to most aspects of my life”
Since starting CrossFit, in addition to noting positive changes in her body shape, Claire has strengthened stabilising muscles around her joints and for the first year in a long time has managed to avoid hip surgery.
“A friend of mine plagued me to give CrossFit a try, so I eventually gave in to shut her up! I love this friend more than life itself and she has introduced me to something that has given me renewed positivity and goals to aim for. When I explained to the staff at CrossFit Leyland about my condition, they outlined a plan of what movements I could do and work towards, scaling and substituting movements that would put my joints at risk. My risk of injury is now much lower thanks to the awareness, advice and support of the coaches at CrossFit Leyland. They are highly qualified, knowledgeable and experienced.”
Claire’s progress has been remarkable. With a condition like EDS it will never be plain sailing for her, but she has taken appropriate steps to give herself the best chance of staying off the surgeons table, enabling her to spend more time with her family and doing the things she loves the most.
“CrossFit Leyland will never know how genuinely grateful I am for all their help and support; their positivity, professional yet friendly attitude and the gift of my ‘can do’ attitude”.