Date archive: February 2012
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Exercise – The Impossible Combination?
One of the topics that comes up quite often in my Ehlers-Danlos* groups is exercise. We all know we need it and yet it’s so difficult to start or maintain because of the obvious resulting pain, joint laxity, and POTS symptoms. And yet without it we aren’t helping our joints because we aren’t strengthening the muscles surrounding them and we’re not improving our overall health. I’m right there with my fellow EDSers on this and I’ve been struggling for years trying to find something that works. My one constant companion (although neglected more often than not) throughout these past 30 years has been a Nordic Track machine. It’s a wonderful tool because it provides great cardio with ZERO impact! It’s always been my friend – when I choose not to ignore it. A mistake I’ve always made though was to use it in conjunction with starting a completely new exercise routine including weights and dance-like moves which always leads to soreness, joint pain/problems, and ultimately quitting – usually sooner than later. But a couple of weeks ago I made a conscious effort to start anew and NOT get ahead of myself. I’m using JUST the machine 3 or 4 times a week for 20 minutes a day, I’m drinking 80-100 oz of water a day, and I’ve SLOWLY added some stretching and light isometrics. I haven’t experienced ANY soreness and I certainly don’t feel like quitting. In fact, I’ve always avoided stairs like the plague for decades because of the knee pain and possibility of subluxing, but yesterday I purposefully took the stairs multiple times and I didn’t have ANY problems. And still no backlash today! That alone is such a HUGE accomplishment!! If you don’t suffer from joint hypermobility then you just won’t get the full impact (no pun intended) of that last statement. FYI, because of other health issues I’ve had to revamp my diet and I’ve already been eating grain and soy free for 3 years. That has also contributed greatly to my overall improved health and well-being. I also take 4-6 grams of Vitamin C a day and 400mg of chelated Magnesium and 22 mg of zinc. So can an EDSer find exercises to help pain and joint laxity? After a couple of weeks of skiing at home, I’m inclined to say yes – at least for this bendy girl!
*Visit the EDNF website for more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
I am NOT a medical professional and I do not intend for my statements to influence anyone to start a diet and exercise routine without proper medical care. Please do your own research, clear things with your medical professionals, and find what works for you.
Colleen Ann Guest is so very pleased to announce that she’s been selected to walk the runway for an AMAZING designer, Rocket Betty, at the 2012 Redress Raleigh event on Friday night April 20, 2012 at 8pm at the Contemporary Art Museum CAM Raleigh (CAM) in downtown Raleigh. Click here to get your tickets!!
From the Redress website:
Redress Raleigh aims to reorient mainstream fashion to be socially and environmentally aware, becoming a catalyst for major change in the retail industry. We question the status quo of retail – both the mainstream consumption of fast fashion and the unattainable high-fashion of eco-couture.
We plan to be the resource for eco-fashion in the Triangle – creating a network for economic opportunities, eco-fashion lovers, and empowered customers. Redress Raleigh enhances people’s understanding of eco-fashion and empowers them with relevant skills that will revolutionize the fashion industry. Redress Raleigh also believes that giving back to the community creates goodwill and plans to grow mutually beneficial relationships with organizations that help people in need.
The clothing selected for the show has a strong emphasis on eco-friendly design. Eco-friendly can be in the form of recycled or remanufactured garments, as well as using eco-friendly fabrics and production processes. The focus of Redress Raleigh is to promote wearable eco-fashion, meaning fabrics and textiles that would be commonly found in clothing articles, rather than non-clothing items such as cardboard, paper, plastic, etc.
Redress Raleigh is proud to announce the following designers have been accepted into the April 20, 2012 Friday night 8pm show at the Contemporary Art Museum CAM Raleigh:
Belinda Blakley of Belindabilly
Jana Saur of JBelle
Johanna Ely of Good Girls Studio
Julianne Applegate of JulieApple
Katy Deckard of Revolver Denim
Kim Kirchstein of Leopold
Margo Scott of Rocket Betty Designs
Melissa Lowery of SSD Jewelry
Oami Powers of Judah Ross
Stephanie and Zulay Smith of Zass Design & Pilar Ramirez and Alejandra Dunn of PamOr Designs
There will also be a local fashion showcase as part of downtown Raleigh’s Planet Earth Celebration on Saturday, April 21st featuring Redress Raleigh along with other area fashion organizations.
It may seem like a peculiar way of going about it, but through modeling, I believe I can change people’s preconceived notions about beauty and value . . . and I can make a difference in this world. A difference to you (the client), the world around us, and in my own life – - because the why of modeling (as well as the how) is something I comprehend. Let me explain.
Years ago I spent some time as a retail display designer for a national clothing chain. I learned there’s a direct correlation between an artfully crafted display and the resulting sales – - but just because I had created a killer display didn’t mean it translated to killer profits. I had to be flexible and objective; willing to concede when my creation wasn’t all that, and then quickly move on and create something better – - something that sells; not just something pretty. Modeling is similar in that a model has to be prepared to go the extra mile to find sensational poses which stretch the imagination and yet she must trust the photographer’s (and/or client’s) direction and make adjustments on the spot in order to best express their vision.
It occurs to me, to be effective in this industry, a model doesn’t really have to be a particular age or size or shape (regardless of what the media tells us); she needs to understand the intention of why she’s modeling in the first place. It’s never about her – - it’s about the client’s creation and how she best enhances it. She needs to be exude confidence and radiate energy; doing her very best to share space in harmony with the product so that her presence is a compliment to the piece rather than the focal point of the shot.
Ultimately, the purpose of modeling is to entice buyers to open their pocketbooks and not just marvel at an artistic expression. When acting, I can use words and action to help me effectively portray a character and convey a story. I have come to greatly appreciate the higher level of focus required to do the same thing without those luxuries when I’m modeling. In posing with and showcasing a product, a model has to create a lasting impression that will capture people’s attention and inspire them to actually make a purchase – - with only a single frame to get the job done!
What’s more, it’s advantageous when the model believes in what she’s selling. My years in retail taught me that I can sell way more merchandise when the product is something I believe in than when I don’t care for it. Selling then becomes more about sharing one’s passion for an amazing product rather than simply trying to unload it. My personal preference is for consumer goods that are sustainable / green / recycled / used / vintage, etc. and I make a point to broadcast that as much as possible. Wearing and being photographed in those kinds of garments and accessories lend that much more credibility to my personal position as I proudly share links to photos on my website and social media pages.
So, yes; I’d like an opportunity to model for you because I believe I can make a difference. A difference in how your work is represented; giving a new perspective to the process and expanding your audience along the way. A difference in the lives of those around us; encouraging people to challenge their perceptions of beauty and to make a positive impact on the environment. And a difference in my own life; allowing me to grow as a person and as an artist through exposure to new people, products, and experiences.
Thank you for your consideration!