Two people who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are pro athletes and havetheir sights set on winning an Olympic gold medal. Imagine having CFS with the fatigue and post-exertional malaise and then being able to be athletic and train to make it to the Olympic games? That is hopeful for those with CFS who poop out after walking to the mailbox or taking a shower and feel that they will never be able to do any better.
It would be nice if this was possible for all of us with CFS but reading stories like this gives me hope and makes me happy for those who have managed to somehow recover from CFS. The fact that both of these people were extremely athletic before they became ill is probably what aided in their recovery.
Canadian wrestler, Ari Taub, was diagnosed with CFS in 2000 and had to give up his career as an associate lawyer for a Canadian law firm. He would get up in the morning to take the trash out and collapse from exhaustion. Sound familiar? Taub also had a narrowing of the spinal canal in his neck that had caused him to quit wrestling before or end up as a quadriplegic if he continued the sport. While he was being treated for CFS, Taub was informed that his spinal canal was no more susceptible to injury than anyone else’s, meaning he could return to wrestling. After a 10-year absence he made his comeback and is working hard at his sport.
The 37-year-old wrestler has qualified for the Beijing Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling after a number of failed tries and with little funding.
Read more about Ari Taub’s journey to make it to the Olympics.
Anna Hemmings, a flatwater canoeist and former Olympian, was diagnosed with CFS in 2003 and everyone thought her career in sports was over. Anna went from being a world-beating athlete to someone who would fall asleep at the dinner table and couldn’t find the strength to wash her hair.
Anna, now the most successful female canoeist in Britain, says that she used a form of alternative therapy is responsible for her miraculous comeback. Anna tried something calledreverse therapy, an alternative treatment that works by using psychological techniques to change the behavior of a gland in the brain that is thought to be at fault in CFS sufferers. She had her first treatment in September 2004 and by the end of 2005 she had reclaimed the world marathon championship title.
Read more about Anna’s return from CFS to compete for the Olympics.
JT Cooper says
As a manager of a city recreational facility, I can affirm that there are many people who fight on to maintain top physical condition even while suffering with CFS. It is a tribute to the human spirit that these two athletes and many other people like them refuse to lay down to this illness.