Female specificmenopuasePerformance in womenperimenopausePeriodspositivityTriathlon

Peri menopause- how it’s going

Peri menopause- how it’s going

How it’s going

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about peri-menopause, and that’s because things have been going well. My cycle has been fairly regular, apart from last year’s late period. I have been feeling positive and put that down to my active lifestyle, daily meditations, and nutrition. I was feeling pretty pleased that I was doing so well, “maybe I’ll breeze through it,” I thought. Maybe adding meditation was the key to managing my moods and symptoms.
But this month has been a bit different; it started with a period that didn’t end after the usual 5-6 days; I had spotting for around two weeks, then the next period didn’t come for 52 days. The weird cycle was a bit confusing, but the significant impact has been on my mood, which I’ll get into in a moment; first, I want to give a bit of background and circumstance to frame everything.

What training looks like

Last year I had a great triathlon season, and I’d achieved what I wanted to, for myself, in the sport, for now. So I decided to stop training at such a high volume and focus on my other passion, rock climbing. I still swim twice a week, strength train, and run twice every week. I also try to get a bike ride in, but I don’t always manage, and I climb 3-4 times a week, so I’m not identifying myself as an endurance athlete anymore, but I realise that I am still active and training fairly hard.
Although I have changed direction a bit, I am still doing something that makes me feel good about myself. Part of my identity is linked to being strong, having mental resilience, and doing things that push me out of my comfort zone, which makes what happened this month all the more grueling for my self-image. I have been working on feeling like I am enough without attaching my identity to my performance. Still, if you are performance-minded, it’s hard to step away from, and saying that, I have been able to frame my experiences in climbing so far in a positive light.

When I couldn’t stop crying

My husband and I go outdoor climbing once a week together, and last week was the day before my period started; I couldn’t stop crying in the morning and couldn’t decide what I wanted to climb, which created a spiral of me being upset with myself for not climbing, and feeling like I was losing my identity as a strong, resilient woman. The feeling of my emotions being out of my control was overwhelming; when my period arrived the next day, I was relieved and put it down to bad PMT, but the week after, the same thing happened. I couldn’t stop crying, beat myself up for feeling upset, was angry with myself and my husband, and drove off in the afternoon to get away.
I went for a long walk and started to be able to make sense of what I was thinking, but as I started driving home, I just felt like I didn’t want to go home; I wanted to go away, to stay in a hotel to get away from everyone, as I got nearer home I turned off and parked in a layby crying again, as I knew I would have to go and talk to my husband. I didn’t know what to say or how to explain things.

Talking it out

We chatted and clarified a few thoughts when I got home, but I went to bed feeling low and deflated. The next day I didn’t feel good, and it was Friday, the day that I did the shopping, then swam. Driving to the supermarket, I started to cry. At the checkout, I began to cry, so I got in the car and cried some more. I usually go to the farmers market after the supermarket and then go for my swim, but sitting in my car crying, I wanted to go home, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want anyone to see me upset, I felt s**t.
After a few minutes, I decided to go. I know many stallholders at the farmers market, so when one of them asked if I was ok, I said, “No, not really. I can’t stop crying” Then I told someone else and started to feel better.
I’m writing this article after my swim, which I also decided to go to; I chatted to a friend in the pool and again started to feel more positive. I wanted to write this down to help you if you ever feel overwhelmed by your emotions.

What changed?

What changed? Me interacting with people, I’m not the type of person with a load of friends to call when I’m not feeling good, and that’s something else I need to work on. Still, those few interactions with the people I see every week helped me to feel more like myself, and although I wanted to go home, I did my usual routine, which helped reset my mind and body.
I went to my usual climbing session in the evening, and chatted to more people about what had happened, and felt even better, the more people I shared with the better I began to feel.
I know that this may happen again. It’s happened before when a similar situation triggered me, but I can get through it.
Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience; what helped you, what did you do?

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