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Updated: May 15

Chronic illnesses blow. There is no way to sugar coat it. Each comes with their own unique set of challenges all of which suck in their own special way. Its not all dome and gloom, we adapt, we survive, and if we are lucky enough we thrive.

Since no two conditions are the same and even when they are each person has a different experience, its important to realize what works for one person may not work for the next. Medications, diets, lifestyles all our own personal journey that you are on when you're dealing with a chronic illness. As a person who has Rheumatoid arthritis (R.A.), I understand the struggle of desperately wanting an epic day yet having to pull back or even worse watch from below due to a flare.

This doesn't mean that just because you are in a flare you have to necessarily miss a day or not adapt to giving yourself the best chance for success!

1. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Okay, this one seems self-explanatory. But hear me out, if you have your body in good working order (whatever you define as good with a chronic condition) then you are already giving yourself the upper hand. Skiing inhertily already poses outside flare risk: from altitude, the possibility of extreme temperature swings, fatigue, and so on.

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By making sure you body is working well, you're going to be feeling good. Half the battle is feeling good when you're out there on the mountain. As soon as that goes so does your day.

2. Listen To Your Body

LISTEN. TO. YOUR. BODY. We've been there, your riding crew wants to keep pushing and you're dying on the inside. The snow is fantastic, and it's calling you in. Yet you have your body's alarms going off left and right. What do you do?

 I cant count how many times I have had to change course, or lay back when my body is literally crying for help. The joints are throbbing, the fatigue has creeped up. Thats my sign to stop. Ski another day is always the moto.

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A harsh reality (one that I am often blissfully delusional about) your body with a chronic condition is vastly different than one without. Its important to listen to your body to ensure that you are able to ski another day. A good day is one where the entire party is safe and sound back at the car.

3. Avoid Triggers

We all have own personal triggers that makes that flare intermit. For example, inflammation is a huge battle with R.A. Safe to say that when I have to ski the next day all après' drinks are off the table until I know I am not skiing for a few days.

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Why spoil your fun over something that you can avoid? Whatever that trigger is, give yourself your best bet to have the best time out there by just ensuring that you are not diving into a flare for funsies. Small changes, yield to large results.

4. Be Kind To Yourself

Something that anyone with a chronic illness knows, life is not fair. The reality of dealing with a chronic illnesses is that sometimes regardless of how many things you do right. You are still going to flare up. If that does happen, while you're on your ski trip be kind to yourself. Becoming upset is not going to heal you. Or even help (some conditions stress causes a larger flare).

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Yea, it is a bummer. Getting mad a situation that isn't going to change, is not going to make you feel any better. Practice gratitude, even if that's taking the gondola to the top to enjoy the view. Or sitting by a fire while a gentle snow falls. Enjoy the small things.

While you can not control your illness, you can control your outlook.


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