dizziness and sports

This is just me rambling about something that’s been bothering me every now and then.

Dizziness is nothing new to me. It started when I hit puberty – standing up too fast or just standing still for more than a few minutes suddenly became a problem. Once I lost consciousness while being part in a play at church, which was pretty embarrassing. But I got used to it and adjusted by taking my time when getting up, leaning against walls or just squatting down when I feel a wave of dizziness approach (usually I start to see funny spots or feel weird, so I learnt to pay attention to these warning signs). I only blacked out enough to fall to the floor twice in all the years since then, and both times it happened when I got out of bed and decided to walk around without sitting up for a while or moving my arms/legs a bit first to jump-start my circulation. Fresh air is helpful as well, as a lack of oxygen is almost always a guarantee for trouble (the guided tours through all the libraries where pretty difficult when I started university – I just can’t stand still in one spot for ten minutes, surrounded by a flock of people and without fresh air, so I got some weird looks for sitting down between all the human legs next to a book shelf). Yes, I manage, and I don’t have to think about it a lot as most strategies have become second nature.

But lately I have to fight massive dizziness when doing sports. I have no clue about the main reason – it might  be stress related, caused by a protracted cold, lack of iron and vitamin D, maybe it’s  just the usual low blood pressure and sugar, or a general lack of fitness. I feel fine walking around or running to catch the train, but as soon as I start to warm up thoroughly for capoeira and move around with knees bent, my head not always on top of the body, and sometimes even spinning around, well, I have to sit down every few minutes to keep the world from spinning or going dark around me. I have been on and off the weekly training for two years now just for fun and never had this much trouble until a few months ago.  Sure, every now and then I had to take some minutes off, but nowhere near the amount of dizzy breaks I need now.

Yesterday I went to another group for additional training (I’m trying to go twice a week now to get in shape) and had way too much trouble keeping myself from blacking out several times to get away with it staying unnoticed. Needless to say, new people mean concerned faces when I sit down against a wall or let myself just fall to the floor after trying to do some cartwheels. The group I go to on Fridays is used to it by now and only the odd new person will get scared and jump to offer me dextrose. Well, the Wednesday trainer now was a bit insecure and kept going on about whether I knew when to sign for help or whatever and didn’t really get that I neither want nor need help with that other than being left alone for a minute. Luckily one of the more advanced guys from Friday training was there as well and told the trainer I was able to assess my situation very well, thank you very much. Phew, thanks for that, buddy, I owe you one. Later when doing partner exercises this same guy simply offered me to call for a break whenever I needed one, but apart from that he didn’t show any hesitation when it came to correcting my mistakes or delivering his kicks so low I really had to crouch. I really appreciate his attitude, because I started capoeira among other reasons to gain a bit of discipline and overcome my weaknesses. And guess what? I didn’t need a break from this exercise. Yay. Dizziness, you won’t keep me from enjoying a decent game.

I’ll talk more about capoeira tomorrow.


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