Guest post shared with permission by Allysa Seely. Post originally published in the EDS Athletes Facebook Group and also on EDS Wellness

“Hi All. I am Allysa (Allysa Seely). I have not had the opportunity to post much here, but have had so much wonderful support and know the admins have posted about me as well. I wanted to share a little bit of wisdom I have come by for those of you who think you can’t, or look at others success posts and think well they aren’t as bad off, or any other frame of negative thinking. For those of you that don’t know I am a competitive triathlete. This past year I had the honor of competing in the Paralympic Games (i have other qualifying disabilities and please lets not make this post about why and if/or if not EDS should qualify that is not what this is about) I have had many successes and many failures on and off the race course. I have been training for triathlon over the past 8 years and as time went on my EDS symptoms slowly decreased. I was seeing less subluxations and my dislocations were almost non existent this past year. Sometimes I forget how I got there. I did not wake up one day and become a strong and competitive athlete it took years of hard and focused work. Focusing on strength training to support my joints, building my cardio, and my muscle strength. This past September after 8 years of full time training and only taking breaks for EDS unrelated medical reasons I decided to take a bit of time off. The one thing that amazed me was how quickly my pain came back, how quickly my joints started subluxing again, and I have had a few dislocations for the first time this calendar year. EDS reared its head and made me remember where I came from and I hope will help me connect with everyone who thinks they can’t. I have slowly started building back into working out. Most days it is frustrating I literally went from a professional athlete to feeling like I have never worked out before. I have had to slowly rebuild. On my runs I am doing run/walk repeats. My cycling time is cut down significantly and my swim took weeks to come back. But it is all coming back. With just being active again for a month my pain is starting to decrease, my joints are feeling more stable and I am feeling stronger. On top of all of that my outlook is better than when I stopped. So why am I telling you all this. I am telling you this because I have heard multiple times from others with EDS: “well you are lucky you aren’t as bad as me”, “my symptoms are worse than yours”, “you don’t understand it is disabling”. Please, please, please do not look at another success and feel you are worse off. Look at others success as hope that you can get there too. I am not here to tell you it will be easy because that is a lie, but it is worth it. It is sooo worth it! And please remember your attitude will help determine you outcome. If you are struggling with changing your mindset a great book is called mindset by Carol Dweck.

You can read more about Allysa on her Facebook Page, and also in the articles below.

Allysa Seely Races today! Rio 2016 Paralympics Women’s Triathlon Competition

She did it!! She did it! Allysa Seely won gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the Women’s Triathlon Race

‘ALLYSA SEELY: ON THE ROAD TO RIO – STORY OF A PARATRIATHLETE WITH EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME (EDS).’