It has been nearly 6 weeks since I hurt my back. Like, HURT my back to where every move I made was difficult, uncomfortable, painful. I was taking painkillers and muscle relaxers to just function minimally to take care of my kids and house. I saw a chiropractor multiple times and got a referral to see a back doctor who told me there was no indication of any major issue; most likely a strain that would heal on its own within 4-8 wks.. This really pissed me off because I didn’t believe him. I felt he was brushing it off. I just KNEW it was something more. There was no way I could be experiencing that amount of pain and limited mobility and NOT have really done some damage.
Welp, it’s been 5 and 1/2 weeks and I’m at about 80%. Yesterday I met a friend at the park and when she asked me how my back was doing, I was almost taken aback to realize that I was actually doing OK. I was able to sprint after Max when he decided he wanted to play in the forest instead of the playground. I could lunge to knock the bottle cap out of his hand while it was on its way to his mouth. I could take him in and out of the stroller with no pain.
On the way home, I RAN. Yep, about 1/2 mile. Not earth shattering, but it felt incredible. My heart was pumping, I was breathing heavily and breaking a sweat. You guys, this is a biggie because it’s the first time in nearly 6 weeks that I have moved my body like that. I didn’t want to push it, but it felt ok, so I kept going. It just made me think how blessed someone is to have an able body. We sooooo take it for granted until we lose it. My favorite inspirational health quote (it is even on my business cards!) is: “One who has health has hope and one who has hope has everything.” How true is that?!
You just don’t realize until you’ve been knocked out by the flu or broken a bone or hurt yourself and been out of commission, how AWESOME it is to have your health back. Hurting myself like that was truly terrifying. I thought to myself, if I’m this fragile at 40, what the heck is my body going to be doing when I’m 50, 60, 70 years old? I really saw myself with a cane, a walker, a wheelchair. My perspective has changed dramatically as a result.
Our workouts should be about doing something great for our body that is going to enable us to run after our kids at the park, to unload groceries from the car, to play at a waterpark, to throw a frisbee on the beach. <<< THIS is quality of life. Exercise will keep us young, agile, able, and injury free so that we can CONTINUE to do these things as we age. The only images I have of my grandparents are elderly, sick, grandpa in a wheelchair with one leg amputated due to complications from diabetes, grandma smoking until her dying day. But, I also know 70 and 80 year olds who are vibrant and spry. THAT is who I want to be. My workouts are taking on a whole new meaning. It is no longer about ‘HOW MANY CALORIES DID I BURN?!?!?’ or “How many reps did I do?” It will be about moving and breathing and strengthening and stretching and nurturing my body for that 30 minutes. It will be about just DOING it, so that I can continue to do it daily.
I hope that you all have this perspective about your fitness journey. The weight loss and firm muscles will come as a result, but let’s shift our perspective to one of ‘lifelong health and vitality’, shall we?