Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Last Entry Was Exactly One Year and One Day Ago

What have you missed? Well... a lot. 

Early 2013, I hurt both knees trying to carry some buckets that were way too heavy for me. Walking was uncomfortable. Going down steps was unbearable. A specialist diagnosed me with chondromalacia patellae. Basically, it's the wearing of the cartilage under my knee caps. I was out of commission for a while. 

I Googled some images to post on here for a visual, but they are kind of gross. Let's just say that this wasn't the best news of the year. 

But that was just a minor setback in the world of trying to figure out how to stay (or get back) in shape without breaking. 

Thus, I came to the realization that the world doesn't need a millionth blogger blogging about her workouts and shakes. What makes me different from the next P90X enthusiast who is jazzed up about accepting Tony Horton in your life? Nothing, really.

Except, now I have something to share. But first, a brief history.

At my athletic peak, I looked like this:

I had overcome asthma and learned how to manage my food allergies to avoid breathing problems. This allowed me to develop into an avid runner. Plus, I worked out. A LOT. I ate well. I drank not so well. Overall, I'd never felt better.  

Then, that summer of 2011, I went skydiving. It was a liberating experience. You should try it. And while I can't say with certainty that skydiving broke my back, it just so happens that within weeks, I started experiencing discomfort in my leg when I would go running. I wasn't as flexible when I did yoga. The discomfort turned into pain so bad that I literally could not sit down. The excruciating pain forced me to see a sports medicine doctor. After medication did not help, she ordered an MRI. The MRI showed two large disc herniations at L5/S1. I needed surgery.

The shock of going from being the healthiest I'd ever been to needing back surgery was... well, shocking. 

They sliced me, diced me and patched me up. 
(No, this is not a paid endorsement)

Amazingly, I went in for surgery in the morning and walked out (slowly) in the afternoon. I recovered well, but it still took time for my incision to heal and for my nerve pain to subside. I was on disability from work for about a month. It was a long, soporific month. 

Since then, I haven't jumped out of a plane again. Nor have I gone snowboarding like I really wanted to. Nor have I tried my hand at surfing. I am very aware that I run the risk of re-herniating my discs if I am not cautious. 

During the first year of recovery, I allowed my fear of re-injury to render me lazy. I felt sorry for myself because I could no longer palm the floor, do push ups or even a single pull up like I was able to before. I felt like I would never reach that level ever again. Then, I snapped out of it. After some soul searching, I discovered that obstacles don't keep you from reaching a goal - they simply allow you to take a different path towards that goal. 

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got.
Invisible Gym will chronicle my path to reach those proverbial heights we all dream of. Hopefully you'll start your own journey today and not one year and one day from now.