In my last post, I chronicled the back injury I endured last fall. I’ve slowly recovered from this injury, but it wasn’t without a lot of frustration, tears, work to get stronger and a complete fear of re-injury. I cautiously started back to boxing in January, a few rounds at a time while doing the elliptical for the rest of the class, and the fear I experienced after a few classes back was intense. I became terrified that I would get hurt again and then between that and snow and cold, I wouldn’t get to class. The alarm would go off for that 5 a.m. class and I turned over and went back to sleep a lot. Finally, by the third full week of February when I was off from work, I got back into the swing of things, first with daytime classes, and then slowly getting my butt up to get to my 5 a.m. classes. At one point I just decided to jump into a whole class instead of just doing a few rounds at a time.
Here we are in April and I can pretty consistently make it in to class three times per week, but the goal is to get back there four times a week. I did four classes one week a few weeks ago and my back was sore, but I did four classes last week and I was fine. Slowly getting stronger.
I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be ok, but I’m very aware that I’m still recovering from an injury. I don’t do a lot of jumping, although I can muster a few jumping jacks now. I don’t do burpees or anything like that during active rests. I’m not sure when or if I’ll be able to run again. But that’s all ok. This injury messed with my head. I gained some weight back. I didn’t really have a chance to relax to recover, much to my physical therapist’s frustration. I had just started a new role within my company late last summer, so I didn’t take any days off from work when I was in a lot of pain last fall. I felt like I couldn’t, so I tried to just take it easy on weekends. But that was a little dumb. I had the sick time, but this was more about the psychological feeling of it wasn’t appropriate to take the time off.
That week off in February, the one I took off because I’d hoped we were going to go away (but that didn’t happen), turned out to be the best week off for me because I was feeling pretty good and I had a chance to reset—my brain, my body, heck even my house with some cleaning and Konmari-style purging. It was just what I needed. Of course, there was a family situation a few weeks later that threw me off a bit, but that week off to reset helped even that, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to deal with it all.
This back injury was a setback for me and I wish I were where I was a year ago physically, but I’ll get there once again. I hope I can run again because I like running races with the boys, but I’ll manage if I can’t. I’ve learned to appreciate what I can do and slow down when I need to. I have no desire to do something stupid that’s going to put me in that pain again.
Over the last six months or so, I’ve really learned how important exercise is for me. Sure, it’s nice that it helps me keep weight off—oh and by the way, I’ve dropped 14 pounds since February 24—but it helps with stress, focus and my ability to deal with the everyday frustrations of life. I tell people all the time that being able to hit a heavy bag is good for me.
Have you ever dealt with an injury that kept you from doing the exercise you love?