I lifted a barbell today.
Why is that worth noting? I was a cross-fitter for 6 years and a roller derby girl for three of those years as well. Last June, I had to give up both activities because I could not sit down. My divorce was finalized and I think my body said, “enough is enough.” Physically, I could only walk; no running, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc., which was very different from past summers where I spent as much time outside and/or on the water and using my bike for transportation. On top of that, I was in pain, so reading a book or watching TV was impossible as well because I couldn’t sit down!!! With my new job, the commute was thirty minutes each way. Several times, I almost got out of the car on the highway to stand up and to stop the pain. My life was consumed by this injury.
Now, I have no idea how I injured myself, but with the stress of divorce, moving and changing jobs, on top of extreme weight lifting in cross fit and severe falls in roller derby… (I think the truth lies within). But, walking saved me. I was able to walk, so I did. I walked and walked (very slow at first) and listened to podcasts and music. At the end of last summer, it was finally determined that I had a moderate herniated disc, L5/S1, for my fellow back injury conspirators. After months of x-rays and MRIs and thousands of dollars, I tried a variety of therapies as I stopped all activities, but, eventually, it was simply time and self-love that helped me recover.
I had to wear a back brace for a while, which allowed my midlife waistband to expand (nothing like being newly single and watching parts of your body grow in ways that are foreign to you…but I digress…). I am finally able to move in ways that I find fulfilling. This summer, one year later, I was able to bike, paddleboard, kayak and eventually run. I tried rowing in June but that hurt so I stopped (continuing the self-love!) With patience and perseverance, I finally joined a gym this week. During my first workout, though I modified most of it (because...self-love!!!) I was able to lift a barbell…over my head…four rounds of eight. I am sore today, but stretching and listening to my body. But I did it…fourteen months later…I am so proud of myself.
“Try this. Begin this week not thinking about all the things you have to get done, but about all the things you want to feel, the moments you want to experience and the truths you want to learn. From now, treat yourself like you are not a doing machine, that your well-being and peace is most important, because it is.” ~S.C. Lourie