And it’s somewhere in between Uncertainland and Hopeville.
Most of it is of my own doing, too. Having burnt out with EVERYTHING last July, I just walked away from most of my obligations, organized fitness, and social life. It’s been EXACTLY what I needed to do, but my back has been iffy from time to time as a result.
Fortunately, I’ve always sort of maintained my core to the bare minimum, and have had a lot of improvement with my back. It’s better, FAR better, now than it was last July when burn-out hit me.
I’m back, baby, and my back’s considering coming back too. I began last week with the simple goal of being active daily — not much, just enough. I’d started inconsistently the week before, but last week did honour my commitment to doing something physical on each day — even if only for 15 or 20 minutes. By the week’s end, I seized the day and had an 80 minute cycling adventure.
The last three days have been filled with uncertain moments for my back, though. Twinges and tightness, pricks and pains. I’ve been so looking forward to chiro. I’ve also been torn — do I rest this, or do I work it out? Resting wasn’t really working out for me, so I decided to pick up the weights.
Over the course of morning and evening, I probably did about 60-70 minutes with 10 lb dumbbells and kettlebells, and plyometrics. All I know is, I hurt when I went to bed — just whole-body fatigue and aching abs, burning thighs from squats and lunges.
This morning? Fantastic. A few downward-facing dogs and planks, I’m heading out shortly with a bike and a lighter workday ahead of me.
In this age of caution, padded playgrounds, and bubble-type children, most folks are probably more inclined to lick their wounds when pains and symptoms arrive, but that’s often just going to allow the status quo keep the power. Sometimes, throwing a new element into it, fighting it with everything you got, is exactly what you NEED to do when you think you ain’t got nothing left to give.
Case in point? When I began my holiday in Kelowna this summer, my back was all fucked up from riding with an improper bike set-up and a shit-ass 6-hour Greyhound bus trip before it. I wanted to do an 8-10k ride, thinking the wind was quiet and I’d be better if I “loosened up” a little.
Well, it was 34 degrees (95F), then the wind rose to 60k an hour, I was on a mountain, and my trip was misjudged thanks to bad scale on a “tourist” map — it was 18km with the last half being uphill. So, I cycled the final 9km up that mountain, into the 60km/hr winds, in that heat, with what I thought was a fucked-up back. I took turns walking for a couple blocks, cycling a few minutes, et cetera. It took me two hours.
Later that night, my back felt better than it had in months.
The moral of my story is pretty simple.
Believe in your adversities and your challenges, push them for all you can. You’ll often be surprised at the result, and whatever does happen, you’re almost guaranteed to be stronger for it.
Life’s too short to ride the disabled list by choice, man. Get in the game.
[DISCLAIMER: But don’t be a fucking idiot, right? Monitor yourself. Pay attention to your body. Don’t do anything that feels like something’s off. And don’t even think of holding me accountable for anything stupid you might do to yourself as a result of this posting. I mean, seriously, I’m not a professional, I’m a chick on the web with good ideas about living life, but I sure as hell am NOT diagnosing YOU for anything over the web. Your brain’s the best weapon you have; use it.]