This year has been challenging for me in several ways: huge career changes, personal relationship rollercoaster and a massive stall in my fitness progression.
Although navigating the first two has been challenging, it’s the fitness component of my life that normally helps me manage and be successful in all areas of my life – and I’ve been pretty silent about it as of late. Back at the beginning of February I took these photos showing the progression I was making over the past few months while working with a trainer and nailing my eating plan:
Just days after I took those shots, I injured my back quite badly. I went from working out daily and feeling incredibly strong.. to constant excruciating lower back pain.
After visits to several doctors and medical professionals, I had X-Rays and an MRI done to find out exactly what was going on. The MRI scan showed I had damaged both disks between L4 & L5 to the point that disk material was protruding.
If you don’t know much about this type of injury, there is no ‘healing’ from it per se. The disk material is rubbing up against the nerves running up and down my spine, causing shooting pain down my leg and lower back. The pain comes and goes in waves. Sometimes, if I move enough in the morning and throughout the day and don’t stack my spine the pain is bearable.. If I don’t move much and I’m under a lot of stress, it’s beyond manageable.
This part of your body isn’t able to regenerate, thus leaving you with either rehab or surgery. Surgery isn’t an option for me because the injury is not that bad and frankly I’m too young to have my entire back compromised by opening it up to make repairs to the disks.
Up until now, I’ve been taking it easy by waking or doing light cardio and a lot of upper back, shoulders and arms – nothing heavy loaded unless I’m seated and there’s no pressure on my lower back.
As a trainer at Element Athletic, I’m fortunate to be able to still instruct and lead sessions (thank god, otherwise this injury would be even more difficult for me to manage). Being in the gym and watching other people progress gives me joy and boosts my mood. I’m so proud of the progress the members are making and grateful to bare witness to it everyday.
With this new change, I need my fitness levels back up now, more than ever. So as I struggled to determine how I was possibly going to afford to do rehab, Element Athletic’s newest trainer, Steve Ballard: the Booty Engineer, came to me offering to help repair me through training instead of physio. It couldn’t have been at a better time – talk about manifesting!
Steve is a certified power lifting coach who, before I was injured, was really looking forward to working with. Now, months later (and me still being injured), Steve has offered to take me on.
Thus far, we’ve had two sessions and I haven’t been this pain-free in months. I’ll explain more about what we’re doing along the way, but essentially we are working on re-training my movement patterns in order to re-teach my body to fire with my abs, core and glutes before my back.
More to come!