I promised to detail what I do & how I’ve achieved my progress. So, here we go. Feel free to TL;DR if the history is boring…..
OK, so I won’t go too far back. Er, about 2 years ago I was told I had a crushed L4 & a crumbling L5 disc in my spine – they’re the two bones right above your sacrum. It was also causing nerve issues at my SI joint, I was asked if I wanted surgery (I said yes) to be told, No. Surgery might not be the best option, lets try Cortisone injections. Fast forward to February 2014 & I got my injection.
MRI of my spine. Blue line shows where the damage is.
Prior to this I’d had SPD during pregnancy, two lots of physio as well as Diclofenic, Ibruprofen, Naproxen, Codeine, Tramadol, Gabapentin & Amitriptyline. Mmmmm!! That was over the course of around 5 – 8 years.
Everything was fine, until July. I went to move from a seated position at work to standing & I have no idea how I did it, but I caused myself a pretty intense injury; which resulted in me being immobile for the better part of a week. I was miserable, I relied heavily on my Husband to do everything & I promised to do something about it. I’d gotten nowhere with Physio, so decided I needed a trainer, someone who was versed in strength as opposed to micro movements that may, or may not help. I already had a gym membership (OK, it was *quite* dusty from non-use, but it was there)
TL;DR: Back hurt a lot, needed to do something.
Going back to the gym. Happy Face.
So, I went back to the gym. Met Andy, a Trainer at the gym. I told him what had happened, gave him a brief history about my back & that I wanted to improve my core.
If I’m completely honest, I’m not really able to detail how we’ve done it (I say we, because without Andy, I wouldn’t have progressed to this level) most sessions I’ve had with him have varied AND we’ve moved to a new gym (He got a new job, my membership was up so I went with him) what I can tell you is we’ve gone from resistance machines to more free weights.
Left – August. Right – September.
Spending time with Andy helped me to learn that my left hand side was weaker than the right – we’re still in the process of attempting to get them to a similar, if not same level but I have progressed with it. Some things are now easier with my left than they are with my right.
A lot of our sessions have focused on different muscle groups. I’ll *never* forget our first leg day. Never known pain like it! I hated warm up & cool down as well though because cardio. Cardio can do one, I hate cardio. When I first met Andy, I smoked – around 10-15 a day, I knew there’d become a time when I knew I’d have to stop, as I’d lose out on a lot of the benefits of exercise due to my smoking. It took me 6 months to stop, but I did. Finally.
I now do my cardio outside of the gym, it maximises my time with Andy, but it also helps me boost my fitness. I cycle to the gym, I cycle to work – from home to work is 9KM, from home to the gym is 8KM. I hated that too, but I pine for my bike when I’m not on it. Even if I’ve smashed my face up, I *do* still miss it.
Left- August. Right – November
When I started, I mostly hated it. There was always something new, a stronger weight, a longer run time, circuits, spinning, squats, lunges, back extensions, kettlebells, assisted pull ups. EVERYTHING was hard. Everything has been a struggle. I’ve wondered if it was worth it, why I was doing it, how long it was gonna take to enjoy it/feel better/get stronger. Then I had a week off as I was healing from getting tattooed. I went back and had lost so much progress. I’d gone from 35KG on the pull-down to 20KG, 5 minutes on the Vario machine instead of 8-10. I was angry. Angry at myself, I’d come so far & lost so much really quickly. It did make me see how far I’d come though, which spurred me on to get back to where I was.
I still hate parts, but I do them as I know there is a method in the madness. One of the best things though? There are things that I LOVE doing. I’m not overly bothered with PB’s but there are things that I’d happily do over, and over, and over again.