After contemplating which of my experiences to write about first, I had an eye-opening experience today that I just had to share. I have always had a few extra pounds on me ever since I was a child. When I became a teenager I started running and doing aerobic exercise and was a great athlete in high school and beyond. I made fitness part of my career, got myself certified and successfully instructed aerobics and fitness classes for more than 27 years. This additional part-time job not only kept me fit and the pounds off, but it also put extra money into my bank account. This was something I really loved doing and knew I could never live without. But the many years of running and fitness caught up with me, and forced me to stop instructing about 5 years ago. From then on I spent my spare time jogging and enjoying the outdoors and my own personal fitness routines.
Then the menopause symptoms began followed by a hysterectomy. I had to take a 6 month break from fitness classes and running altogether. When I finally did begin again I ended up with one injury after another. It was a never-ending battle and extremely frustrating. As a result, I gained weight. Then one day I bent over to pick up a bucket and that’s when it happened. I pinched a nerve in my lower back. The pain became so extreme at times just while sitting that it was unbearable. I’ve spent the last 3 years going from one doctor to the next explaining all my symptoms. The pain in my neck, shoulders, lower back and spreading down the outside of my right leg. Needless to say, that due to all this pain and discomfort my fitness routines and running came to a halt! No more jogging etc. It just wasn’t possible anymore. I practically stopped sleeping because of the pain I felt at night. Lying in bed was even painful. Every doctor told me to go walking, do fitness – but honestly, when you’re really in pain, that’s the last thing you want to do. It just made mine worse.
In addition to my prescribed physical therapy, my doctor recommended I sign up for some injury rehabilitation fitness classes. I go twice a week, hoping that I’m doing something that will help the pain eventually go away, even if it means I won’t be able to move the following day. The problem is, it isn’t very motivating when 95% of the participants are over 65 and the instructor is a teenage bikini model. This doesn’t help build self confidence and I’m not so sure whether this really helps my back problem.-But I do come out of that class feeling as though I’ve gained 25 pounds and aged 25 years.