It feels like I have been on this road for longer than I actually have and I don’t know when it will end. That is the most frustrating part of it all.
I can tell you that rest has not been a part of this journey. I guess I should be able to say that I have “rested” from running, but that isn’t completely accurate. Every couple of days I make an attempt to run. It usually ends in failure. Yesterday was one of those days, but I was able to do more than I expected. I walked mostly, but jogged some. I managed to go for 6 miles using that walk/run method that I so much despised before all of this happened. Now it is a blessing. I feel a sense of success when I am moving through the “run” (okay, let’s call it a jog) phase of the method. A car passes by and I know they are thinking “look at that runner, I wish I was running right now.” The pleasant feeling only lasts about a tenth of a mile before I back off and start walking again. I know that when I feel any pain that I must stop. If I feel pain in my leg then that means my disc is pushing against my nerve. That means that I am not helping the heeling process. I am probably part of the reason why this road seems to continue on forever.
When I don’t feel pain I am unstoppable. I will squat, lunge, chest press, curl, etc. If my physical therapist tells me not to use a bar on my back for squats, then I use the same amount of weight in dumbbells along my side. If my physical therapist demonstrates strengthening exercises, then I do those exercises every day. Of course, when they give me more, I add it to my routine. When I am told to use the ARC machine at the gym (something similar to a cross between an elliptical and a stair climber) I make sure I am sweating bullets by the time I get off. If I am not told to do something, then I do it. Maybe they don’t realize that they need to give me a list of every activity, movement and exercise I shouldn’t be doing…
So, is this helping or hurting? Not sure. Some days I feel so great that I think I could run 3 miles without walking. Funny enough, these are usually the days after I have exercised in the morning. Other days I feel like I am hurting just when I walk around the house. And yes, these days usually happen after a period of minimal activity. I don’t know what it means, but I am thinking that it is better to exercise than to sit around and wait. Not only can I not bear the thought of sitting around, but I would undoubtedly fall into a state of depression that can only be cured through exercise (I know this to be a fact).
And they appear to think that part of my problem is a lack of strength in my core and glutes (it seems ironic that a fitness enthusiast would be told that she doesn’t exercise enough). So, I have been burning my butt muscles on a daily basis. And wouldn’t you know it, I can actually feel a tightening in my tummy. I nearly have total confidence when wearing a 2-piece bathing suit (just the damn stretch marks I can’t get rid of). Is it helping my back? Not sure, but at least I am getting more fit trying!
Okay body. So if I can’t run, then I won’t run. I have pretty much excepted that. I won’t give up, but I will keep myself entertained in other ways. The day will come when this road will end and a new one will begin.