Its coming up to 6 months since I didn’t brace properly during a set of heavy deadlifts – let my spine twist and then BOOM my L4/L5 and L5/S1 discs popped out to say hi
You may remember this blog I wrote shortly after it.
So how do I feel now?
The pain that I have varies on a scale of 1-10. Most days it is just a dull ache which I would qualify it to be somewhere between 1-4. There are some days where it affects my functioning, and the movements that I can perform successfully in and out of the gym. These are the days that I may need to change my training around, or take an unplanned rest day because it decided to tell me that I needed a break. I would qualify these days between 5-7 on the scale. The 7+ are the days where I have had a misstep somewhere in training, sneezed too hard, bent down to rub my dog too quickly – really anything that causes my back to spasm and tighten up. This is when I have to take time off to protect my back, and not further injure myself – these days are becoming few and far between thankfully.
What am I doing to rehab and strengthen?
I do core strengthening and activating exercises in my warm-ups to make sure that I go into training as strong and ready as possible. I stretch and recover in my cool-downs to allow my body to properly relax before ending training and I am programmed daily by two Coaches – all dependant on how I’m feeling that day. I remain with my CrossFit Coach (and awesome boyfriend) Colm and we do our best to have me join class and perform the workouts as prescribed. Colm talks to me daily about how my back is feeling and modifies the workouts where needed. I then have an additional weekly Core Strengthening Programme which is designed for me by Lindy Barber and compliments my CrossFit programming. Lindy is a Games winning athlete as part of Team CrossFit Mayhem and herself came back from a devastating back injury – she not only has the exact focus on Core I need but she gives me some EPIC motivational chats when I need them 🙂
My last visit to the Dr & Physio 2 weeks ago estimated I have another 7 months of recovery left and that everything is moving in the right direction. I’ll prob always need to ‘mind’ my back now but for 90-95% recovery Ive about another 7 months – not too bad considering how fast the last 5-6 months has gone – sure Im halfway there 🙂
So now, now what????
This is the important bit really! Its super easy to feel shitty when you cant perform workouts the way you used too, lift the same weights, push as hard as you did. Its lonely and isolating having to be in the corner of the room doing your rehab work while a class is on. Its embarassing having to say ‘I cant do this, it hurts, or stopping during a metcon’ and its even worse feeling like a total burden to your team-mates when a competition comes up – will I let her down, what if my back goes, Im going to have to ask her to do all the pistols etc etc etc…
If you read no other part of this blog I think the next few points are the most important – because injury or no injury – the tools Ive gained recently to help keep me motivated and happy will be things I use forever more:
Keep positive, energetic, confident, happy people around you at all times.
Ive been drawn even closer to my friends that embody all of these traits. These people dont even mention my injury or restrictions it may place on me at any given time – instead they work around it and they make me feel AMAZING for all the things I can do! They call,txt and jump up and down for all of my achievements and I know they genuinely want me to succeed.
Support and cheer on your friends/teammates
Being able to watch and Coach people I genuinely care about and see them exceed all of their own expectations and even more is one of the most fulfilling things EVER. Watching my teammates PR lifts, get new skills is as amazing as hitting those PRs and new skills myself.
Focus on your wins.
As all my programming is now focused on Core Strength and excellent movement patterns Im getting little wins ALL over the place! Appreciating them and really soaking them up is so important. For example I can now do a single arm overhead squat in flats with no midline twist – I was NEVER able to do that due to my weak core and poor thoracic mobility. GAINS!
Remember you do CrossFit/Weightlifting/Sports but they do NOT define you.
I love training in CrossFit and Weightlifting and love putting that training to the test in competition but ensuring that I do not let them define me and how I feel about Myself means that if I fail sometimes I do not consider myself a failure rather I understand its ‘just CrossFit’. This is really so very important.
Thanks for listening!