I’m on the train now.
First of all, sleep was poor. Really poor.
Maybe because I knew I was travelling today. Maybe because I knew I was writing today. Maybe because I drank too much water before bed. Maybe because our cat decided four this morning was a great time to give my partner a FULL BATH with her #VeryScratchyCatTongue
I also thought I’d have more food in my belly before I got to this point in the travel but the kids really wanted to cuddle this morning and I wanted to make sure the partner got a shower so I missed more of a breakfast at home then a couple slices of pear and two cups of tea. And then I magically arrived at the train station with just enough time to dive onto the train.
I could eat a lollipop I keep in my backpack for sugar crash emergencies… this, too, is procrastination.
Let’s get to the point, eh?
First, yes, I realize I’m breaking a lot of The Rules.
By posting on Saturday. By using stream of consciousness without edits. By publishing a series of posts all on one day rather than doling them out tantalizing day by day or week by week. But I’m hoping that by getting all this out of my system, I’ll be able to write regularly again. To post regularly again.
Someone wise once said there’s a difference between transparent and naked – aim for open, but avoid complete exposure.
My brain immediately thought, “…but if you’re wearing transparent clothes, isn’t that indecent?”
I kept my mouth shut.
I never figured out the difference between figurative transparency and nudity – I often felt that I erred on the side of too open. Yes, that’s a thing. And since I’ve been quiet for so long, I’m still procrastinating. By writing about these fears instead of the secrets. Instead of the things I’ve been hiding.
First of all, I’m not pregnant. We’re not moving (anytime soon). The kids are fine (except for the daycare crud). And P and I are fine. Let’s get those clarified now. This is all personal, mostly, and I’m going to try to start with the “little” secrets first. The ones without much back story.
Although, really, it all seems to be intertwined.
I threw out my back after the trip to Shanghai. Just below the middle of the left side. I was picking up Boy Twin when my back strained. I could stand up and walk and such, but lifting Littles was impossible. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the WHY of it – perhaps it was the twelve hour flight home. Perhaps stress. Perhaps age. Perhaps luck. But it doesn’t really matter, except that it happened.
On Tuesdays I work out with my Groningen personal trainer. I messaged her as soon as I landed cause I was super stoked to return to the gym, “Hi hi hi hi! So I’m back and my gym bag is already packed for tomorrow! But. My back is acting really weak. Like I took a twelve hour plane ride, eh? So I don’t know what tomorrow will look like? But I’m excited to see! How’re you?”
Then I threw out my back.
I didn’t fully convey how much pain I was in but when Ifat saw me sitting on the floor of the gym, eyes mostly shut from the pain, she knew.
It was bad.
“Have you made an appointment with a physical therapist?”
“Not yet. I wanted to see how I felt after this.”
What follows is nothing short of a miracle.
She put me on the treadmill for a bit. Then the elliptical. We sat on the bike for two seconds so she could see what angle of my legs my back could handle.
Normally when I work out with Ifat, we do TRX work – when you’re injured, suspension work is not necessarily ideal so we worked with machines – the chest press was one of the first.
I sat down, completely skeptical and, sure enough, when I STARTED to lift, my back STARTED to scream. Ifat says, “Wait. I think it’s your legs.” And while I looked on skeptically, she grabbed one of those platforms to change the angle of my legs in relation to my torso.
AND IT WORKED.
I was absolutely SHOCKED and AWED that I did a full set of chest presses without ANY pain. And another. And then another.
Because of my legs.
Ifat just nodded. Cause she KNEW.
I wanted to write about her immediately. The miracle worker at Basic Fit. The guardian angel of obliques. The musculature magician.
But, wait. How awesome would this story be if written with a happy ending?
Except it hasn’t happened.
The pain was mostly gone when I engaged my abdominal muscles and hurt my back again. In another spot. On the other side and further up. And instead of letting that send me into yet another depressive episode, I turned to the gym. Started doing cardio EVERY SINGLE DAY with the support of Ifat and Netflix.
Then I was almost ready to post – woohoo all better – when I woke up with another back spasm further up and back on the left side.
What’s next? The right side of my neck? My left eye? Then my head pops like a volcano?
I limped to the gym – cardio will fix it!
And it did.
Ifat met me after to check up on me; we were good to go for that afternoon.
And it was awesome.
Whatever’s going on with my back, it loves walking. And why was this a secret? Well. It wasn’t really, but it’s a great first story to get OUT. And there was a side of me that didn’t like that it took so freaking long to recover. That I have to admit I’m getting older. That my back can’t handle a twelve hour flight anymore. That I HAVE TO do cardio and stretch and take care of my body. It’s no longer an optional thing I do cause I want to look like those impossible skinny standards in the fashion magazines.
I have to.
Or I won’t be able to do my job. Or pick up my kids. Or get out of bed.
And damn if that isn’t humbling.
But it’s also a good thing.
Because if you’re going to have shitty things happen, it helps to have an amazing support network like a personal trainer who can FIX you. And friends who listen. And a place to share.
And a path forward.