Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In Recovery! Return to Blogging!

So some of you may have been wondering where I went. I spent about a year being nearly unable to walk but still managed to get to the gym a little anyway. So this January I had back surgery. A microdiscectomy at level L5-S1, herniated by 14mm. I'm seven weeks post op about and at week six I was allowed back in the gym!

Most important thing, despite pain and agony and near death, I still did the Tough Mudder last year. Biggest priority of the year and only thing that was going to stop me was death itself :).

I'm back at the gym and swimming 3 days a week. I managed to maintain swimming last year till about October before I couldn't do that anymore either. My mile record pre-surgy was 39:00 in a saltwater pool. This Monday, 6w6d post op, I was only 40 seconds shy of my pre-surg PR!!! 39:40
Three days a week will be spent in the pool indefinitely. Two days swimming a mile, mid week water aerobics.

Other awesome news, I'm allowed to lift a total of 30 lbs, though I started with 20, two ten pound dumbbells for my first week and decided to stick with that for week two. Upping that at 10 lbs every two weeks though my doc said never with the bar across my shoulders at more than 50 lbs as a lifetime restriction. For this first 6 weeks, Super set 1: wide squats, narrow squats, and deadlifts. Super set 2: Bench press and chest fly's. Super set 3: Split squat, shoulder press, and overhead tricep extension (with just one dumb bell for that last one). All at 15 reps of two sets. Then of course the pull up/dip station with a 70 lb assist for now. Taking it easy you know ;). After that over to the stepper and doing boring boring step ups forward, backward, lateral. My right hip is much weaker than my right and it will take time to get that rebalanced strength. Those are also all 2 sets of 15 reps. 

Followed by the stationary bike for 30 min steady state or intervals depending on my mood. Then stretching for 10-15 min. I used to end with yoga but the scar tissue is currently too irritated to do that. So basic everything stretching. 

At week 10 I'll be allowed to run again starting at half a mile and upping no more than half a mile a week. Training will begin for my 10k this summer and my first half marathon this September followed by the Tough Mudder two weeks after that! 

In more personal news, I was in a great deal of pain nearly all of 2015. I left my very verbally and emotionally abusive ex in 2014. I made some bad choices and attempted to work things out with him very briefly this past year. Part of that was giving up. Depression caused by the pain made me have very little motivation or care much about what happened to me. He threatened to punch me and the police were called. He'd been physically violent with me before and I wasn't going to end up someone's punching bag. We were done. Truthfully we were done before we started. I knew he was not what I wanted and only tried because I felt like I was supposed to. The only thing I can be glad about with trying again with him is that I kept separation even during the trial, he moved back into my house but in a separate bedroom. It didn't take long even with that separation for him to attempt to control me again. I always want to believe people are better than they are and that they learn from their mistakes and wont hurt me again. Truth is people are who they show you they are. 

I've been doing everything as a single parent since my son was born basically and I met someone who I thought was ok with this shortly before my surgery. That person seemed to be everything I wanted and was looking for. A guy who takes care of his kids and cares about what happens to me. Someone who values fitness and clean eating. Who lives his life in a way that meshes well with mine. Someone I could picture growing with and decorating Christmas tree's with every year. This ended, but confirmed two things for me. I do very much know exactly what I want and I don't have to accept less. Ok, I learned something else too, my son is not a complication, he's the best part of me.

I am for the first time in years pain free! And fully happy. It's a good day to be alive :). 

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