You know what sucks? Pain.
You know what sucks more? Learning that to be in less pain, I must cut back on exercising (hence become fat and unfit).
I don’t really like my choices here. For my entire life, I’ve cared about my fitness and my appearance. Now that I’m reaching mid-forties, I’m being told to cut back on exercising. Cut back? I need more! Are you kidding me? Have you seen my legs?
I’ve been losing muscle tone and gaining fat for years now since I hurt my ankle playing over forty women’s soccer. (I should have known….hanging head in shame) It was the beginning of a cascade of events that have led me to today.
First I rolled it running full speed playing soccer. Little did I know that I have a leg length discrepancy. My right leg is longer, so I keep hurting it over and over again (to date I’ve had five knee surgeries and two ankle surgeries on my right leg). A ligament partially tore, so I wore a boot and limped around until it healed. Then in the spring of 2009, I decided to show Sierra (who was then trying out for varsity dance as a junior) that I could still do high kicks. I did one, two, then three, then oh no I heard a snap and there I was lying on the floor crying, screaming and writhing in pain. It turned out I tore the ATFL all the way off the bone and a few tendons in the back (peroneus, brevis, and longus).
Fast forward three years to today. I had the surgeries, I did the PT, and I’m still in pain. Every day. And since my ankle isn’t right, my knee isn’t right, and since my knee isn’t right, my lower back isn’t right….and so it goes. I had already been suffering from chronic pain in my neck and mid back from previous over-wear and tear. Now that my lower back decided to join in, I’m just one ball of pain from neck to toe literally.
PT helps. Yoga helps. Diet and hydration help. Rest helps. Working out doesn’t help. It flares me up every time. My physical therapists tell me to stick with the baby steps before I try the more advanced exercises. I’ve got to build up strength a little at a time. I tend to overdo it and set myself back.
Until my current flare-up settles down, I’m only allowed to swim and do five PT exercises which involve lying on the floor (neutral spine) and a physio ball and foam roller. It’s not like me, and I’m having trouble transitioning from my active lifestyle. I really don’t want to give up on fitness and stop exercising. But I really can’t function on a daily basis when I’m in pain. Pain is a pain!