sophie didn't do anything at all.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

| fitness | my injuries

Before I start over-complicating the matter, I thought I'd tell you a bit about my exercise history, and why I am so keen to embrace it wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, so that when I start discussing the likes of Insanity - you will catch  my drift. 

I'm an 'ex-rower'. During my rowing 'career' (if it can be called that) at age 14 I managed to severely injure my left knee and hip resulting in a debilitating secondary injury in my lower back. To top it off I developed numerous problems with my wrists and elbows. I wasn't really the ideal able-bodied individual. 

The chronic pain in my back lead to numerous physiotherapy appointments which were just draining.  Improvements were slow and it just added to my discomfort. They were quite low times, two years passed and I was still suffering. No one knew what had caused that first injury (I had only slightly twisted my leg, it shouldn't have been so severe), nor did they know how to fix me. My rowing coach was supportive and introduced me to the idea that where I couldn't row, I could coach.- blah blah gap year as a rowing coach, and spend a lot of time slowly building up my fitness, focusing solely on balance and good posture. I also went completely off painkillers and ibuprofen (that's what happens when you take them solidly for around 3 years) but definitely prefer them to the electric shocks my physio used to offer as the alternative - ouch. Sixth form was slow recovery-wise. My main dilemma was revision and exams. To sit still for more than about half an hour could cause me excruciating pain - which I just had to be put up with until it went away, not cool.

Not only was I in constant pain from my back, I had my knee to deal with. I'm still really nervous that I'll injure it again for fear of having to go through all this again. I 'nicked' my cruciate ligament, and an x-ray revealed a piece of something solid inside my knee. This can sometimes turn sideways and put pressure on everything in there (it still happens occasionally and makes me cry).

Looking back - it's quite clear to see how much that pain affected the quality of my life. It was just horrible; I can't imagine what that's like for people who can't recover.

My osteo finally came to the conclusion the inflammation in my lower back was self aggravating - and that my ligaments and tendons weren't responding as they should (too elastic?!). I don't really understand it, but it was swollen and if one bit 'got better' it would be caused to flare up again - by my body over using these seemingly 'healed' muscles to take the pressure off the others which had yet to improve. Cyclic. The only way to totally get better would be patient care and attention to allow the whole lot to fix itself. So. I started swimming. Doing all the strength exercises under the sun. Wearing a proper rucksack to school. I got expensive insoles (posture), had to sit up straight all the time, and wasn't allowed to use comfy furniture (that's no sofas or cushions for me!). I was also back on painkillers which isn't good for anyone.

Over the course of the total 7 years (yes you heard correctly) I can't believe the differences I've seen. To not have constant pain in my back and hip is something I appreciate every day, and honestly I don't know how I dealt with it back then. To be able to run and jump on my left knee is also something I shan't be taking for granted - there was a time I couldn't run, hop, jump or even stand on just my left leg, and it caused me a lot of distress. Words don't describe how excited I am to now actually do exercise without having to stop or adapt exercises. Muscle strength takes time, but I never realised until now just how much it would take.

I am ready to push myself and see what I can achieve. You'll be hearing about Insanity soon enough ;)!
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