L5 - S1 Disc Protrusion: Motivation to Get Back to The Gym
I decided to continue publishing the Recovery Journal on a monthly basis, because I want to give you the overview of the most successful recovery strategies, my strategies. Month 4 is about dull pain, focus, determination, fat loss and a lot of work!
This period is very special, because I strictly followed a new workout routine and achieved super lean six pack by the third week! Check out how is it possible!
When I look back to the day I got injured and every day following this one, I know I have gone a long and painful way. Back then I was thinking “Oh, God, it’s so hard, why does it have to hurt all day long, even when I’m in bed?!”.
There wasn’t a single day without something to remind me I had a serious problem – low back pain, hip pain, overall discomfort… And I had no desire for anything, because the quality of my life was lower than just-mowed grass.
In reality, I couldn’t see the bigger picture. I was getting better each day. My starting point was being stiff in the bed without any possibility to move. By the end of the first two months I have already achieved satisfactory range of motion and could perform my daily tasks. I could go shopping, I could spend some time on my feet while cooking and could... um... tolerate the discomfort at the office chair.
Motivation after acute injury was like climbing Everest all by myself, and in my life I, just to
be clear, haven’t climbed anything that has no stairs.
Maintaining your motivation depends on keeping your athletic identity, keeping an eye on your goals, and using mental imagery. (You can check how exactly I did the imagery here). Yes, but it’s easier said than done.
I needed someone to support me along the way, someone who can hold me accountable for my actions and who will not give up on me. I didn’t know how long it would take me to return my physical shape, to regain my confidence again and to achieve a sustainable routine.
I didn’t found only one person to help me. Luckily, there are three key supporters in my recovery and they help me even today.
First and most important, I have my wonderful boyfriend who is always next to me. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t accept only one rule or theory, but listens to various points of view and takes out the best of each one.
So, he was the one encouraging me to continue with exercising, but in a different way. Not only lifting weights can help you develop a gorgeous apple or an “afterburn” effect. I knew it, but I was so satisfied with my own formulq for success.
I didn't want to admit he was right. Heavy squats or deadlifts have their multiple benefits, but let’s be honest – if you’re not a professional athlete, I mean if you don’t compete in power or Olympic lifting, why don’t you just try something else for developing stamina and strength or fat loss. There are many other options you can try until you get fully recovered and improve your performance (mobility, range of motion, posture, etc.).
In the beginning, actually, I didn’t want to find new ways to move, because I was thinking they were boring, but they were only
challenging. I didn’t want to admit that I had to be patient and persistent or that me physical level back then was bellow beginner. The moment you forget about you ego and start working, things are getting better. And just after 4 weeks you'll see and feel the first results.
Without the support of my beloved one and my family I wouldn’t be able to keep going. They believe in me more than I believe in myself and motivate me to come out of this situation stronger, with greater performance and knowledge of the human body. I'll do my best not to let them down.
2. Great Physiotherapist
My second motivator is my amazing physiotherapist, who works mostly with professional athletes in sports like tennis, athletics, swimming, gymnastics and many other sports. Although his clients’ list includes mostly world champions, he uses all his knowledge and abilities to help me recover physically, but also to become better mentally.
Each and every therapy gets me out of my comfort zone. He tries to improve my body – mind relationship and to help me fight back my overall health, we’re not just working on the lower back. It was high time for me to have faced some real issues in my life that were holding me back in my personal and physical development. By attacking both the mind and the body in various ways, I dare say we’re going in the right direction.
Some of the therapies we did in month 4 were:
- Myofascial release and massage
- Moxibustion therapy
3. Workout Program
The final piece of the motivation puzzle is my workout program. I have built many workout routines, including my own, too. However, since the back injury all my programs seemed to me impossible to complete! I used to include only exercises that I was allowed to perform, no heavy lifting, namely body weight exercises, and some TRX or resistance bands circuits. Of course, these workouts were waaaay much easier and lighter than the sessions I was doing prior to the injury. At least, I was thinking so while I was writing them down.
Once I would use such workouts just for warming up, and now they were beyond my personal abilities! Every morning I woke up and gave my best to finish just one workout. Well, I couldn’t. Obviously, I demanded more from myself than I was able to give.
For this reason, I knew I had to turn to another personal trainer to objectively build a workout program for me. Equally important was not only to have one tailored made for me, but to follow it strictly. Because I loved to add some circuits, finishers or even more training days to the programs of the trainers I used to work with. I had the energy to do it and was really happy with my strength and endurance.
Not anymore. This time I had to leave myself in the hands of another professional and not to play the “I-never-get-tired” girl, as I was entirely exhausted… I'm happy I made such a decision and don't exacerbate my mental and physical condition.
Conversely to the opinion of all other people I didn't overstress about anything, I didn't depressed myself and I was slowly getting closer to my goal.
- Included 3 days of resistance training with very simple and basic exercises
- 2 days of not long, moderate cardio sessions
- Made me feel super energized
- Ripped my six pack on the 3rd week
My nutrition during the whole month:
- Just perfect!
- 5 meals per day
- Protein source at each meal
- Carbohydrates - 3 to 4 times a day! (let me write it again - three to four times a day!)
- Not even one cheat meal, nor a craving for such!
Contrary to the opinion of all other people around me, including doctors and other healthcare professionals, I didn't dive into overeating, nor depression, but achieved outstanding results!
As can be seen, we’re all subject to emotions, old beliefs and incorrect self-reflection. I don’t promise it will be easy for anyone to get back on track even if there is a support entourage. Just hold on tight for their words and convince all your inner voices that you’re super-human and you will return in the best shape of your life. EVER.
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Back Injury Recovery Journal: Month 5 is on its way!
The information in this article should be considered only as a motivational and informative tool. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice nor should the exercises and supplements be included in your recovery process, unless medical care specialist has allowed you to do so.