What I do at the Gym Now that I’m a Gimp – Do you like the headline? I do, I’m a bit dramatic but that’s cool. LOL So what exactly am I occupying myself with, with all this time I have now that I’ve got some major restrictions going on at the gym? Do I just say f*ck it and don’t bother? Oh helllllll no. Going to the gym is my therapy, a place where I go to unwind and let it all out. In some ways, I guess you could say that the gym is my church. I used to hate sweating years ago but I’ve come to embrace it and now I love getting my sweat on. Like, love love love it!! There’s not too many better things in this world than that awesome euphoric feeling you have from your adrenaline rushing and you have all these feel-good, happy endorphins after a good workout.
Most people who know me would tell you I don’t half-ass anything, especially at the gym. I get a far better workout if I attend a class, otherwise if I do my own thing, I tend to have a little ADD and tend to wander; I just don’t think it’s an effective use of my time. So classes is where it’s at.
In the last six months, I have been doing: Mondays are GRIT Plyo (30 minutes) and half of an abs class (15 minutes), Tuesdays are GRIT Cardio (also 30 minutes) (God I hate this class so much but its soooo good for you), Wednesdays are more often than not Body Combat (60 minutes) or I’ll do a 45 minute Body Pump class, Thursdays are GRIT Strength (30 minutes) and Friday’s are typically Body Pump (60 minutes) or Combat and abs (both a 30 minute class each). Having said all this, guess what I’m doing presently? Not a hell of a lot. LOL. Am I frustrated? Oh hell yes. I need that release and daily intensity. It has become such a routine that if anything gets in my way of going to the gym, holy shit lookout. I’m a much more calm, balanced, even-keeled gal if I get a workout in, otherwise I get angry and pissed off at the world. And since I typically go to the gym on my lunch breaks at work (for many reasons: breaks up the day nicely and gets your workout out of the way, etc), I’m the kind of gal that I schedule meetings around my gym time. Do I have any shame? Hell no. I have co-workers that dick the dog all of the time and take long lunches, breaks and smoke breaks. Me? I go to the mother*ckin’ gym and get my release. I’m also the kind of gal that will turn down lunches with co-workers because to me, the gym is far more important that consuming empty, fatty calories where I end up coming back to my desk, sluggish and feeling like a sack of shit.
Anyways, back to the classes I do. I have been doing the GRIT series through the Goodlife gym chain since their release back in May of this year and I am loving them. They are super intense, they are an excellent use of your time and I really recommend them to anyone, at any level. Even going to these classes on the regular, it never gets easier. You are literally bent over in half trying to suck back wind at the end of the class and I love that feeling. It’s like a high afterwards and I run with that awesome glow and vibe. Sure, I swear and groan and moan the entire class but you know what? So does everyone else. The problem being, I think I’ve been going at it with these three GRIT classes a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle too hardcore and thus, I am injured.
If I’m being honest with myself, I felt twinges in my right leg back in August and I chalked it up to a muscle strain. I eased up a bit and I did more static exercises than plyo, but it never seemed to abate the feeling. The feeling wasn’t painful, at first, it felt like a tickle of electricity in my quad just above and off-centre. The first time I felt it, though, I didn’t know what the hell it was. It was a bit of a tickle and I half expected to see my skin twitching, but physically looking at my quad, it was something going on deep within, not just under the surface. This takes me to the beginning of October and oh my god, the pain in my leg was brutal one afternoon and evening, It started after a GRIT strength class and when I got back to my desk and sat down, my leg throbbed and radiated pain for the rest of the day and the shooting pains were almost unbearable. it began going down my leg into my foot and I would get tingling and numbing sensation in the quad and in my toes.
This entire shit show has brought me to my knees, basically, and I knew that I had to get it looked at. I knew when I was laying on my living room floor, in tears, that it was time, I had to get this looked at. My fear has always been being injured and thus unable to work out for weeks, months, or ever again for that matter, I couldn’t just shrug it off at something minor any longer; I just knew I had to do something. My fears going into see a specialist were: could this be sciatica? Is this nerve related? (all signs pointed to yes) Can this cause permanent damage? Am I going to be able to get back to where I was? I don’t want to lose all this strength and hard work I’ve put in, dammit. I’m proud of what I do, you know?
Anyways, I’m babbling here at this point, but I’ve gone to see my physiotherapist and I’m working with my sports massage therapist and we’re trying to get me on a better, healthier path. So what’s going on? Well, my left hip was jammed up into the joint and had to be adjusted. As a result, my right side was overcompensating and putting strain on my L1-L3 vertebrae and going through that lovely area is the , wait for it….. Femoral nerve. BINGO! This was the nerve that was twinging in my quad. So because my right side was compensating for my wonky left hip, I’ve got a shit load of tension and balled up crap in my hip, which has effectively shortened my IT band muscles a bit, which is normal when there’s injury and something is compensating for it. My first treatment, immediately my hips felt 1000% better but then I had pain in my lower back and hip for the next five days. Now, I feel like the twinges are receding up the leg (not sure if this is good or it’s other vertabraes it is now affecting) but I feel like it’s slightly getting better? Who knows though. I haven’t even tried to do a lunge in over two weeks and that’s the one move that I could do where I’d feel the twinge all the time.
So, my two weeks of rest and minimal exercise (squats, lunges, lower body anything, except for spinning) is almost up and I have a physio appointment tonight. I suspect I won’t be going back to my usual routine for some time and that is probably for the best, as much as I hate to admit it. I’ve decided that I’m more than likely going to eliminate the Tuesday GRIT cardio class out of my line up because that class is just insane. The focus is speed, speed, speed and I’m not about that shit. I’ve always been focused on good form then speed. I see people alllll the time at the gym doing things improperly and it makes me cringe because it’s like watching an accident in slow motion. Eventually you will hurt yourself.
So for the last two weeks, I have been foam rolling like a beast, as well as rolling out on my beloved lacrosse ball that gets into all those tight spaces and I’ve been ab work and spinning. Spinning you say? I have been allowed to spin but not to go crazy bananas with it. I did one class last week and then threw in the towel when I woke up the very next day unable to move my neck and shoulder to the left side. Apparently getting worked on can mess up other stuff in your body. This week, though, I have gone to a spin class every day and I am feeling good. I have pressure in my leg but it feels like it is lessening as the week goes on. Overall, I’m starting to feel slightly better.
My biggest hurdle is posture. I never realised just how awful it was and I shift weight from leg to leg, hip to hip and cross my legs ALL THE TIME. It’s so not good for you and once it’s a habit, it becomes very, very hard to correct. So I’m trying to be more conscious of my posture, how I’m sitting, how I’m standing. I have to reprogram my brain to stand and sit up straight all the time, it’s crazy.
So. my two-week sabbatical from the gym will likely be extended (my two weeks is up tomorrow), but I’m fine with that. If this means that I’ll get back to the gym and be healthy and whole again, I am down. I just want this fixed, bottom line.
The moral of the story kids: don’t go balls to the wall at the gym and second, getting old sucks!! LOL. Treat your body with respect, and LISTEN to it (I know I know, hypocrite over here, lol) — your body does not heal as quick, nor do you bounce back as quickly as you once did when you were a younger person. You only have one life, one body – respect it and nourish it.
Happy almost Friday!