I am the absolute worst at listening to my body when it is telling me to slow down. I have pushed through workouts with bronchitis, low back pain and all other kinds of pain. My problem is I push myself because I don’t want to be seen as weak. I struggle with asking myself am I talking myself out of my workout because I am really injured or because I don’t feel like working out that day.
This past September I found out that I have degenerative disc disease (it sounds a lot worse than it actually is). My back has gone out on me twice in the past 9 years. When I say “gone out” I mean I can’t stand up, can’t move, crazy pain. Since then I have tried to manage the pain when it comes with ice and occasionally ibuprofen (I’m not a big fan of medicine). At the end of August/beginning of September last year the pain in my back returned. Instead of scaling back my workouts I pushed through them. My husband and I traveled to Chicago in September and I thought that trip would be a good rest for my back. We were traveling for business so we were without the kids and I opted to get some extra sleep instead of go to the early morning workouts. By the time we got home on Sunday my back hurt so bad I went to the emergency care clinic. At that point it hurt so bad to sit down, I remember standing up while filling out paperwork and waiting for the doctor. After having x-rays taken I found out I have degenerative disc disease. There is not much you can do for it other than rest. The next day I took my then 4 year old to pre-school and my 2 year old decided he was going to lay in the middle of the floor at school. I literally had to sit on the floor and wait for him to get over himself because I couldn’t pick him up. Needless to say my mom ended up coming up that morning and staying with us for several days so I could take my medicine and lay flat and give my back time to heal.
I say all of this because last week the pain started coming back and I was faced with the decisions of do I keep pushing myself or should I skip my workouts. After what I went through this past fall I decided to lay low. I have nursed it this weekend and am feeling better. I am back in the gym today but taking it easy.
Moral of my story is listen to your body when it’s telling you something. It is so much better to go on the side of caution and miss workouts to make sure that your body can handle the stress and pressure that exercise puts on it. If you feel like you have to do something, take a leisurely walk and see how you feel. No workout is worth risking your health. You only have one body, treat it like a temple!