Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Recovery Update

I recently had another follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon and he gave me the green light to proceed with exercise (with the understanding that I'm to "listen to my body" and make smart choices). So far I've been leery about working out because it always causes neck pain. My fear was that I might be slowing down my healing or worst, disrupting the bones from fusing. But now that the doc said I'm right where I should be as far as healing and fusing I'm feeling much more confident about pushing it a little harder. After all, I'm no stranger to pain and I can certainly live through a little more of it.

This marks my second week of a steady exercise routine. Granted I'm still not ready for The Ultimate Yogi or P90X, but I have been doing a moderate yoga routine 3 times a week along with hitting the gym to lift weights 3 times a week and, to round out the program, I'm also running 3 times a week. What amazes me the most is how much I improved in just 2 weeks.

My first run wasn't pretty. I ran only 2 miles and had to stop and walk twice. My second run was better. I completed the 2 miles without stopping and felt pretty darn good. By my third run I ran 3.5 miles and felt great. I mean really great. It's such an amazing experience to run without the searing nerve pain pulsing through my right arm. Maybe by putting so much focus on this new pain-free sensation that it's taken my mind off of the actual running.

Lifting weights also didn't start too pretty. I was disgusted by how weak I've become. I remember the weights that I normally lifted and, right now, I can't even come close. I actually felt embarrassment in the gym lifting what I considered "dinky" weights. But those negative feelings soon faded with each trip to the gym because I could feel myself getting stronger each time. I don't know how it's possible to make such improvements over such a short amount of time, but the human body is an amazing machine. It's positively adaptive and it remembers that I'm supposed to be strong. What a thrill to add a little more weight each time.

And yoga has been the exact same story. My first attempt at my old favorite routine was marginal at best. I had to modify a few things due to both pain and just plain lack of strength. But, as you can probably guess, with each session I had to modify less and this morning I completely the whole thing with not only no modifications, but strength to spare. And again, this is all within a two week timeframe. It just further proves my old theory that Consistency is Key. No matter what you decide to do, if you stick to it and practice it every day you are guaranteed to improve.

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