...but I am One Tough Cookie.
If we are friends on Facebook, then many of you may have heard about my unfortunate run-in with my mortality last weekend.
That's a bit dramatic, I know. But saying it like that is much better than the truth.
Which is that I am kind of an idiot and my body said, to quote my trainer, "Slow your roll."
And that it did when I injured my back in Zumba last Saturday morning.
It took me a few days to put the pieces together as to why exactly I hurt myself doing something I've done a million times before.
But that's just it. I've done it a million times before. And many days in a row. And without rest.
To recap: Friday, I ran 9 miles on the treadmill. (The weather was iffy. And I got excited thinking about watching TWO episodes of Melrose Place that afternoon so I didn't mind.) That night, I found myself in a random push up/plank contest with my parents and Chad. And then Saturday morning I went to Zumba. A lot of exercise with not a lot of rest in between. So, something happened when I twisted, I felt a strain, and thus found myself at the doctor Monday with a slight bulging disc and on 10-14 days of restriction.
So, I've had a lot of time to think. You know, being laid out on ice on my back and all.
I started my thinking and processing with looking back at my activity level the past 5 weeks. It was quite shocking actually. Since August 19, I had only one day that I did not work out. One. There have been many weeks this summer where I worked out 7 days a week. And at the very least, 5-6 days. But honestly, I didn't even realize it. I would weight train two days a week and Zumba two days a week. And then run 2-3 days a week. Different stuff all the time, but pretty high impact stuff. And stuff I truly enjoy doing, so it didn't seem like "work." Or exercise.
But, even with exercise, there is definite truth of "too much of a good thing."
A week ago, I would have swore up and down that I wasn't "obsessed" with fitness. I had goals to reach, I reached them, and now, by God, I have to maintain them. I was just working hard. No biggie. I mean, I was eating well. And even sometimes eating not so well, so you couldn't accuse me of having any sort of diet complex.
But, y'all, looking back, I had an exercise complex. I was obsessed. And if I am being honest with myself, I still am obsessed. Because right now I am having withdrawals. I was depressed all weekend being inside when I would have loved to have been running outside. Or even just playing outside with the kids. I've gone longer bouts than this without Zumba (vacations, holidays, etc) but just the fact that I am not ALLOWED to go to class while it goes on without me makes me sad. And angry. And then depressed again.
But I'm here to say that I am so grateful that I appear to be on the mend. I walked two times this week (with doctor's blessing) but otherwise, I am taking this very slow. I am right on track to be back in the saddle next week slowly easing back into activities. I know things could have gone very different. And based on all the (much appreciated) personal stories on Facebook shared with me, I know I am very lucky.
And I'm not stupid anymore. I know this was a wake up call. I needed to slow down. I needed to rest. And I needed to get myself back on track.....not fitness-wise, but priority-wise.
God sent me a message this week.
I need to shift my priorities. I need to take time for myself, yes. But I can't use exercise as an excuse to eat cake. Or Sweet Frogs fro-yo. Every day.
I need to have balance. A good diet, a moderate exercise routine, time with my family, and time with Him. I need to refocus in general. Not only do I always squeeze in exercise, but I am always moving, in general. I can't sit down at home...there's always dishes to wash, laundry to fold, closets to clean, light bulbs to replace. But this week, I laid on the couch. I had conversation with my husband. I helped Brooklyn with her homework. And I snuggled Jake.
I ate responsibly since I didn't have the "crutch" of exercise. I drank 64 ounces of water everyday. I tried to look positively at my situation. And I didn't try to be Superwoman.
As of last week, I had reached a lot of my fitness goals (which I'll talk more about in a future post), but obviously I still have a lot to learn.
But I am a willing student and listener.
Because this was the wake up call I needed.
I'm just glad I picked up the phone.