When I got to the point where I was cleared for exercise again after my injury, I went freaking balls to the wall. Working out at least two times a day, 5 to 6 days a week, pushing my body to the point of exhaustion. I definitely was making up for some lost time but I definitely was also pushing myself like crazy to lose the weight I gained while on bed rest.
I was determined. Nothing was going to stand in my way from me getting back to where I was pre-injury. Maybe some of that drive was the subconscious need to show myself that I hadn’t lost who I was, my strength, that sort of thing, that I was still me at the end of the day, and my life hadn’t changed “that” much.
I did not let myself fall into any excuse. If I had an early morning class or work shift, working out meant waking up at 5am. If I was hungover, it didn’t matter, if I was sore, cramping, in a bad mood, really pick your favorite excuse and to me, it didn’t matter. I still showed up.
I had to show up. I was so bound and determined to move my body that I showed up and I showed up hard. I started lifting weights, I started doing CrossFit, I pushed myself to the very edge of a cliff of complete body breakdown.
I don’t recommend this at all. I had no respect for my body, the process of healing and recovery, of regaining strength properly, of rest days. None of it. I was a machine on a single lane course towards disaster.
My body bit back at me. A back injury, a shoulder injury, and a knee injury later, all within the first 7 years from my foot injury, and I couldn’t do it anymore. I had let my ego and this internal drive to show myself (not anyone else mind you, just me) that I could still perform like I did pre-injury, get the best of me.
I stopped doing CrossFit, even with a certification, I started focusing more on yoga, swimming, more into Pilates which were my primary modalities of fitness when I was first recovering, I started meditating and I started forcing myself to take rest days.
I also started working this very stressful job as a second responder and fitness became my primary avenue of self care. My outlet for stress from clients, from colleagues, from life. I would workout so I could tune out all the bullshit that was around me. The noise was too much sometimes and I didn’t know how else to handle it. So I would sweat it out. That hour became my only chance sometimes during the day where I knew I didn’t have to think about anything else.
I started working out during my lunch break at work so I could escape my office, I started my certification for Pilates and I lost all desire to be in corporate America. I was burnt out in every single aspect and totally over it. I craved having the balance of having life, I was over being a mid-level manager, I felt like it was time to take my second chance and have a bigger impact.
Being able to move my body and see what I was capable of made me feel empowered and I wanted the women in my community to feel the same way. Even now, nothing fires me up more than having someone tell me “damn I didn’t think I could do that, but your encouragement showed me I could”. It makes me feel like I’ve won every award and every medal, it gives me the drive to keep learning, keep pushing and keep showing up.