“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” -- Dr. Spock

Dr. Spock, not Mr. Spock, though I do hope you live long and prosper.

Do you know your own body, do you trust what you know about your own body?
Back when I was training at a gym with a trainer, I was feeling rather confident that it would be the last time I'd ever be fat in my life.  I trusted that the trainer (a marathon runner) could get me to like running, get me to like lifting weights, etc.  I liked the fact that when something was hard for me that he'd get on the floor and do it along side me, or get on the elliptical next to me and go a mile with me.

But the thing is this -- when we were doing plank exercises, I couldn't hold the position for more than 30 seconds without feeling pain.  Not just weak "I can't do this" but actual, physical pain.  I tried to convey this to him and his response was that my core wasn't strong and that this would help.  Well... my core wasn't strong, and it wasn't helping.  I actually had 3 bulging discs in my lower back as well as degenerative disc disease (my spine was aging faster than I was).

By listening to him and doing these exercises (such as the cable machine reverse wood chopper, trunk twist, vertical knee raise with twist,  etc.) I was further injuring myself.

When it finally got to the point where I couldn't lie down without it hurting, I went to a chiropractor (orthopedists told me nothing was wrong, I was just overweight) and he said "I'm not touching you until you get an MRI."  I brought the images back to him and he pointed to one area of my back and said "this is where you hurt, right?"

Lemme tell you, I lost it.  I was crying my little eyeballs out.  Finally, someone knew that there was something actually wrong.  I wasn't just overweight or weak, I was broken.  To this day I'm thankful to that chiropractor for taking the time to listen.

And then he told me that he was amazed that I was actually walking around. I'll never forget that.  The trainer lead me to think I was so weak, and then the chiro (and the neurologist he works with) basically told me how badass I was to just walk.

So the moral of the story -- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY no matter what anyone else says. 
You are its advocate.  You are its protector.

12 comments

Good story! I'm very glad you're okay. Everything's better now?

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I totally agree! And Just wanted to let you know I am a new follower!

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Natalia -- I'm just trying to avoid further injury. I can hurt myself dismounting out of a chair, or even waking up. I can play softball with no problem. There's really no telling when my whole back is going to crap out on me and I'll need to get a spinal fusion. I have good days and bad :\ but thank you for asking!!

Ms Chunky Chick -- very nice to meet you!

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Wow! I'm so glad that you listened to your body and actually got it checked out. I should probably listen to my body a bit more than I do.

I hope that it isn't bothering you too much lately.

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I hit a rough patch about 3 months ago, but have been pretty good ever since. When it's bad I can barely walk, need vicodin/valium to sleep like I'm Dr. House, and have an endless supply of ice packs stuffed down the back of my pants...

I highly advocate people listening to their body, even if it is just saying "stop for a moment..."

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been through shit like that too. It sucks but you gotta keep on fightin

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Yeah -- at some point you're like "if I can just walk a mile... maybe that's one night i'll be able to sleep."

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Oh my gosh. What a relief that must have been just to find out what was going on. That's just nuts. We really do know our body the best.

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Traci -- a relief and kinda sad.
I mean, it meant that i had lots in common with 60+ y/o people. I wish it had been "oh, you sprained a muscle in your back" put some heat on it.

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So important to listen to your body! I actually had the opposite experience. My back pain WAS due to a weak core, and when I started running and strengthening my core, things improved drastically. Regardless, it's important to not ignore pain and to see a doctor or chiropractor to see what's up. Doing nothing won't make it better!

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Eunice -- you're very lucky that you could fix your back. Back injuries affect just about every other kind of exercise you can do, and I've had so many related injuries (like went from not being able to stand up straight for 3 months to having plantar fascitis in both feet, to the runner's knee, etc. because my mechanics were so off).

Core strength is so important, and so lacking because we're all so sedentary!

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<3 Robby