A number of years ago I joined 24 Hour Fitness and have been going there ever since. I paid a large upfront sum which included supplements and 5 personal training sessions and a gym membership for 3 years. After that I have paid for a yearly membership.
I worked out there for a couple of years. I started having pain in my forearm. It was hurting to lift. I couldn’t figure out why it hurt for a while but finally I learned it was the tendon for my ring finger and that it was tendinitis.
Because it hurt to workout I started working out less and less. Pretty soon I got lazy and watched a lot of movies instead of going to the gym. With movies you have to have popcorn and other snacks to eat right? Well that added to my unhealthy habits.
My friends would ask me why I didn’t go to the gym or exercise. I told people I was old and passed the workout days of my life. I was just in what I would call a funk.
In time the bad habits started to catch up with me. Not only was I less and less active but I didn’t feel good. Not sick but not healthy. Something just wasn’t right and I was not enjoying myself.
So I finally decided that enough was enough and it was time to work out. I went to the gym a little but my tendon still hurt. I needed to do something about it.
I decided to try acupuncture. I had used acupuncture for muscle pulls before and been so amazed at the quick recovery that I decided to try it for the tendon too. It helped some. The pain was still there though.
I needed to do cardio too. I don’t like cardio in the gym so the first outing I took was a climb up the local hills, an outdoor area in San Diego called Mission Trails. It was just a just a short “hike”, only a mile and a half. Halfway up the hill, I felt a pop in my calf and thought I had pulled a muscle or gotten a cramp. I massaged it and stretched it but it didn’t feel any less painful. So I turned around and hobbled down the hill. I went to urgent care to find out what had happened and they determined that I had torn part of my calf muscle. It was very painful I couldn’t walk very well at all and I was referred to physical therapy.
In physical therapy I was able to ask the physical therapist lots of questions about exercise and stretching; she was not only a physical therapist but had been a physician’s assistant so she was very knowledgeable about the body and the activities of the body. She was also the coach for her daughter’s soccer team so she knew how to warm up, properly stretch and get ready for any activity. A quick warm up with light activity followed by stretching then the workout is the best formula.
When my calf was a little less stiff I started to walk. I was starting from stage one AGAIN! Walking was the best way I could think of to start getting in shape. I walked every day to and from the public transportation that I take to work. The public transportation stop is a mile and a half from my house. I started drinking a lot more water. I started to lose some of the belly fat I had but I still wasn’t feeling very strong.
So I added in weight training again. Those first few weeks were miserable. I was extremely weak, it was discouraging. But I didn’t stop going to the gym I kept going and eventually started feeling stronger.
About two months into my recovery journey I went to visit a friend of mine who is a physical therapist. He told me to stretch that tendon out and the rest of my muscle groups as well. He also told me to slow down my movements and concentrate on the form and tension both in contraction and extension and not the abrupt movements. Moving more weight is not the best solution when the form is poor.
I myself couldn’t believe what a difference food made in just a few short months’ time. In a period of approximately two months I gained muscle, lost fat and I could finally see abs I’d never seen before. On top of that my strength had come back and my calf was feeling pretty good again. I’d been out of the groove for more than 2 years. It felt good to be back!!
Happy lifting and remember to always strive to arrive!!