When you grow up playing sports, specifically football, working out is just part of your daily routine. Once football was over in college, I moved on to running, and then I found CrossFit.
I’ve been able to stay active nearly my entire life. That’s what has made the last five months so incredibly hard. From March to August, I didn’t work out one day. The only exercise I got was some family walks in the neighborhood. That’s not exactly the type of intense workouts I’ve been used to over the last 25 years.
But in early March, I pinched a nerve in my lower back. It caused numbness in my right big toe that has not gone away. It took more than two decades for an injury to catch up to me and get me out of the gym.
I started working out again in late August and it has been rough. I used to think I was out of shape after taking a week off for vacation. Taking five months off has not only been difficult physically but mentally.
I went from lifting heavy lifts and doing advanced lifts a year ago to using tiny dumbbells and basic movements now. But that’s OK because I’m back to working out. And a day in the gym doing something is better than nothing at all.
This injury has helped me be a better coach. One, I’ve had to learn how to modify or scale workouts for me based on some limitations. That has helped me coach other athletes with injuries as well. Second, I now have more empathy for others when they come back to the gym after a long layoff or injury. I have a better understanding of what they are going through not only physically, but emotionally.
I’m still working through a few options to relieve the numbness in my big toe and return to a normal healthy lifestyle. Until then, I’m just taking it easy at the gym and doing whatever I’m physically able to do right now.
If it has been a while since you have been in the gym, let’s schedule a Free No Sweat Intro and see if now is a good time for you to return to working out.