Back in 2019 I was probably at the fittest I’ve ever been. I went spinning about six times a week and four of those classes were followed by time on the gym floor. I also walked over two hours a day five days a week. I left my gym at the end of 2019 as I had moved house and the journey from the gym to home was starting to make me dread going. My plan was to join a local gym that provided spin classes in early 2020. We went on a trip in February 2020, so I was going to get to it in March. Well, then March happened, and the world ended so I was forced to workout at home.
This worked well for a while, but I was missing spinning as I can’t do high impact training and spinning worked really well for me because of that.
I have Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – high grade 4. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis is a lumbar spinal condition in which a fracture of the isthmus causes one vertebral body to slip forward on top of the vertebral body below it. I’m almost at 100% slippage. Or I was almost at 100% the last time it was checked. So, anything that causes high impact on my lower back really needs to be avoided. Running for instance.
It does look an awful lot worse than it is. I have a certain level of pain all the time, but I’ve been dealing with it for so long that most of the time the pain level is totally manageable and doesn’t affect my day to day life too much. My body tends to tell me when I need to make changes but every now and then I’ll have a flare up that will present itself in different ways, the most common being sciatica on my left side. Unfortunately, I had a bad flare up in September 2020 and it took months for me to come right. The major issue with my Spondylolisthesis is that when I gain weight the pain gets worse and when the pain gets bad, I can’t sit or stand comfortably never mind actually workout. There is a point where I know I can work through the pain and a lot of the time it’s about being patient in waiting for that point and trying hard not to put on so much weight that it takes everything longer. It’s a bit of a tightrope to be honest but I’m feeling I’m at the right spot right now and my plan is to very, very gently start to work myself back to where I was before September and if possible, back to where I was pre pandemic.
Gently really is the key here, as I have pushed myself too soon a few times in the last months and it just delays everything.
One of the other side effects of all this has been my mental health. I didn’t realise just how bad it was until the pain started to recede a bit. My mental wellbeing used to be something I was good at staying on top of after I was diagnosed but after a few years of no major issues I let that slide and I didn’t have the tools to deal with the fallout this time. I’m also super keen to work on that, so I’m going to incorporate that into this journey.
I understand that my workout, wellbeing and meal prep plans aren’t something most other people will want to read about, but this is really for me to hold myself accountable and if it’s useful to just one other person then it’s worth documenting.
Each week (likely Sunday) will be a very basic overview, I won’t go into huge detail about what exercises I’m doing and instead I’ll shoutout what I feel is working well and see where I am in terms of strength and stamina.