One morning at the beginning of this year I remember missing the last of the stairs on the way down from my bedroom. I ended up on the floor, on my knees and one hand while the other still supported the sweet omelette I’d made for my breakfast. I was a little embarrassed (despite living on my own and therefore no-one else seeing) but was otherwise, I thought, unscathed.
Then a few days later my back started to really hurt. This was a shame as I’d done very well over Christmas. I took advantage of lots of eating by doing lots of exercise and was feeling strong and fit. I even did a leg session on Christmas Day before settling down with my Lego!
As time went on my back was felling just “OK” but I carried on doing various activities such as football on a Sunday morning and went on the regular snow sports holiday. My ignorance of the injury culminated on a wet Sunday morning in March or early April when I played a full 90 minutes in losing cup quarter final for Crossens FC. Although I was fine that day, I woke up a bit sore but without major issues. I even went to my ice skating lesson that evening but did struggle a little when supporting myself if I felt I was about to fall. The next morning I couldn’t get out of bed.
After taking it easy for a while and enjoying eating what I wanted, I’ve decided that now is time to get back on the wagon with a proper training plan to rehabilitate my back and try to get fit again. So here’s the plan and the promises I’m making to myself.
- I will build up my exercise slowly, understanding that I am not indestructible.
- I will start with body weight exercises on the assumption that my body needs to be able to handle itself before it can handle anything heavy. Only when these become easy will I move on to using weights.
- I will realise that my body doesn’t like putting on weight, so I promise myself that any weight gain that happens will by a bi-product rather than a goal.
- That said, I will eat a good diet where nothing is off the menu. Carbohydrate will need to happen to give me energy but I will eat healthily for the majority of the time, while a good takeaway or chocolate bar every now and again will keep me sane and remind me to enjoy my food.
- I will not just do strength and power exercises, but promise myself that my goal is to be functionally fit and that that will mean running and cycling. I therefore set the goal of a below 40 minute run in the Manchester 10k next year.
- I will also work on slowly building up strength in my joints and specifically my core.
- When lifting weights, I will concentrate on good form rather than moving lots of weight by any means necessary.
- I will do some activity at least once every two days, but promise to listen to my body, striking a suitable balance between pushing myself and not burning out.
- I will enjoy myself.
- I promise myself that my motivation and my aim is my own wellbeing.