15 November 2012

Pain and Pilates

I'm not sure, but the average reader around here just might be able to deduce my lack of interest in exercising by the fact that I don't talk about my gym membership or tweet that I ran two miles this morning or show off my muscles. It's true, I'm not an exercise girl. My ideal life is that of the sedentary scholar--reading and typing away a small tower room in my castle, with coals glowing in the fireplace, wrapped up in an electric blanket.

Angel ran cross-country in high school and college, but even he has eschewed running in recent exercising is not a big part of our lives. And because I don't like exercise, because I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and I never eat fast food, and because I'm genetically predisposed to be on the smaller side of humanity...I truly thought I didn't have to exercise.

But I started getting really bad back pain during my Junior year of college. I was sitting in classes all day, not doing anything strenuous, but my back would ache and ache, and it wouldn't stop. It got to the point where sitting through a 50 minute class was excruciating, and I finally gave in and went to the doctor. The doctor said "Do you do anything to stay in shape?" I answered, "I walk from one classroom to another classroom...."

That was clearly not good enough. The doctor said that my muscles were so weak that even the every day strains of carrying my backpack and sitting up straight were overstraining my back and causing the pain that wasn't going away. She gave me two options: start physical therapy, or start exercising. I chose exercising, because it's far cheaper, and on the way home from school, I bought  a Pilates DVD. I did it every day for a week--and the serious pain I'd been in was gone!

I'm still no exercise lover, and two years down the road, my back still hurts sometimes. Probably because I'm not as diligent as I should be. In fact, the very reason I'm writing this blog post is because my back is hurting today and I need to remind myself what I need to do and keep doing in order to feel better. When I feel good I tend to slack off, which is exactly what I shouldn't do. In the summer, I ride my bike down the nearby streets a few times a week, and in the winter I do Pilates and stretching and jump roping inside the house: generally, anything that works my muscles a little to get me in better shape. Angel laughs at me when I'm on the floor stretching and doing all sorts of crazy exercises while we watch a movie in the evening, but hey, it's a much easier fix for pain than pills or surgeries or physical therapy appointments, so I'll take it!

That's my story of learning why I needed to exercise, what's yours?
Anonymous said...

We should exercise together when I come over for Thanksgiving! :P haha..

Michelle said...

I used to do pilates in high school and I loved it! I don't love exercising, but I don't hate it. My problem is that it's the last thing I want to do after working all day and cooking dinner. I'm just too tired most of the time. But I do it because I don't have the best genetics to fall back on ;)

Angi said...

I am SO TERRIBLE at exercising. The only real time I have to do it is right after work in the evenings, and that's exactly when I want to come home and do nothing but sit on the couch. I'll get into a routine where I'm exercising 4-5 times a week, for weeks at a time, and then...I skip a day or two, maybe three, and next thing I know I haven't done a lick of exercise since August. True story.

Lissa @ Pass Go and Be Below said...

I'm with you there...I'm not an exercise gal, but I have to be so when I'm feeling good I'm more likely to slack off where I know I shouldn't.

Natasha Atkerson said...

Odd duck here! I Love exercise! I could exercise all day! In fact today I really want to exercise, but I need to listen to my body and rest and repair from a hard exercise I did last night. :)
I guess my reason for exercising originally started out as losing weight, but not it's more for my health and the benefits exercise offers-such as getting to sleep faster! Definitely worth it!
A Modest Fashion Blog:

Unknown said...

I needed this...I lost so much weight breastfeeding that I've given up the idea of working out. Clearly I need to, it's more than just for weight loss!

Thanks for the reminder and thanks for stopping by :)


Joell said...

It is fair to say that I have been eschewing (love that word!) the exercise my own self, for way too long. SIGH. And like you, I do have the occasional back pain and knee and foot pain to show for it. I keep telling myself to get back with it, but have not do so as of today. Oh well...

Enjoyed looking around here...will be back!

Natacha said...

Hi Rachel,
Thank you for your visit!
I have a bad back as well. My back hurts when I spend too much time on my computer. And I have had three or four cases when my back blocked completely and I had to crawl through the house. It was so painful once that I had to call the ambulance that took me to the hospital because I couldn't move anymore. I don't like exercising, but I try to walk to the busstop to bring and pick up my kids every day. I have the feeling that helps.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend (and I will be back :-))
Natacha (from Luxembourg)

Martha Hokenson said...

Similar! I wound up with terrible back pain and have found that yoga and Pilates work far better than any type of traditional medicine (painkillers, muscle relaxers) to heal me. I'm trying to get back into walking/jogging, but that's an uphill battle since I, too, would rather be curled up with a book!