Becky is a member of our team and a lot of you have probably met her on reception. She is often seen I the gym and classes exercising and generally getting a sweat on!
What you may not know is that Becky has been recovering from a prolonged back injury that has affected her training, health and overall life for a number of years now.
Happily, through changes in training, nutrition and several operations Becky is now able to do all the things she used to do and now feels better than ever!
Have a read: Since I was about 20 I have had problems with my back. Partly due to a few riding accidents and partly due to the fact that I’m quite tall and have tended to use my upper body strength more than my core and legs when doing manual labour, or working out in the gym.
At age 30 I developed severe sciatica and had to have a lumbar discectomy on my L5 S1 disc. This immediately eliminated the problem and after a year I was fully recovered but was mentally scarred as a result and constantly terrified it would happen again.
With time I gained confidence and managed to get back to doing Pilates and Yoga which helped me a lot.
I continued doing well until 2015 when the same disc herniated again due to me pushing myself a bit too much, carrying out manual labour. I had a revision surgery removing part of the herniated disc once again, but when I woke up from surgery this time I could still feel the sciatica and the surgery turned out to be less successful than the first time.
After coping with it for a couple of years by having pain killing injections etc. It finally went for the third time, at which stage they decided to remove the disc completely, put in a titanium frame & bone graft in order to fuse the spine together. I was terrified that this could go wrong as there is no going back but I was in so much agony yet again, not being able to sit, walk or drive & having to rely on copious amounts of pain relief. I had no choice and so the surgery went ahead in May 2017. Within a month of the surgery I felt that I was finally fixed.
Even though I had a long way to go, my gut feeling told me it was going to be ok. I started physiotherapy with the Club’s very own superstar Sarah Jeremy. Sarah is a complete superstar and her knowledge and experience are second to none!
The instructors were all so knowledgeable & watched me like a hawk for a long time and slowly but surely I felt myself getting stronger every week and in January I felt strong enough to take myself back into the gym again.
I found I was holding back though and the biggest problem was mind over matter because I was worried my core simply wasn’t strong enough. I was very scared I would hurt my back again. It was only when Ash the gym manager was showing me some core exercises that were safe for my back that he showed me just how easy it is to train pain free, strengthen my core and subsequently improve my quality of my training going forward, with a few simple exercises!
No one has ever done that before and I’m so glad he did because it made me realise that I had nothing to be afraid of as long as I was careful and that it really was in my head!
I’ve had to take it slowly because my spine is still fusing and won’t be fully fused until about June this year but I am now to the point where I am working out in the gym for up to two hours, three times a week (by choice because I’m hooked)!
With help and guidance from the gym team I use the Keiser equipment and resistance training along with some isolation work with free weights and am getting fantastic results. I also do a Pilates and yoga class every week with some swimming to really balance out my body!
Combined, these have transformed me from what was a weak and broken human being, both mentally and physically – into a confident, happy strong person who actually feels better at age 42 than I ever have in my entire life! I’m a strong believer that no matter how tough and challenging things get, if you have the determination and the longing to get better, there is nearly always a way to improve your situation.
In summary Becky has sought advice for the right people and realised that using resistance training to build up her strength has helped her confidence, her injury resilience and overall quality of life.
If you have any questions that we may be able to help with, be it injury, illness and just getting back into training, don’t hesitate to come by and see us.