Saying Goodbye To Powerlifting (But Hopefully Just For Now)

I’ve written about my chronic back injury before. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for years. I’m talking over a decade…I honestly first injured it while I was folding laundry back in 2004. Folding…clothes…

(insert rolling eyes emoji here)

Here we are, 13 years later and we finally have a diagnosis. If you were to ask me exactly what it is, well…I’d have to spew off some medical terms I don’t quite understand what they mean. But suffice to say, according to my sports medicine doctor and chiropracter, my lower spine is “moderately to severely” messed up. What seems to be happening is some moderate to severe degeneration that is impinging on some nerves right near the bottom of my spine (L4 to S1 for those that are familiar with the spinal discs).

BUT, they did also say that the symptoms I get from time to time could be related to other issues as they can all present similar symptoms.

So, an answer, but not quite a definitive answer. It was pointed out to me that you could take a dozen people off the street, take an MRI of their back, and most of them would have some degree of degeneration. Whether people feel symptoms or not is really up in the air.

What does this mean for me?

Well, it definitely means me not being a stubborn fool and attempting to do any heavy squats or deadlifts. Or any heavy movement for that matter. This is what I’ve done in the past and it’s always been the catalyst to a flare-up that usually leaves me bedridden for up to a week.

I am a huge advocate for heavy lifting. Especially for women. I love the feeling that comes with lifting/pressing/squatting a significant amount of weight and being able to complete the movement. It’s damn empowering. And I had a goal of competing in a powerlifting meet as my next big goal.

That goal now needs to be put to the side for a while. I’ve said that before though, and I always try to get back into it once my symptoms go away. This time is different though. After going through months of tests (bone density scan, full blood work, an x-ray, and 2 MRIs), I have the first semi-concrete diagnosis I’ve ever had. This makes it more real. Not that the pain I felt wasn’t real, but with a name to put to the injury, it makes it feel like it’s actually there, and not just something that sporadically shows up from time to time.

So, this is my goodbye to powerlifting, but always with the caveat that I secretly hope I can go back to it at some point in the future.

And you know what?

It’s not the greatest thing to happen. Usually when I set my sights on a goal, I am committed to seeing it through. It wasn’t my conscious decision to let the goal of powerlifting go, but this seems to be what the universe has in store for me right now.

But after years and years of trying to figure out what’s going on with my back, I am thankful to finally have some answers. At one point I honestly started to wonder if it was all in my head…

My goals will need to shift a bit, but for now, my only goal is to keep my body as healthy as it can be by moving everyday and focusing on strengthening my core and glutes.

Life has a way of pushing us in the direction we need to go, even when we don’t feel like we’re ready to let go of the direction we were originally going…

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