As I take a look over the last year and a half since I herniated the disc in my neck, I am amazed at how far the Lord has brought me. If you don’t know, last March I herniated my C5-C6 vertebrae in my neck.
At the time I was in the middle of contest prep for a bodybuilding show. I was dialing in on point, eating over 3100 calories a day, doing no cardio, and losing 2lbs a week. I was actually getting stronger each week. Suddenly my world was rocked by intense pain rushing down my right arm. I couldn’t sleep for a week. Finally, I went to the doctor to find that my c5-c6 disc in my neck had herniated and was pressing on the nerve that ran down my right arm. There was no sudden impact or faulty movement in a lift, rather the doctor and I believe it came about just from years of stress on my body and sleeping improperly. This incident was devastating to me and now I could hardly lift for over 3 months, especially upper body movements.
I did light weight and high rep leg workouts to keep my conditioning up, being sure not to tense up my neck. I utilized my knowledge gained from my Corrective Exercise Certification to rehab myself back to health. After about 13 weeks, I began trying to lift again. This was an embarrassing sight to see. Once being used to having the ability to chest press 120lb dumbbells in each hand; I now had to start over at 10’s! Even with the 10 lb dumbbells I shook like I was in an earthquake. I had completely lost the neuromuscular pathways that I had built over the last decade plus of lifting, exercising, and being active. This major loss of strength and muscle was devastating to my self esteem and my drive. I slowly gained my strength and most of my muscle mass back. I then dieted down and competed, probably foolishly, in a bodybuilding show in October of 2010. I was determined to compete again, and to do it in 2010. Sometimes I am hard headed!
I continued to have setbacks, and a hard time with the neuromuscular connections in my muscles, but I continued to push. I did not allow this situation to hold me down. I was determined to get back to my previous strength and conditioning levels. I set high expectations of myself and raised the bar. Was it easy? NO, I strived for it and worked for it.
Now looking back over the last 18-19 months I stand amazed. I have regained my previous muscle mass, and have improved my conditioning level. Over the last year and a half I have broken more Personal Records (PR) than I can count. I have more endurance than before, and have my sights set high for 2012. God has taken my broken body, healed it, and made it stronger than ever before. My body is my temple! I will continue to push it, stretch it, and make it the best one it can be. This is my sacrifice and I do this ALL for the glory of God!
Amber had a similar incident happen where she had a bone bruise on her patella, but I will allow her to tell you her story!
So, I ask you today, what excuses are you using to hold yourself back? Arise and fight! You have one life, one body. Why allow it to go to waste because you get a little uncomfortable or have a little set back! Do I still feel pain in my neck on occasion? Yeah! But that does not stop me from continuing to better myself! Neither should you allow a setback to hold you down forever! Raise the bar for yourself! Get out there and build your temple into the best one it can be! Never settle for less, continue to strive for more. Once you hit a new PR, raise the bar! Once you hit a goal, raise the bar and set a new one!