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On fitness, strength, and barely knowing what to do next

I hurt my back in 2018.

It’s not a long story, but a pretty convoluted one: On the morning of my flight back home from London, I tripped down the stairs of our apartment and spent the commute to the airport, and the flight back home with a sprained ankle. At that point, I’ve been consistently going to the gym for about a year — I remember doing modified bodyweight sessions during the trip too — but had to pause that with the ankle.

The first session back after a couple of months, I was really pumped to be back. It was my usual routine: Get to the gym at my workplace, do a few sets of squats, deadlifts, lat pulldowns and a few other movements.

Too pumped, maybe. I was super careful not to roll and hurt my ankle again. Instead, I did something to my back. I don’t know what it was exactly, but I just remember tweaking it during the session, thinking it was nothing, then progressively getting more scared of how painful it was while I was on the way home.

That’s the thing about memories — I remember what I was wearing (blue exercise top, shorts, my Timberland boots because I switch out my gym shoes in the office), and I remember the route to the train station and desperately trying to block out the pain, as the adrenaline of the session faded away. I bend down, ostensibly pretending to tie my shoelaces to any onlookers.

What happened next is that for the last three and a half years, I’ve been letting that injury cloud my mind.

I went to test for my resting metabolic rate yesterday. As I’ve suspected, my resting metabolic rate is 30% less than the average person my size. I know this because I’ve been eating like an asshole, knowing that my muscles are wasting away anyway.

Casey Johnston, aka Ask A Swole Woman, has a great post illustrating what’s been happening to my body.

I’m at the ‘muscle has gone bye bye’ stage 😭

I’m at a bit of a standstill, I think. What I can do to fix it is to get back to building muscles again, and for that to happen, first I need to get back to seeing a physio — hopefully one who wouldn’t just laugh at my terrible form when doing the bird dog exercise.

But actually, first I need a referral be able to make a claim from the insurance. Which means that first, I need to go to my GP. Actually, first, I need to go to a GP that is on the insurer’s list.

Kidding aside, there’s just a lot of steps and hoops to go through, and I’m not particularly enthused about that. It is something I really want to move forward with though, so I’ll probably document this whole process somehow.

1 thought on “On fitness, strength, and barely knowing what to do next”

  1. Pingback: On turning 33, and an update for my back problems – Jalyn Cai

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