My coach tells me that I can’t let it get to me. I know he is right. I believe what he says. I agree with that truth. And yet, in this moment, it does get to me. It weighs heavily on my mind, dragging thoughts and emotions deep into the mire where hope gets stuck and tarnished. It gets to me as I feel increasing pain from the simple act of sitting in the car on the drive home. When my husband asked if I had a good workout, I choked out a solitary word negative response and felt the sting of tears threatening. After well more than a year of minimal sitting and many months of still limited but pain-free sitting, to feel pain now while sitting or even reclining on the floor…well, it is requiring great effort not to dissolve into tears. I shouldn’t let it get to me, but it does. Pain does that, and I wasn’t in this pain when I arrived at the gym. Yes, I could feel a mild ache in my lower lumbar area, but only presented in specific positions or movements and generally wasn’t an issue. Right now, all I can feel is that area and it is shouting at me. I did not injure anything at the gym today, but whatever is going on in that spot didn’t like today’s training plan. And I do not like the fact that whatever is going on messed with today’s training plan, or the fact that I am now in significant pain!
1a. squats-low bar, with sleeves
45 lbs x 8, 95 x 8, 125 x 6, 155 x 5, 175 x 5
These squats were all really quite good. They were moving well and fast and generally good bar positioning. I was conscious of not dive bombing into the hole in order to keep the bar positioned well, and they were just feeling good. However, even though 175 pounds flew fast, I could feel some moderate aching in the lower back as I’d descend into the hole. So Michael had me grab my belt for the next set.
with belt: 190 x 5
This set was a bit slower, more tentative, and my depth was iffy on a couple of reps. Michael asked if it was due to figuring out how to use a belt again or if it was the back. All lower back. Adjustment to the plan.
Frankenstein squats with belt: 95 lbs x 8, 125 x 8
These were surprisingly easier than I expected and less of a bother on my back. The biggest problem was the pressure of the bar against my throat restricting my ability to breathe. The second set was less wheezy than the first, but I will probably always sound like Darth Vader doing these or regular front squats.
1b. bench press-competition grip
43 lbs x 10, 63 x 8, 83 x 6, 100 x 5, 110 x 5
These were good. I felt that they were smooth, stable, reasonably good speed, but I had some difficulty getting into position on the last set. That lower back wasn’t happy about arching. Adjustment to the plan.
bench press with back flat and legs in the air: 93 lbs x 5, 93 x 7
The first set was a little tough. I used to be better at doing these presses without legs, but apparently I have learned how to use my leg drive now! We both knew that the second set would be better, and it was mostly. By the last rep or two, I could feel my lower back beginning to arch just a little in order to get the reps, so it is probably a good thing that Michael called it when he did.
And that was all that I got done today. Quite often Michael will ask if I feel like I’ve done something. Had he asked me that at the end of today’s training session, I would have said no and been most sincere rather than sarcastic. It doesn’t feel like I did much of anything, and, with the exception of the pressing, what I did do doesn’t feel satisfying. I feel frustrated, because it wasn’t the training session that I had planned for. I feel frustrated by the pain I am currently experiencing, and pain has a way of twisting your perspective. Pain also messes with rest and sleep and recovery and life. The unknown is daunting. I don’t know what is going on in my lower back. This is not pain that I am used to having. What if it is the disc problem again? I never really had back pain with my disc problem…but what if it is? What if it persists and drags on?
I can’t let it get to me, I know, but can I pull that optimism down from the shelf tomorrow?