Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.
I received this question a few weeks ago, and, earlier in the week, I had the following post pop up in my TimeHop from September 2014. The timing was perfect!
I understand, very personally, how difficult it is to be told you shouldn’t or can’t do what you planned to do: in this case, competing. I want to share my original post – and my diagnosis – first, then I’ll get back to my answer to this client.
This is what I wrote on my wall, September 2014:
“Some days you find out why you’ve never been able to hit your back pose perfectly or how to answer your posing coach when she asks, “have you been in some kind of accident? Something’s just ‘off’ with your lower back.” Some days you understand why you hitch to the left when doing heavy squats and have a hard time going atg; why your legs sometimes go numb when you run, and why you have to let the weight pull you down very slowly when you’re doing repetitive dead lifts. Some days you find out that what you had in mind for your future goals might have to be adjusted just a little bit.
That day was last Wednesday for me. I’ve debated since then whether to share the info here. Ultimately I have decided to because it might help somebody else.
I have a pretty high tolerance but our 30-day marathon road trip left me in so much pain that I finally went to the doctor’s. I have two degenerated discs and severe osteoarthritis in my neck.
This is nothing new and it has little to do with age.
My neck is from childhood injuries and I’ve known about it for a long time. It’s the cause of many headaches.
The low back pain is because I have scoliosis. I had been told that too, about 10 or 12 years ago but I filed away the annotation and never did anything with it.
No doctor since ever noticed or mentioned it and I rarely gave it a moment’s thought myself. According to this doctor I’ve “ignored quite a bit of pain” over the decade but it’s never really bothered me before. Yes, aches and pains but no big deal.
With a current nerve impingement of more than 35%, and a twisted lower spine (admit it, you knew I was twisted anyway, right?). it’s a little harder to ignore.
I want to stress that everything is absolutely okay!!
The neck issue has been there since single digits and they think the scoliosis since my early teens. It hasn’t limited me. I did a 26 mile ruck carrying 52 pounds on my back in March, got 3 trophies in a natural bodybuilding show in June, and have several other activities planned over the next few months.
This does not impact my traveling, teaching, nor coaching.
It’s not going to change my life.
It’s nothing new. It’s been there.
The only thing that has changed is that I now know why I feel the way I do sometimes and why my body does certain things.
It might impact my competing, although I haven’t made that decision just yet. I’m probably not going to have “world crossfit games” or “dead lift 300 pounds” on my new goal sheet and my pro boxing career is likely not going to happen ;-). Damn!!
The point is merely this: We all have issues. We all have things going on, physically, emotionally, in our lives….. We all have limitations and we all have to find ways to live within those. We might have to set new goals. We might have to find new ways to accomplish our goals. We do not; however (and I refuse) have to just give up.
This is my response to the question I was asked September 2015:
What am I trying to say?
- Listen to your body. What works for me (or anyone else) may not work for you.
- If you have suspected issues, talk to a qualified medical professional.
- If you’ve set a specifically goal, what are your options? Are there safe alternatives for achieving your goal or is it out of the question?
- Your longevity, health and wellness have to come first. Stay safe.