If I had a religious bone in my body, I would think the devil was determined to see me fail in my personal challenge of 90 straight days of exercise.
The word prolapse is disgusting
The day before starting the challenge I slipped on some wet concrete (long story) and fell down some cement steps. Crash landed on my back–barely avoiding a crushing skull impact. That was the good news. The bad news was that to keep my head from striking the steps I strained so hard in mid-air that I aggravated my lower left abdomen where I have had trouble in the recent past with the beginnings of a hernia, aka a “prolapse.”
It scared me because previously that lower ab pain & bulge meant almost 2 months of pain/discomfort/and limited movement. It got so bad last time (hernias trigger giant swollen testes and all kinds of other fun n’ games) that I was pretty sure I would soon be laying on an operating table.
What got the prolapse to go away? The main aggravating factor of hernias is being fat. Yep. Like so many health conditions and even diseases, I had brought this on myself. The hernia was one of the reasons I finally decided to do something about my un-health by eating only raw foods for 60 days.
So when I fell the other day and could feel within minutes that strain-pain coming bak I was angry and super disappointed. I even e-mailed my brother and a few other people who were starting the 90 day natural fitness challenge with me, asking them if maybe it would be better that we start it a few weeks later…
The reason I did that was because exercise just makes the hernia thing worse! Doesn’t that suck? You’re fat and you have a frickin hernia because you’re fat, but if you exercise you make it worse!
Fortunately the strain ended up being a little milder this time and I started the challenge on schedule (with some misgivings) and am just being extra careful in certain yoga poses, and making sure I don’t lift anything in a foolish way.
Exercise is both stress and stress relief
Now, just 4 days into my 90 day challenge, I have a sinus infection.
Owner of one of the hardiest immune systems on the planet, I get sick once every two to three years. But, when that sickness comes in the form of a sinus infection Doctors shriek when they shove that scope-light thing up into my snot caverns. The last time I had a sinus infection (maybe 5 years ago) the Doctor said that he was just going to “skip the pussy antibiotics and go straight to the most hard-core one that we try not to use because if germs ever figure out how to get around this shit–mankind is totally fucked!” Thanks doc.
Here’s why I think I got the sinus infection now. I read somewhere that while exercise is clearly one of the best things we can do for our bodies, from a purely physiological level we still perceive it as plain ol’ stress. That’s a funny paradox…exercise helps us deal with stress and even release it….but it itself is stress.
My theory is that exercise is especially stressful when you are out of shape and not used to doing it, and when you are already under a bunch of other kinds of stress (work/bills/family/being overweight). So I started the year off with a bang and almost no sleep, but because of my commitment to the 90 day challenge, forced myself to get up each day and workout anyways.
Which is OK.
I’m going to pull out a quote that I hate to use, because people get all huffy about it, and because I hate using quotations. But if you “get it” I think you will appreciate how I’m using it, and know that I’m not being a dick when I include it here:
“Life is difficult. So what?” –M. Scott Peck
Peck wrote an uber non-fiction bestseller called The Road Less Traveled. The book opens with that stark statement followed by the question which at first glance seems to be shaped in the form of a challenge.
Here is how Peck goes on to explain his view of life and difficulty not only being inseparable, but why he sees no need for that to be the case…
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
So I’m going to apply that same way of thinking about life to exercise. Yeah, it’s difficult, it’s stress, so what?
Also, know that I am not being cavalier about my health or yours. If you read my descriptions of the 90 day challenge you will see I already talked in depth about the need each week for a “rest” day so that your body can repair and stabilize. Remember, this challenge isn’t about the challenge anyways–it’s about you. So as always, do what you know is right. Just know, that that may not always be what’s easy.
What I did on Day 4 (Mon Jan 4)
- Drank a quart of water
- Had a tropical tango smoothie (mango/papaya/pineapple/coconut meat & water) 2 hours before Bikram
- Drank another quart of water during my 90 minute Bikram Yoga class
- Ate a wrap made with a brown rice tortilla, organic roast beef, lettuce, tomato, and balsamico.
- Before work I had homemade hummus with roasted garlic & olive oil & organic blue corn chips
- At work I drank another quart of water and ate a LARA bar
- After work I was starving and made some quick nachos with the blue corn chips, whole pinto beans, organic jalapeno jack cheese, and organic tomatillo salsa.
- I lay down on the couch with a glass of organic red wine to watch a movie (one of my favorites “Ronin”) and immediately passed out.