Hi friends! It’s been quite a while since my last post, coming up on a whole month. What have I been doing? Any news? What’s keeping me busy? So many questions and I am here to answer them. There is one very simple answer: I needed to get a better grasp on my life and take a deep look at myself, my actions, and my goals. I’ve been re-finding myself, so to speak.
First off, I passed my chemistry class last semester 😉 So that’s a MAJOR plus. On top of working, studying my NASM materials, and my own gym time I’ve been keeping busy with an increased social life and enjoying winter break from classes. Although with transferring to a different school starting in the spring, I’ve been super super busy with all that is required for that process. Final transcripts, parking permit, tuition and applying for scholarships, looking into different student organizations and club options, figuring out what credits transferred and which courses I still need. Lots of sticky notes have been used this past month.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how passionate I am about the gym and lifting. I absolutely love lifting and really any realm of fitness. Being a competitive athlete as a child I don’t think this passion will ever leave. It hasn’t been all fun and games though, and in this case I’m not referring to my eating disorder past and dealing with the inter-mingling of the gym and my ED. I haven’t discussed this much if at all on the blog yet but it’s been a pressing issue recently and I want to share, I have hip dysplasia. For those of you who aren’t familiar, hip dysplasia is a “developmental deformation or misalignment of the hip joint (source).” In my case it’s my left hip and while it isn’t severe by any means it is something that limits my flexibility and stability greatly on that side, alters movement patterns, and limits specific things I’m able to do fitness wise. It’s taken me a long time to be ok with all of that and I’m not going to say I’m 100% ok with it either, there are days where I want to squat heavy again or get my body into a specific yoga pose or row more than 2000m without pain. But my body wasn’t built that way and I’ve been working on accepting that. I’ve been focusing on what I’m able to do rather than what I’m not able to do.
I cut out all squatting besides the body weight squats done in yoga class (which don’t bother me) about eight months ago because each rep sounded like rice krispies popping. Any additional load above body weight results in a pop. I could feel a pop every time I went down and back up, it didn’t matter if I went above, below, or to exactly parallel. It didn’t matter if I was narrow or wide-stanced. The motion wasn’t right for my body (read: the LOAD isn’t right for my body). But, in the fitness community people are told that squatting is a backbone exercise, the base of the pyramid. I’m here to say, not in every single case.
For me, I deadlift, lunge, do wall-sits, glute-ham raises, bulgarian split squats, step ups, stair runs, partial range of motion leg press, and power cleans. Guess what? I still have insanely strong legs. Perhaps it’s from eight years of competitive jump rope? 😉 This has worked very very well for me until a few weeks ago I began to notice a very minor twinge in my hip during deadlifts, a lift which I’ve never every experienced any issue with. Notably my weight for them is also higher than it has been in years. Being the stubborn child that I am deep down I shrugged this instance off and continued the following two weeks according to plan, increasing weight each week, and by the second week that pop that I was feeling on each rep of my squats I was then feeling on each rep of my deadlifts. After comparing a video of a recent lift to a previous lift and testing the observations I saw I have found that I only feel a pop if my hips reach a certain depth from the initial pull. My speculation is that with an increased pull depth, my pelvis is going into a similar position as a squat would causing the pop. If I keep my hips about 10-15 degrees above parallel during the lift then I will continue to have no issue. There is absolutely zero pain, so as long as the pop stays away I’m continuing on with my lifting goals. Such a struggle. But oh so thankful I think I figured it out.
This is just one instance lately where I have found myself asking what am I willing to risk? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Maybe my version of health is different than others. Perhaps my goals and non-negotiables are different.
I know that both mental and physical health are extremely important to me and I personally don’t believe that we can really have one but not the other. They go hand-in-hand. I also know that I’m not willing to let go of all the hard work I’ve put into my recovery these past few years. Keeping this in the back of my head, I developed my list of goals and things I’d like to accomplish in a years time.
~ 2015 goals ~
- Finish up with my NASM personal trainer certification (I’ll be done by April!)
- Start up at UNH. January 20th can’t come soon enough!
- Stop identifying myself with labels. I’m not a thing, I’m a person.
- Journal more, much much more.
- Start being completely and entirely honest with myself.
- Get to a point where I don’t need ativan or any other psychoactive medication (future post to follow up this).
- Meditation, yoga, love, energy, nourishment, and smiling = medicine.
- Internship at a medical office.
- Compete in a push-pull powerlifting meet (also April).
- Smile AND laugh more.
- Explore the possibility of a nutrition minor, because it’s only five additional courses and I believe nourishment is the foundation to wellness.
- Explore my own nourishment and the needs of my body. AKA my digestive system could use a tad bit of tlc.
- Practice finding more internal acceptance during yoga rather than being slightly still on-edge. Did I mention I have anxiety?
- Try out a new gym.
- Be involved in a student club at UNH.
- Determine a fitness routine which both heals my body and helps me gain strength. Let’s be honest, the end goal is to compete again and feel amazing doing so.
- Keep my social life somewhat possible with school and continue to strengthen it along with relationships.
- Let it be. Let it go.
What’s a goal or two of yours for the upcoming year?
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso