You wanna know what I think is the worst part of having a major surgical procedure? Now that I have been through "Operation Transform" and the subsequent recovery, I think that not being able to exercise has been the very hardest part for me.
Before my surgery, I was pretty active. I ran at least 3 times per week, with one of those being a "long" (6-8 miles) run. I went to Raleigh CrossFit at least 3 times per week, if not 5 times per week. All this activity was in an effort to be has physically healthy as possible before my surgery. Then, in an instant, it was gone...
My surgery was 5 weeks ago today. I knew that the recovery would be hard, but I was certain that I was gonna be some kind of Super Woman and I would be back to my old antics in a week or two. That was definitely not realistic. Admittedly, I had a pretty easy recovery (from what I have heard from others). The worst part of my recovery was the bloating/gas that came the day after surgery and lasted a couple days. I know that the thought of gas isn't glamorous by any stretch, but it's just part of it. Doctor pumps belly full of air for procedure, pain meds, etc. = recipe for gas/bloating.
The past 5 weeks have dragged.... Yes, I was enjoying the time I spent at home relaxing and healing, but the enjoyable part of that only lasted about 4 days. By the second full week, I was itching to do something - and I was able to convince my surgeon to let me work from home part-time. By December 17, I had convinced him to let me work part-time in the office. Then, the holidays came. The holidays were full of family and fun, laziness, business, food, over-indulgences, etc.
This past Saturday was my first post-op "run". I use the term "run" very, very loosely. I am so very glad that my running buddies were willing to go very slowly with me. The entire time we were running, we talked about different topics - I really think this kept me pretty distracted from how odd it felt to run. We finished 4.25 miles in just over 1 hour. I was quite disappointed right after, but Mary and Debbie reminded me that I must give myself a break. I haven't had any serious cardio activity in my daily schedule for 5 weeks and it was cold as all get-out. When we were done (and I finally got over myself), I felt pretty dang good about what I had gone. Now, I am looking forward to getting back to my old pace (and even faster). Crazy as it sounds, my first dream I remember after my surgery involved a 2:15 half marathon PR - we shall see! I think with my fabulous running partners it will be more than doable in time!
I have been wanting to get back to Raleigh CrossFit from day 1. I love how my RCF family makes me feel. I love the encouragement we all provide one another. I have missed seeing my buddies during my recovery. While I intended to visit the tank during my recovery, I went by once and my missing it was too much for me to handle. Well, it all changed today... I went to my normal lunchtime training session. Chennelle welcomed me back and I got started with the warm-up. I took time to review the WOD and thought I was gonna kick ass - 5 rounds of max rep front squat and max rep strict press. I loaded up my bar with half my body weight (87.5#) and grabbed (2) 15# dumbbells. I tested the weight for the front squat. Let's just say that it didn't go as planned. I picked up the bar, went down into a full front squat, but then things went sour... I had to drop the bar on the ground because I just couldn't get back up. I was immediately upset. Chennelle came over and helped me strip the plates off the bar, encouraged me to just lift the bar (35#) for 8 reps each round. She also reminded me that I had been out of the tank for a month and a half.
Chennelle didn't have to help me strip the weights; she didn't have to offer advice; she didn't have to offer the last little bit of encouragement. But, she did. My running buddies didn't have to go at my (very slow) pace this weekend. They didn't have to remind me that sometimes I need to give myself a break. That's what I have missed. I have missed the camaraderie of training with others - of all types and abilities. While the run over the weekend and today's WOD didn't go quite as planned, I have to remember how fortunate I am. I am fortunate enough to have people that encourage me and I am able to encourage them. We all have something to offer others and it makes all the difference...