The term "tipping point" has been going through my mind a lot this week. Basically, I think there comes a time when you physically reach a tipping point, and things can go down hill very fast. This last week I hurt my lower back. Through this whole process of trying to heal it, I have learned that I let my health slide by for too long, and ended up getting hurt because of it. I reached my tipping point.
I was in so much pain that I decided to go to the doctor. He took an X-ray and told me that there isn't any kind of break or other damage. But he did point out that I have some beginning arthritis. He also pointed out some calcium deposits. He sent me to a physical therapist. I have to say that the therapy has been awesome! It has really helped. I wish I could have gone to them over the weekend when the pain was the worst. I feel like I'm 90% healed now. But what got me to this point?
The therapist also looked at the X-rays. He said that I had a type of tendonitis, when the tendon in the back of the hip hardens. I asked what could cause that. He said either over use, or under use. I assured him it was the latter. While we were living in China, I just didn't get much activity. The pollution was so bad that I didn't want to exercise outside. I tried to do some indoor exercise, but honestly, that was really boring and just wasn't something that I enjoyed doing. I did walk some, and did bike some, but not enough. In combination with inactivity, I also started gaining weight. That added to the tipping point. See, when you gain weight and are inactive, then you get to a point where it's very difficult to exercise. Because of my weight, my feet are bad. Because of my inactivity, my muscles are weak and can't endure strenuous exercise. The past two years I have had my mother living with me, and it has kind of tied me down. But now I've had a wake up call and have decided that I have to take the time to get myself back over the other side of the tipping point and get stronger.
I have a neighbor who is kind of in the same position as me. She has let her health go to far downhill. She told me that what she really wanted to do was go to the recreation center and walk in the water. I told her I would go with her! But whenever I ask her what day she wants to go, she makes excuses for why she can't. But this recent back problem convinced me I can't wait for anyone else, I need to get started now. Thankfully, my son agreed to come with me the first time. He has been quite inactive recently too, and I think was a little shocked at how out of shape he is. But he has been a nice exercise companion. I walk, and occasionally swim in the water. He swims more than I do but occasionally walks with me. Tonight we went for our second time. They also have a hot tub, and that has helped my back too.
You know what I really like about this so far? First of all, the pools are a good temperature, so it's not cold, even though outside winter is coming. But after walking and swimming around for 45 minutes or so, my muscles feel so good! And I have enjoyed spending the time with my son. I'm going to keep this up because I have to. I can't let myself go head long downhill again. I have to check myself now, or I am going to be an invalid as an old person. I can't wait until I get to the healthy, strong tipping point; the point where I begin to really get in good shape!