For those of you who don’t know, I have an old back injury that has given me on and off issues since high school. About a year or so ago, it started to flare up really bad. After about 5 days of severe back pain and spasms, I finally saw a doctor. I was diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, prescribed a muscle relaxer and was sent on my way.

About 2 weeks later, the muscle spasms finally stopped but the pain was still unbearable. I couldn’t sit or stand. The only thing that gave me any sort of relief was laying on the floor with an ice pack.

After a few months, I was able to come back to Friction.

But slowly.

Very slowly.

I started doing PT and my main focus was working on my form with some of the lifts. I used the PVC a lot and it took me awhile to start being able to use the bar again. I finally got myself back into class but I scaled EVERYTHING.

There were so many times when I left Friction crying out of pain and frustration.

I was hurting, physically and emotionally.

These things that I used to be able to do felt like a struggle. I felt like a failure.

I wanted so badly to be able to lift heavy weights, run, do single unders (double unders are still a work in progress) and do a HSPU. All the things I enjoyed doing before the flare up. But I couldn’t and I felt like I would never recover. After the New Year, I made a promise to myself that I would pick myself up, dust myself off, and give my body what it needed to heal. I started going to yoga and stretching at home. Over the past couple of weeks, I’m FINALLY starting to feel like I’ve made some major improvements.

In one week, I matched my PR in both the front and back squat for the first time in well over a year and a half and I recently RX’d the benchmark WOD, Karen. Something I have NEVER done. My main goal this year is to continue to let my body heal, continue to see improvements, and hopefully be able to step into a competition and be the badass that I know I’m meant to be. Because giving up is not an option.

Author: Athlete, Stephany LaRue

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