The slippery slope to inactivity

Jun, 25, 2018

I am a fairly active person.  I generally exercise three to five times a week.  Running five miles, biking 20 and hiking a steep 7 miles are all in my wheelhouse.  I like to explore on foot when I travel and as previously mentioned, I’ve trekked in Nepal.   

That said, I’m terrible at abdominals.  I’m lazy about doing workouts that I know will stabilize my core and save me from injury.  I was reminded of my shortcomings with a loop-d-loop fall in a Panamanian shower this past May.  I stepped in, picked up my other foot to step in.  My right foot slipped and all ended with me landing squarely and full body weight on the four inch tile shower lip at mid back.  

I froze with thankfully warm water on me and tried all my extremities.  As a nurse, my first thought was ‘dear god I’ve paralyzed myself’. Luckily, I could move everything and stood up without the help of my terrified boyfriend who witnessed the whole sad act. I showered rightfully thinking I was moving, may as well soothe my body and clean up.  I went to bed and prayed I could get up in the morning.  I was able to get up the next morning but had terrible back cramping for about a week.  I used ibuprofen high dose tablets for the rest of the trip.   I was still tender 10 days later and it took about 3 weeks to completely get back to running. 

You would think I learned my lesson and start protecting my back.  Lose say, the ten pounds or at least do some abdominal work.  Well no, this girl just got back into the game.  Get it?  ‘Back’ in the game?  I was recovering nicely until I did a 36 mile ride.  My back injury flared up, but again I didn’t learn. Once again, I hit the ibuprofen eased off and recovered.  

They say third times a charm.  It’s almost two months later I’ve come full circle.  I lifted wrong or did a bit too much a few days ago and I’m battling back pain once again.  This time, I was on my way to Montana to fish for a week.  After the first day of driving, I was stiff and uncomfortable.  The next day, I almost fell over tying my shoe.  I went to a walk in clinic.  The provider asked if I’d been seen the first time.  ‘Peshaw’ I believe I said.  Translation: nope, I’m not wise enough to be checked out when I almost crack a vertebrae.  I’m a nurse.  She nodded with understanding.  Nurses are the worst patients.  

So, this terrible patient explained that although I look normal I’m in a ridiculous amount of pain if I move the wrong way, sit the wrong way or sneeze.  She took pity on the fool and prescribed a mild muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatories.  Now day two, I can walk at near normal pace and feel like I may not be an invalid for life.  

I’m grateful for several things: I’m walking; I could have seriously injured myself.  Two months later a visible line exists where I hit the tiles in Panama.  My back is a time bomb but I can do something about it.  I’m grateful I am moderately active.  I’m grateful I have the sense to keep moving even when I’m in pain.  I’m grateful the universe is giving me yet another chance to rehab my back and get some abdominals.  OK Universe and abdominals here I come.  


  1. Accidents happen but take care of yourself when they do.
  2. Prevention is 75% or more of health.  Do something to improve your overall health today.
  3. Push yourself but if you do, balance out with some great core exercise and stretching.


Yoga with Adriene.

I Run Far


Paula Stokes

I love feeling good. I'm on a mission to feel well and sharing that info with you along the way.

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