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Leader of the Back…er, Pack | Inspiration for your Aching Back
You could say that Ol’ Arthur beats my butt, or that I have a hitch in my git-along. In short, my back hurts.
Since the lifetime prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries among nurses is as high as 80%, I am guessing you are sympathetic, but not impressed. Your back probably hurts too.
I started attending exercise classes after I had been a nurse for a while, so I had to learn from the get-go how to work out with a bad back. Kickboxing, step, Pilates, trampoline, circuit, resistance training…I figured out the back-friendly way to do each one.
I did push-ups against the wall. I lifted barbells without any weights on the ends. I roundhouse-kicked like someone stepping over a puddle. I did ballet releves when everyone else was jumping up and down, a substitution friendly to the bladder as well as the back. I marched in place a lot. I was in an exclusive relationship with the only pair of one-pound hand weights at the gym.
I’m not sure when everyone else at the gym suddenly got a lot younger than me, and somewhat disdainful of my exercise modifications. I think it was around the same time that the gauntlet of body-builders to be run between the gym door and the ladies’ changing room grew better tans, whiter teeth, and less body hair than I had. I started feeling sheepish about my exercise limitations. I decided it was time for a change. I began to Jazzercise.
Jazzercise has worked out well for me. The exercise is effective, challenging, and fun, and the instructors are modification-friendly. I have made so much progress that I have started practicing serial monogamy with ever-heavier sets of hand weights, and just ordered a pair of seven-pounders on-line. My triceps are looking good.
The other day, a new Jazzericse instructor complimented me on how well I do exercise modifications. In fact, she asked if it would be OK to discreetly point me out as a ‘how-to’ example for new or limited exercisers. She said I should just tell her if this would make me feel self-conscious or embarrassed, in which case she wouldn’t do it.
Embarrassed? Heck, no! It’s nice not to feel sheepish anymore. In fact, I feel like the leader of the flock. I mean, leader of the pack.
___________________________________About the Author: Joann is a Registered Nurse with Master's Degrees in Nursing and Public Administration in pursuit of a second career as a writer. Joann created the web site, StillANurse.com to "honor the 'inner nurse' of those who are no longer walking the hospital corridors, but still carrying the Nightingale Lamp in our hearts," because "for many of us, being a nurse isn't so much something we do, as something we are." She recently published her first novel, (it's available on Amazon) Six of One, a comedic historical fiction about Henry VIII's six wives. Says Anne of Cleves, "It's the most fun you can have with your nightdress on!" Henry's last wife, Katherine Parr, acted as his nurse...(and she has her own blog: http://katherineparr.sixofone.biz/)
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