Originally Posted by GeezerDude
Amen to this! We can live our lives feeling pretty invincible, but then one day you can wake up to a life altering circumstance without ever seeing it coming.
I served 16 years in the US Navy and separated in 97 as a result of the drawdowns. I worked my ass off to support my family to the point that I began neglecting my own health. I quit the job I had for another which allowed me to have the time to take care of myself and set out to lose a bunch of body fat and get healthy and strong again. In 2007 I got serious about weight training and began a beginners 5x5 program 3 days a week and was riding my mountain bike 60-70 miles per week. A buddy of mine informed me in 2008 that the Army National Guard would take me back in and I should finish my career, which I found to be true and I did return to military service as a Staff Sergeant. I went through the Army's Warrior Transition Course which is like Basic Training for veterans at the ripe young age of 46.
Everything was going along for me quite well. I had a good job, the prospects of converting to regular Active Army were good and I was in the best shape of my life when on the morning of August 10, 2009 I woke up to a horrible pain in my right leg. That pain was the result of a herniated disk at L5-S1 which finally had to be repaired surgically after other methods proved to be unsuccessful. I was left with permanent damage to my sciatic nerve which scarred over (shown by MRI) and chronic sciatic pain. It took me a full year to be able to walk normally without it being a conscious thought for every step. And also a year before I returned to full time work. In the summer of 2010 I returned to lifting with just an empty bar and worked my way back up to some respectable weights. I still have problems from the nerve damage, I.E, it is quite difficult to get a good bench arch without sending my sciatic nerve into painful spasms. Sometimes a grinder with deads and squats will leave me feeling someone smacked my right ass cheek with a hammer for a few days. But never the less I continue to lift as not only does it make me feel better physically, but it works wonders for my mental state of mind when I am down. It makes me feel better about myself when I look at other guys in my age group who are afflicted with what I refer to as old man issues already and to know that I still have the physical capacity to work as hard as a good many youngsters.
I have had some ups and downs with lifting because of burnout and sickness, but I will never give it up willingly. I have reset more times than I can count to work on form issues which affect my sciatica and to combat the burn out. I am no longer worried about whether I set PR's every time I get under the bar. I know that eventually I will be back into my PR territory.
What Don says about your youth being taken like a thief in the night can be taken as gospel. You just never know.
Awesome personal story, Geezer. Thank you for taking the time to share this. You keep trying. There is always a chance if you do. No matter how many times you have to reset and go back, keep trying. Those whom have not made mistakes, are generally the ones whom done nothing. It is the ones that keep trying to do something, that make mistakes, learn from them, and become better for it. I am also thankful for the iron, for making me look better below the neck (as I look my age in the face, lol) than many who are many years younger than I. I got this way through trial and error, mistakes that I have learned from (and logged), and from personally wanting to keep, trying.
Go for it, you are all you have in this journey.
Being thankful with the correct attitude provides you correct personal perspective of where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to go, and with your personal accomplishments along the way, will provide respect in each, and respect for the one in which got you there: You and the iron.
There is no magic pill in a bottle, there is only magic from sweating under the iron. For all the mistakes we make under the iron, oh...oh...feel the "thunder!" under your feet when you get it right!