This is longer than my usual post but worth it.
Now the x-ray photos down below look a little worse than what my spine actually is,
But it gives you a pretty good idea that goes with this story.
I still remember when I was first diagnosed with scoliosis, I was 14 years old.
I was told and explained what it was and how it can impact the body,
Especially if you had more of a moderate to severe case like mine,
Where doing physio exercises didn’t really help to slow the turning.
But I was a kid, and I didn’t really think much of it.
For the next few months, I’d do exercises prescribed to me by my chiropractor at the time
Every day for about 6 months, for 20 minutes, there were certain stretches I had to do.
And of course, id does them after I got home from school and be on with the rest of my day.
But it wasn’t until I had gone to visit the specialist for the third time that I realized,
This wasn’t something that was just going o go away and not be a nuisance.
They had done a scan of my back and because the exercises and stretches had not,
Stopped or seemed to slow down the curvature, I would nee dot get a body brace.
I remember thinking a what?
The doctor had gone into his office and fetched one to show me what he was talking about.
And is till remember telling myself when he brought out one to show me
How the hell am I going to wear that in high school.
You see being 14 and starting to get his young adolescent life together,
Making new friends, fitting into certain groups,
Wearing a body brace that covered you from your hips all the way to your upper chest.
Was not something any young kid would be pleased to wear.
It was a thick plastic material that tightly gripped my torso and did not allow,
For any bending in my upper body.
They are designed to keep your back straight and compress your torso to a degree,
To stop your spine from very slowly rotating over time.
The doctor continued to explain how they would make me one,
By creating a cast that was designed for my body only.
I am remembering being really pissed lol.
Because from what I was being told, I had to wear this thing.
It was like wearing a plate of armor.
And I remember my dad making a joke about it to try and humor me because,
I was visibly so happy.
But if I didn’t wear it then my spine would continue to rotate causing a heavy imbalance in my body
Which could not be reversed.
And it if ever got too bad then I would have to have spine surgery.
So, it was either I wear the brace, or I do the latter.
And of course, my dad wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
So obviously at the recommendation of the doctor, we got the brace made.
But what bothered me the most and really gave me anxiety as a young kid,
was what the doctor said next.
He told me I had to wear it until I had stopped growing.
Because when an individual with scoliosis stops growing,
That’s when their spine ceases to stop rotating.
I remember saying, I have to wear this for like the rest of high school.
Do I have to walk the halls when it's so busy with thing on?
People are going to probably think I’m some freak.
Girls won't even look my way.
I remember a lot ran through my mind lol
Bu the worst feeling was that there was no way out of it.
I had to do this.
It was either I do this now for the next couple years or so or suffer even more,
The rest of your life.
Putting a shirt over the brace became easier after some time.
And it didn’t look as bad as I thought it would under my school uniform.
But it did look bulky, and you could see a slight part stick out the top of my shirt,
Because of how it was designed.
For the next 2 years and some months, I had to wear that thing.
And of course, now I’m glad I did.
Because doing so saved me years of pain and inflammation that could have transpired,
The older I got.
But let’s say sometimes people can be assholes.
Of course, some people decided to try and be a smart ass.
You’re in high school, that’s going to be expected with kids.
Especially with something they completely don’t understand.
Even a teacher who thought it would be funny to bring it up in class
But others were cool with it and understood.
It wasn’t easy wearing this brace that covered half your body,
That spanned from your hips to your upper chest,
Which covered your torso,
For 23 hours a day.
And I only could have it off for an hour to give my back a break.
And during that time, I showered and had to do my stretches.
So, I really had only about a half-hour without it on to relax.
But again, it needed to be done for me to have a functioning body
Later in life.
But eventually came the day where I could FINALLY take it off
I went to the specialist, and he finally said those magic words.
I had stopped growing.
I remember finally being excited because
There was still some of my grade 12 year left
And I could enjoy it without having to wear the brace.
I was also excited because I had just gotten into,
Lifting weights not too long before while I had the brace on
And I wanted to start doing that further because I liked it.
And now that the brace was coming off, I would be able to do more.
But the specialist dropped another bomb
He said I wouldn’t be able to ever lift heavyweights
Because he thought the pressure wouldn’t be good for my spine
I remember thinking seriously though lol
Common I just wore this thing for like 2 years
For 23 hours a day.
Everything from just sitting down to moving in daily life became uncomfortable
And now that I am getting it off for good
I can’t pursue something that gave same joy.
I wasn’t’ even sad, I was pissed.
But for some reason, my gut instinct told me otherwise
Not that I didn’t have respect for the doctor.
I did, and he helped me out a lot.
But even after wearing that I felt strong.
Just as I had before I had to wear the brace when I was younger.
I had also been participating in gym class as well sometimes in high school.
And, at the time, from what I was learning, the body could grow and improve.
So, I remember saying, if wearing this thing helped with my spine,
And it didn’t get any worse but also didn’t get better.
And I was able to still perform well in gym class and strength sessions.
And the doctor even said that I should light weights to strengthen my muscles to help,
Support my spine?
Why wouldn’t I be able to eventually lift heavyweights?
Well with the months and years that followed I obviously did not listen
And experimented myself.
I wanted to know for sure that the doctor was right.
At some points, I remember saying to myself
But are you really going o argue with a doctor?
You can't believe you know more than the doctor does.
But eventually, when I was able to, I started lifting heavier weights.
And as it turns out, he was obviously wrong.
Not only did I grow to 195 which is my current weight.
But I packed don a lot of muscle and my strength more than doubled,
Over 15 years of working out of course.
I’m glad I listened to my instinct.
Because if I hadn’t, I still think I would have continued to work out
But it would have been with a scarcity mindset
And possibly would not have built up the strength I have today
Or the amount of muscle.
This also gave me the foundation to go into school and not only,
Become a trainer but also learn anatomy and more about the body.
How to perform an exercise, why our bodies move the way they do,
Why do certain muscle fibers activate when we perform things In a certain way etc.
Also allowed me to delve into athletic therapy as well,
And understand the recovery side of things a lot more.
Which by the way, is extremely more important the older we get?
But over the last 15 years between schooling and the experience, I gained,
A vast amount of knowledge that is priceless.
And it's all because of a circumstance I never asked for.
But unknowingly over time made me stronger physically and mentally.
There were plenty of times I thought of taking my brace off at school
Leaving in my locker and keeping it there,
And then putting it back on so when I get home it looked like I had worn it.
And I’m glad I wasn’t stupid enough to do that.
Cause if I did, I would have either caused irreversible conditions in my body
Or possibly set myself up for back surgery.
And it would have been all because of a scarcity mindset.
All because I was too scared to see how I would be viewed in front of,
A couple of thousand other kids my age.
I was still nervous going into school a lot of times.
But eventually, I got used to it.
And now I thank myself that I had the smarts to listen to my instinct,
And keep it on day after day.
I remember feeling as though I didn’t want to.
I wanted to take it off because of the looks or stares or talks sometimes.
But that irritating voice in my brain wouldn’t let me.
And from then on in my life, I used that as a learning experience,
To understand that sometimes you have to do things,
You really don’t want to do.
You might despise it, but you need to do it to better your future.
Because it's discipline and focus that get you to your results.
You have to do it even when you don’t feel like it.
My scoliosis helped to strengthen my resolve
To become stronger in other areas of my life
And it did so before I even knew what I would be in the future.
Occasionally I deal with discomfort in my back
If I don’t foam roll or stretch, then it starts to creep back in even more.
But my flexibility and stretch have always stayed with me because of the daily work I put in.
Even with these issues I had and periodically do have,
I am stronger than most people I know and have great flexibility for my size.
So, there is no excuse for you
Not to put you on the hot seat.
But you can do whatever you want in fitness.
You just can’t give up and you must keep seeking answers and getting stronger.
No, it might not be easy, and some people might have it harder than others
But that’s no excuse.
Anyway, I thought I’d share this little story,
As being a trainer and having trained numerous people
There are a lot of individuals who put themselves down
Or just give up to early.
I honestly don’t have the mentality anymore that things are supposed to be easy
They are meant to be challenging
Because it separates the people who want something from others who will eventually get it.
Just as I did over 15 years, you need to do it day by day.
And slowly over time, you will see your results.
And you’ll understand why, just as I did back when I was younger,
How that voice in your head is generally trying to guide you to success.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. This is all from the experience I have gained through myself and through schooling I have taken from a health and fitness course. Through my videos, I share my personal and educational experience that I have acquired over the past years of training individuals through fitness and nutrition.
As always, I strive to help as much as I can by bringing you fitness education through means of all my social media platforms. My passion for fitness guides me to give people the help they need in whatever way I can. If you have been able to find the information I release helpful then I’m happy I was able to serve you.
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