My focused fitness journey to “move” began when I decided I had to quit the profession as a registered dental hygienist of 25 years, which I loved, in order to regain health October 7, 2021. A back issue began after Covid shut down my dental office in March of 2020. I have always been involved in fitness. I did yoga 6 days a week for 1 year and a half and then found CrossFit. I was an avid CrossFitter 5 days a week for 3 years until Covid.
The gyms closed along with massage therapy. As I became sedentary for the seven weeks my job came to a halt, I began to have back pain. The only therapy open was chiropractic care. After 8 weeks of biweekly chiropractic visits, my back did not improve. In fact, it only got worse. So bad, that I ended up with multiple doctor visits, physical therapy, spinal facet joint injections and eventually a referral to a spine surgeon after the MRI revealed many issues from L-2 down to S-1. The surgeon recommended surgery in order to relieve my back pain. For me, that was not an option. It had been over a year and a half of not being able to work out or work properly, sitting or standing over patients in order to do my job. I knew I had to get my body healthy and that meant quitting my job to do so.
Determined not to have surgery, I now had the time and motivation to focus only on fitness and slowly regain health without back pain. During daily gym visits, I began with intense stretching and slowly added weight barring exercises to focus on strengthening my body. Up until that point, while working, I couldn’t exercise without pain or tears.
Fast forward 3 months, I am pain free and only have tears of joy. My mantra became “movement is medicine.” The more I moved, the better I felt and stronger I became. I am still a work in progress, but at age 52, I am blessed to be healthy and pain free. I plan to find a different career path because dental hygiene is very taxing on your body. I am Ok with that. If you don’t have your health, you can’t practice dental hygiene or any career for that matter.
My fitness advice to anyone is “move” daily. Whether it’s stretching, walking or lifting weights, just move. Movement. Is. Medicine.