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Thread: My Way of Coping

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32
    Thank you, Back Out. Very flattering.
    It took me about 18 months of hard training, four days a week about an hour to an hour and a half per session. During the diet period, off days from lifting include 45 mins of cardio and 30 mins on one of the on days, for four days of cardio. Diet alone won't burn it all off. I will see what I have for earlier pictures somewhere.
    Prior to contest dieting is the mass building phase. Involves a high protien diet and a deliberate consumption of excess but good calories to build muscle.
    I had been going to the gym for several years, but not training so hard or with focus. I had done it through my 20's and got out of it in my 30's, back into it by 40. Before that, I was probably running in the 190's without fitness.
    One of the differences you have noticed is the difference between natural bodybuilders and the "juicers". Most of the well-publiicized pros are steroid users. Certainly the ones at Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia or the Arnold Classic are. Someone once asked Governator Arnold in a press conference if he had taken steroids. He said, "I took everything." They all have that look.
    Natural bodybuilders just look, well, natural. And abide by the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances.
    My pain levels, from the scoliosis at least, have dropped. I have lots of other aches, though, all self-inflicted! The day after leg day is killer. But my back is better. I saw my doctor before contest and had my annual x-rays done. My Cobb Angle has remained stable for over 5 years.
    Several things got me going. Back pain. Stress relief. Living with and divorce from an alcoholic. Desire to feel better again.
    I thank you for your kind words.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,748
    The first thing that came to my mind was Roman soldiers. The kind I picture in my mind. Twisted, you fit right in, the leader in fact! Great job, win or not, you win in our books!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32
    To answer everyone's question, I finished 8th of 9. I guess I beat the fat guy.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    798
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Lifter View Post
    To answer everyone's question, I finished 8th of 9. I guess I beat the fat guy.
    Not my question!

    In contests like this, I see it like finishing a marathon. The goal: to finish! Period.

    Your story has inspired me - perhaps a bit too much. I too have experienced the amazing effects on ones physical and mental health, that a hard-won physical fitness campaign can have. My scoliosis deterioration began (not by coincidence, I'm sure) shortly after I stopped an intensive exercise program somewhat over a decade ago. Car accident and incidental effects stopped me - I was literally on my way to the gym. I never got there and never returned (not even once).

    It's hard to track the curvature and worsening afterward - even my loss of stature (4 inches) is uncertain much less the Cobb angle, as my doctors usually took my word for my height. Only BP and weight were definitely measured on the spot.

    Now, I find myself wondering whether I could "do it" again - that is, return to extreme exercise and hopefully, let the gym replace the OR. Even doing floor exercises (hr/day) starting in Oct., has made a huge difference in pain and disability.

    But I keep returning to the same question we all must go back to sooner or later - how long could I maintain a concentrated fitness program even if it "works"? Sooner or later, everyone (except Jack LaLanne?*) has to stop standing on their heads every day - for hours. (Referring to the nursery rhyme).

    What decisions dare I make based on the assumption I will always be able to do what I can today? And what happens afterward?

    Nb.
    At the age of 95, LaLanne continues to work out every morning for two hours. He spends 1 hours in the weight room and half an hour swimming or walking. LaLanne and his wife Elaine (83) live in Morro Bay, California.[11] When interviewed by Katie Couric on NBC's Today show, LaLanne said his two simple rules of nutrition are: "if man made it, don't eat it", and "if it tastes good, spit it out." He often says, "I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image." Interviewed on his 93rd birthday, he said his feat of strength was going to be "towing my wife across the bathtub."

    In a June 2007 interview, LaLanne announced that for his 95th birthday, he'd like to swim to Santa Catalina Island, a distance of approximately 20 miles (32 km) off the coast.[12]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_LaLanne
    He's right about one thing - the financial incentive. I've often felt there was no greater motivator for fitness or weight loss than founding a business empire on your success at it!
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32
    How very philosophical, Back Out!
    I actually agree. The results had not been posted until tonight and some were curious as to the actual standings.
    But placing had never been the point. As I said at the outset, I neber really expected to place, but I would do my best. I got there and did it and achieved the goal.
    I have cited this example as inspiration. My gilrfriend likes to run distances and I attend her events as support crew (as she did in exemplary fashion at mine). At these events, there are literally thousands of people running. People of all walks of life, shapes and sizes. Some are blind. Some are in wheelchairs. Some have had heart attacks. Maybe ten of either gender have any realistic chance of winning the race. Yet thousands come out to do it. It is about the sport and the personal achievement.
    We all make choices every day based on what we can do today. Otherwise the alternative would paralysis or nihilism.
    For me, it was all part of adding positive choices, positive feelings and positive activities to my life. If it comes that I can't do this, I will find something else to do. For now, I do it because I can.
    You are right, Back Out. But it is not just about finishing, it is about the process of finishing.
    I am pleased to provide whatever inspiration I can.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Amanda,
    Don't we wish we had a crystal ball. If I was guaranteed that I would never have any more pain than I do now and never look any more twisted than I do right now if I continued to workout, I would not have the surgery. I love my life right now and know that this surgery will at least change it for months for both my husband and me. I am strictly going on Dr. Lenke's statement that my prognosis is not good if I don't have surgery. I know this is crazy, but I love to play golf and I do it well-I'm not bragging, but I practice and have some natural ability and have won at least 50 tournaments. I have tried a few times recently to make a swing without any twisting and it just doesn't work. I know I will play golf again, but I'll probably go from championship flight to C-flight. Okay-that's not a positive attititude, but probably realistic. I admire all of you brave ones out there who are on "the other side". I would like to have the surgery behind me instead of worrying about what it might be like post-surgery. Twisted Lifter-you are an inspiration!
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32
    Karen:
    I have every confidence, based on your tone and the determination therein, that you will golf again.
    Remember everything takes time. You will be entitled to recovery time.
    But I can't think why you ought to give up what you love. You have the attitude.
    Would "stay the course" be too awful a golf pun?

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Twisted Lifter,
    I will certainly try. I've already told my friends that I plan to join them next summer to walk the courses, which will be good for me. I'll at least be able to putt. Hey, if I never play to a 5 handicap again, it's not the end of the world. I've enjoyed plenty of years of success on the course. For sure, I won't put so much pressure on myself when playing golf and might find it more relaxing. Thanks for your encouragement.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    241
    Impressive handicap, Karen. I can see why you're concerned about how you'll be able to do after surgery. Given time, I would guess you'll be able to get close to that again. We're gonna hope for that anyway.

    Glenda
    Glenda
    Age 66 Georgia (63 at time of surgery)
    Bi-lateral laminectomy 2006
    Kyphoscoliosis, approx 38* lumbar scoliosis, stenosis, disk herniations, lower back and hip pain, w/radiating pain, stinging and numbness in legs.
    A/P fusion (T10-S2) 5/17/10 and 5/20/10
    Dr Yoon, Emory Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital, Atlanta, GA
    Pleased with outcome

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Thanks, Glenda. That's sweet of you. I'm glad you're doing so well. It's nice when I see someone close to my age is recovering just fine. Stacy Lewis, a young LPGA professional, is the celebrity representative for the Scoliosis Foundation. She is having a fantastic year. She was not fused through the lumbar area, which allowed her to retain her flexibility, but I know she had to chip and putt only for a while and had a golf scholarship riding on how well she could play following her surgery. She had a lot more at stake than I do.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    39
    Twistedlifter's story is quite inspiring. Definitely shows us that we don't have to be hindered to show ourselves with this condition at all, that we can overcome the stigma and gain confidence.

    As twistedlifter mentions, he was able to keep his 70 degree curve from worsening through his exercise regimen, wouldn't that be a testament to disprove the orthopedic and NSF's research stating that exercise does not stop progression once and for all?

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinseeker View Post

    As twistedlifter mentions, he was able to keep his 70 degree curve from worsening through his exercise regimen, wouldn't that be a testament to disprove the orthopedic and NSF's research stating that exercise does not stop progression once and for all?
    I agree that's it's inspiring. One of the biggest hurdles in demonstrating the effectiveness of exercise is that you have to show that someone would have progressed without exercise. Because you can't prove that in an individual case, you need to run a largish number of subjects and compare the rate of progression in those who exercise to the rate of progression in those who don't. And that requires the kind of funding which simply is not available for these exercise-based studies.

    It's a *very* frustrating Catch-22 for those of us interested in exercise and scoliosis.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32

    Thumbs up Update

    I get back to this forum every couple of months when I need some inspiration.
    It is surprising (but a bit gratifying) to see this thread get bumped back up every so often.
    As an update, I have just had my annual x-rays to monitor my curve. Same as before. 70 degrees plus or minus.
    I still exercise regularly, though not as rigidly as when in training. Other injuries, like shoulders and biceps affect it as well.
    I still believe in doing what we can instead of focusing on what we can't. I don't believe (and never did) that exercise will change the scoliosis. It does, however, change how I feel and how I feel about myself.
    Bike riding, as an example I have just seen on another thread, is a great example, too. Seems to be helping.
    Find something you can do and enjoy, then stick with it. Good for the whole body.
    Also nice to see the familiar names still here fighting the good fight.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Twisted Lifter,
    It is good to hear from you again. Great advice that you are giving about focusing on what we can do. I remember your amazing pictures when you were competing and couldn't imagine the self discipline that you had to have to get to that level of competition. It is good news that your curve isn't progressing. It was weird to reread your thread and some of my old posts before I had surgery when I was full of indecision.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  15. #45
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,729
    hmmmm....
    how 'bout those who say that the SIZE of the curve does not
    (necessarily) determine the amount of pain...????

    i went to see my surgeon a few weeks ago...first time in 4 years...
    he did X ray, compared it to 2010....very very little increase in
    curves...BUT...i am in WAAAAAY more pain now...and the pain
    has worsened tremendously in the last year or so...

    SO.....even though there has been very little progression, there
    has been a very BIG increase in my pain.

    just sayin'....

    jess

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