April 21, 2021
How Diet and Exercise Changed My Life
When I was in Highschool I used to compete in track and field; being naturally gifted with an athletic ability to jump extremely high it was natural that I became a High Jumper. Being young and undisciplined I took for granted my natural ability and rarely exercised with any order or guidance. I stayed in shape somehow with a terrible diet, by being extremely active and having boxed for years since I was 8 years old. Once I got to high school, I abandoned any strict training regiment.
It was at a local track meet where I took my final high jump attempt that season, which lead to a devastating injury that resulted in permanent damage to several vertebrae, crushed discs, pinched nerves, as well tears in my back muscles. This injury has stayed with me since then.
By the time I was 19, I moved around by walking with a cane suffering from constant back pain with no hope that I’d never be able to run or jump again. That’s when I decided enough was enough, and I would do everything in my own power to have a better quality of life!
A Change in Mindset
I ended up going to see a wonderful Physical Therapist who changed the way I viewed my own body and exercise. He taught me of the amazing power the body holds, and how it is capable of healing itself from some of the most traumatic injuries. He taught me that what we put in our bodies is what we will get from it. Meaning, if you eat clean and healthy, you’ll feel clean and healthy. He reinforced the idea I had of keeping a positive mindset no matter what, and how your brain can push you through just about anything.
It was there at my therapy appointments where I was given exercises to do at home; the idea was to strengthen everything around the injury site in order to compensate for the lack of support my spine was giving me. This was also the time I started taking my diet seriously and doing my own research into healthy foods and lifestyle choices.
Exercise and Diet
About a year later, all the efforts of exercising consistently, lifting weights, juicing vegetables and fruits, and taking supplements paid off. I no longer needed a cane to walk. Although I still felt constant pain, it’s nowhere near what it was, and I was back to running. Slowly but surely I was building myself up.
I’m now 26 years old able to run, jump, and play with my nieces and nephews of which I have over double digits! *Perks of being the youngest in a family of 9!*
For me exercising and eating healthy aren’t just so I can physically look good, it’s to keep me from ever having to use a cane again. It’s to let me enjoy the quality time with my loved ones. It’s so I can be an example that the body is capable of miracles. It’s so I can be an advocate that there is hope for everyone in proper nutrition and exercise!