Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Has Your Gym Done For You Lately?

When my family started using our local YMCA 2 years ago I had a hard time getting started. I took the kids faithfully and dropped them off for classes and escaped for an hour with a book. With the shift my husband was working those days, it was the only free time I would get all week.

Then one day, as I sat outside in the sunshine, reading my book, listening to music and smoking a cigarette it finally came to me,

I should probably be using my membership for more than free babysitting.

(I'm slow, what can I say?)

After just a few short workouts I got bit by the bug and I turned into a full-on gym rat. It was over a year ago that I started working out at least 5 days a week, and as often as I can with a fit buddy or trainer.

Then last May, I was suddenly hit with EXTREME pain in my left calf. I've got tattoos, I've given birth to children, injured and endured surgery on my knees and still, I've never experienced pain like this. But as soon as I stopped running/jumping the pain disappeared. For a week, I continued to visit the gym and tried low-impact workouts. But the pain started popping up at other times, like when I was running up the stairs at home or turning suddenly. 

I mentioned something to a trainer at the Y and she encourage me to run (not walk) to the doctor.**


I immediately started on a low-dose blood thinner and had to have blood work taken every six days. Ultrasound quickly became a part of my daily lexicon.

For the first 2 weeks I was constantly on edge, every ache, every twinge had me in fear that the blood clot was moving toward my heart. I thought I was going to die. For reals. For the first time in my life, I actually did every single thing the doctor told me to do. Followed instructions to the letter.

I cleaned my house, had long tea dates with friends and told my kids about 7 million times a day that I loved them and always would.

I was actually preparing myself for death.

After 8 weeks the blood clot cleared and the doctor deemed it was okay for me to discontinue use of the blood thinners. 

So yeah, not only has the YMCA helped me get into great physical shape, boosted my confidence AND given me free babysitting kids classes, it's also saved my life.

*Smoochy, sloppy kisses to all the staff at the A.R. Kaufman YMCA in Kitchener. There's no better place I can imagine to take my family to have fun, keep fit and make new friends. Also? You saved my life so I guess I owe you one (or a million).

**But not actually run, because that would have hurt, ya know?

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