A Year of Perfect Health: ON HOLD

Editor's Note: In January, Luke Baumgarten embarked on "A Year of Perfect Health," documenting his search for long-lasting lifestyle changes. Along the way, he's tried yoga, kettle bells and undergone testing at the Metabolic Institute. Here's his update:

As I sit writing this, there’s a dull pain in my butt and a tightness in my lower back. I’ll probably have to stop writing half way through and lie down with my legs elevated. Then I’ll do some stretches. Hopefully after that, I’ll be good to sit again for a half hour. Then I’ll have to lie down again.

My year of perfect health was stopped at the railroad crossing of reoccurring injuries. All I can really do is wait the train out. I’m barred from working out. Well, I can walk, and I have been. This lack of mobility is driving me a bit mad and walking is the only outlet I have.

I’ve had bulging discs in my back for years, stemming initially, my doctors think, from a bike wreck in 7th grade. I didn’t realize, after hitting a tree barreling down a hill at Priest Lake, that I’d thrown my entire body out of alignment. Then when I was a sophomore in high school, I started having aches and pains in my shoulder and legs. It showcases how important spinal health is for the whole body, and I’ve been very mindful — for say the last five years — about maintaining good core tone, etc, to keep all my damaged bits in place.

Sometimes, though, things just go awry. That’s what happened about a month ago. No real clue why — I’d been doing normal amounts of work and exercise — I just tightened up and started losing mobility. Then the pain came and the rest is recent history.
I’m in physical therapy and I’m hoping, after a few more sessions, I’ll get the OK to do a little working out on my own time. It’s way too nice outside to not be out in it, running and hiking and just sweating in general.

In the meantime, I’m seriously ramping back carbs and calories in general. Convalescing has made me a little (more) doughy. As I am with my doctors, my editor at InHealthNW and I are talking about where we go from here. Stay tuned.

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About The Author

Luke Baumgarten

Luke Baumgarten is commentary contributor and former culture editor of the Inlander. He is a creative strategist at Seven2 and co-founder of Terrain.