This past February marked my one-year anniversary of rehab and strength training after carrying twins tore my core apart, resulting in a 4-cm diastasis. To read the whole backstory, click here.
In February of 2018, almost a year after the twins were born, I began physical and tissue therapy, first with my rehab specialist and then with my athletic trainer, since I was still unable to walk or stand for long periods of time.
So two to three times a week, I would faithfully go to my appointments to either get worked on or get coached with the exercises I needed to perform in order to fix my core. All throughout rehab, my athletic trainer would patiently work with me to recover all normal movement and posture throughout my body, while measuring my diastasis to check its progress.
In November, nine months later, I was about to “graduate” from physical therapy and move on to strength training. I was so unsure of myself and didn’t think I was ready to work with weights, but my athletic trainer knew me much better than I knew myself.
My goal in the beginning of my rehab process was to just be able to walk and stand for more than 20 minutes at a time. Once I was finally able to do that and it became clear that my diastasis was healing, my goals shifted to wanting to be strong enough to carry both twins at the same time as they got bigger and heavier. I also wanted to learn how to appropriately put them in and out of their high chairs, strollers, and carseats without compromising my neck and back.
So strength training began, and week after week, my athletic trainer was basically my personal trainer, working with me on strengthening my body in ways that would benefit my daily life with growing twins: squats, deadlifts, pushups, pull-ups, regular planks, side-planks, overhead presses, and a ton of other exercises with acronyms I can never remember.
I used to barely be able to walk nor stand, let alone carry any weight for any amount of time. Now I can do exercises with weights that are almost as heavy as I am (110 lbs). WHAT. I never would have imagined that I would make it this far.
I was full of unbelief throughout the entire process, and even now, I’m still saying, “There’s no way I can lift/squat/deadlift/do that.” Yet with my athletic trainer’s coaching and encouragement, I continue to prove myself wrong over and over and over again. Working out with him is also transforming me from the “no, I can’t do it” to the “yes, I can do it” person I used to be in most areas of my life.
In my entire life, I have never been one to workout. I did some yoga classes and took a kickboxing class in college 15 years ago, but that’s about it. When I look back at how far I’ve come, now almost four months into strength training, I am so proud of myself and eternally grateful to my athletic trainer for his patience, encouragement, and dedication in helping me literally get back on my feet. Not only did he do that, but he has and is continuing to coach me to be the strongest I have ever been in my life.
People talk about working out lifting their mood, but for me, it has more than just lifted my mood. I’m absolutely positive that faithfully going to physical therapy and my workout classes has helped immensely with my postpartum anxiety and depression, not just because I’m working out, but because every workout class is an incredible accomplishment to me. I feel productive; I feel strong; I feel proud; I feel like a badass. All of those feelings combined make me feel more like who I used to be before I became a Mom, and I am finally beginning to feel like my lost identity is slowly returning.
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