My 52-Year-Old Back Feels Great

After a life of contact sport and a workplace injury in 1987 I’ve had a bad back my whole life.  I was diagnosed with a bulging disc L4/L5 back in 1987 but have remained active…running, cycling, playing hockey etc. right up to the ripe old age of 49.  Sure I had the odd flare-up every 5 years or so…then every 3 years, then annually…but I was still functioning at a high level as a result of daily stretching and strengthening and staying active.

In late 2016 things got worse.  I was waking up every morning with a very stiff back.  By 10 at night it was locked up and I could barely get out of bed after reading to my daughter.  For the first time I actually hung up the skates.

Following an X-Ray I was diagnosed with advanced arthritis in my lower back.  My Doctor told me that there was no reason to hope the condition would improve…that I could only hope to delay or slow the worsening.  I was encouraged to keep up with my stretching and strengthening, but that I would likely have to take Tylenol morning and night for the rest of my life.  I should give up hockey.  I should give up running.

At the age of 52 I am now happily almost pain free and have not taken anti-inflammatory or pain medication more than once a month or so for 2 years.  I went back to hockey this past season and felt no discomfort.  Gardening? No sweat.  I have been cycling over 150km per week for over 8 weeks now as part of my Give’r Project toward a world free from cancer.  If I didn’t have a sprain in my abdomen I’d be running too.  I am looking forward to another 30 years of daily strenuous activity.

I attribute this to 2 things.  First of all I have remained passionate about movement, sports and exercise and there was no way I was going to give up things I loved.  Ping me in the comments if you are interested in what my daily practice is.  I also started taking Turmeric (Jarrow Formula Curcumin Phytosome 500mg) daily around 2 years ago after conducting a bunch of research of my own.  Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s recommendations sealed the deal.

Turmeric is really the only thing that is new in my routine…that and the simple passage of time that may also have had an effect.

Try it out!

1,110 km down & $3,175 raised! Give’r Project Week 7 Update

We’re over 32% toward our goal of funding a potentially lifesaving critical trial for someone facing cancer.

Through the past 7 weeks on the bike  I have reclaimed my appreciation of the flow that comes from long, difficult physical exertion.  It has been a revelation…rediscovering what I knew 15 years ago when I was regularly running and training for 10k’s, half marathons and triathlons.

The Give’r Project – a continuation of 13 years of cycling and fundraising for cancer research – is a beautiful compliment and reinforcing of a lifelong commitment to fitness, health and well-being.

There really is only one finish line, and when we see a world free from cancer in 2030 it will be time to share a beer, some high-fives, and then lace up and keep right on going.

Thanks for supporting my Give’r Project.  Join Team Cross Cancer Institute or create your own team and Just Give’r.

A Virtuous Cycle

Readers of this blog know that I pledged to ride, run, swim and paddle 7,000 km in under a year in support of cancer research, prevention and care at the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

I used to run a lot when I was younger…and running 3-4 times a week kept me in touch with not only the physical and mental health benefits of running, but also the well of creativity that one can access when pushing hard physically…the turning off of the chattering mind and turning on of the benefits of flow.

Frankly I made the pledge to cover 7,000 km on a bit of a whim…I was reading about the 40th Anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope just as it was announced that my annual Ride to Conquer Cancer had been cancelled.  As a supporter of cancer research I wanted to do something and the Give’r Project was born.

Stuck inside on a trainer for the most part I had started to flag last week…feeling isolated and wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew.  But now, 6 weeks and 950 km in,  I feel like I have crested a big hill.  I feel stronger all of a sudden, and the riding is less drudgery and more inspiration.  I have tapped that well and where there was boredom, isolation and anxiety I am now experiencing expansiveness, wellness and creativity.

I heard someone say today, related to the pandemic, “…tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

I’m feeling it.  If you are having a hard time getting moving, maybe you should just Give’r.