A Storm Is Coming
I was a carefree 24-year-old. My fiancée and I lived in a high rise apartment in the city. It was exciting to live Downtown after fleeing my parent’s house in the suburbs. Our lives centered on work, our puppy Bandit, Age of Empire competitions and Saturday nights with college friends and my twin sister. I had also been reacquainted with my love of strength training. Our apartment had a gym downstairs and I used it regularly with the mindset of Ronnie Coleman. “Everybody wants to be big, but don’t no one want to lift heavy ass weight!” I have a naturally larger frame and loved the idea of adding muscle to it. I loved training heavy. Soreness after a workout meant a job well done at the gym.
That’s how I initially rationalized my knees locking as I raised from the toilet. It was leg day, so it was expected. But, the pain increased and spread to other areas. My wrists, feet, and fingers throbbed when Bandit tugged at his leash on walks. My wrists became so fragile I wore a brace so people I just met would not offer their hand. My sore feet and stiff knees made walking to work an agonizing, slow experience. The final straw occurred after a typical work day. I came home, tired and sore. But, an energetic puppy needs to be let out. I sat down to change out of my work clothes and could not get back up. I could not put weight on my feet. As Bandit whined, my fear increased. I could not get up to walk my dog. By the time I was able to hoist myself up, it was too late. Bandit used the floor as the park and I knew something was wrong with me.
I was now a scared 24 year old.. I was in constant pain, physically and emotionally. My social life was nonexistent. I stopped lifting weights. My mood was melancholy. I slept most evenings due to fatigue and sadness. My fiancée was my strongest support system, but my worsening fear often masked my appreciation. My former life was a blurry memory I could no longer view.
My body was in turmoil. I had no idea what I was facing, and I was terrified.