I was in the gym jumping rope when it happened. The gym we belonged to had four racquetball courts, and one of them was empty, and it was the one I’d go into to shadow box and jump rope.
I’d only been jumping for under two minutes when I was suddenly hit with the most incredible pain in my lower back. I immediately dropped to my knees and tried to keep from throwing up by controlling my breathing. I crawled out of the court and was able to make my way past the cardio machines over to a seating area.
And I just sat there, afraid to move.
It’s difficult to describe the pain, except to say that in some positions I would feel OK, but other movements would bring me to tears. Laying in bed, for example, was alright if I was on my side.
Getting up required me to roll over and onto the ground, and then stand up slowly by bracing myself against the wall and the bed. I was unable to simply sit up in the bed and stand that way.
An impending six hour plane ride out of the country is what finally sent me to a chiropractor to see what my problem was. Basically, I had a weak back, a weak core, and the vertebrae in my spine just above my tailbone had almost no cushioning left between two of the discs.
So I had two problems: I was out of shape and I sat in an office chair (improperly I might add) for nine hours a day.
It hurt too much to workout, and sitting around was just as bad. But drinking helped, and that’s how I formed an alcohol dependence. It wasn’t just a beer here and there, I was drinking 90 proof whisky so I could at least get to sleep at night.
Eventually, the alcohol took over and I was blissfully forgetting my excruciating spine pain. I could have taken other medication; I could have gone to a doctor and got something. But the alcohol did the trick, and after it stopped tasting like battery acid I was addicted.
In 2010, I had had enough of my addictions, my laziness and poor diet. I was going to fix myself.