“My Second Home”
Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/October 21st, 2021/Written by: Jeffrey L. Klump
The gym has always been my second home.
The first gym that I ever trained at was George Turners in Dellwood, Missouri in the late 1970s.
It was at that gym that I knew I belonged.
That gym, in particular, had real tough guys training there with names like Jay Rosciglione, Greg Tuck, and “The Beast”, Tom Sumner.
I remember Sumner having 7 or 8 plates on each side of the barbell deadlift and that barbell was bouncing up and down like a rubber band.
Guys were in there yelling and screaming while training and that was just a little intimidating for a skinny 15-year-old kid at the time.
Over the years the names and places of gyms have changed, but for the most part, I have always been comfortable at the gym.
It has always been a place for me to destress and clear my mind along with strengthening my body.
Exercise has been the most effective way to strengthen your immune system.
There is no substitute for exercise.
The one time that I should have been going to the gym, in my late 40’s but slacked off, was right before my mind was blown and my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
From 2011 to 2015 my time in the gym was rare and at the same time, I was not eating well and abusing alcohol to cope with the stress that my wife would be leaving us.
By the fall of 2015, I realized that I needed to make some changes quickly, or I would be headed for trouble as well.
I started watching a chiropractor on YouTube by the name of Eric Berg and he was talking about something that I never heard of even though the gym was my second home.
The word Ketosis and Ketogenics are the words that he kept using and after watching his videos, I started living the Ketogenic lifestyle.
I started seeing results within a few weeks.
Then in April of 2016, the day before my wife died, I lifted her up on a porta-potty and she was dead weight.
I tore something in my right upper back but didn’t know what it was.
The pain lasted for a while and then over time especially from 2017 to the present, that pain trickled down to my lower back and both sides and all of the ways down to my feet.
Pain is a constant part of my life now.
I had my disability hearing yesterday and the judge asked me which positions do I experience the most pain, and I told her, it is worse when I lie down, and sitting down is a close second, and then standing up is still painful but not as bad as the previous two.
The judge did not ask me when I feel the least pain.
If she did, I would have told her at the gym.
When my body is in motion, then and only then, do I feel some relief from pain.
I rest briefly in between each set and exercise.
Along with exercising in the gym, I do a lot of stretching and this is so critical especially for people over 40.
Before and after exercising, I sit in the sauna for between 10 to 15 minutes.
Saunas are incredible for ridding your body of toxins, excess water, and pain relief.
They are also important for anyone who has had a stroke or other cardiovascular issues.
After a while, I think I just become numb to pain.
Taking pain killers and opioids is out, not just because of the dangers involved but also because they constipate me.
In the summer of 2020, I had an X-Ray done on my lower back.
This was through the Social Security Administration and they would allow only one and no MRI’s which is what I needed and asked for.
The one lower back X-ray revealed Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Arthritis.
I am sure there is more going on there but I have not had health insurance since 2017, and there won’t be any way to tell unless my disability case is approved. I will then be eligible for early Medicare.
If this wasn’t enough, at the end of October 2019, I had a series of 4 strokes.
I am just getting myself back to where I was before this happened.
It has been a long road back.
The strokes really took it out of me and I still do not feel right.
Regardless of the outcome of my case, I will be at the gym.
It is here that I belong.
I am not afraid of a little cold virus. I keep my Vitamin D levels very high.
I am not afraid of anything in this world except not being able to take care of myself long-term.
That does bother me and that is why I am here.
My Second Home.
7 Tips for Exercising When You Have Chronic Pain (spineuniverse.com)
Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence – Mayo Clinic Proceedings