Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-A Work in Progress!-

Two years ago at this time, I was working out for at least an hour 5-6 days a week in preparation for my first triathlon.

Today, I sit here contemplating the fact that I will be finishing physical therapy next week, and haven’t gone for a run, ride, or a swim in three months. The extent of my physical activity (aside from my job) has been physical therapy twice a week.

Yep, things are WAY different.

Three months of basically a sedentary lifestyle in comparison to my “normal” way of doing things.

What has happened during this time?

Well, in addition to rehabbing my injury, I have had extra time to simply mellow out

Without the pressure to stick with my own exercise program, life has been quite simply, really.

To be honest, initially I thought I would freak out because of all of this. I mean, before this time, I believe the longest I’d ever gone without working out was something like 2-3 weeks.  Have I freaked out? No. I have done the opposite. I have stopped and smelled the roses. I have worked on other aspects of my life that needed some attention. Working out has always been a major factor for me, and without it, I’ve been able to reflect on my life and myself. I have had more time to spend with loved ones. I have taken a few road trips. I have learned to be lazy! I have learned to be quite proficient at taking naps!

Have I gained weight, you ask?

The opposite.

Hate me all you want, as an athlete, I’ve been accustomed to intense workouts and I’ve always had a great metabolism. Take away the workouts and my body loses muscle. I am not an overeater, nor am I the type to eat when I’m stressed. I’m the opposite. I tend to not eat enough when I’m stressed. What I’ve noticed over the past year or so is that my appetite has fallen by the wayside. You would think with all the exercising that I normally do, I’d be ravenous 24/7. Not the case. I eat when I’m hungry and eat a variety of foods, but I don’t deprive myself nor do I eat until I’m sick.

I am fortunate to be self-employed and have a schedule that is flexible! I have to admit, when things were at their worst a couple of months ago, and all I wanted to do was cry and be alone, the fact that I had to go be a positive influence on my clients kept me going! So did the fact that I am surrounded by loving friends, family, and yes, clients! Everyone has been so supportive and concerned. There was a point where I was not a very happy camper, and not having the ability to go for a run or a ride meant that I had to FEEL everything (instead of run away from it with exercise). Don’t get me wrong, I’m at a MUCH better place in my life than I was back when I was dealing with anorexia and exercise bulimia. Exercise, however, has always been a stress-reliever for me, and at times I realize that it may be best to deal with things in a different way. Writing is a prime example, and I am trying to get back to regular blogging. 🙂

8/2/2011 - 6PM & the heat index had dropped just a bit from 112!!!! We know how to cool off!

So, how do I feel about my left leg these days? Well, my anterior tibialis is still weaker than the right. I still cannot dorsiflex with the same ROM as my right, although it’s improved. My core and glute strength is much better. I feel that when I start back with my own workouts, I’ll be better able to handle them because of this. Obviously my endurance is gonna pretty much suck, but that’s to be expected. I am a bit nervous about my left leg never being “normal,” however. I can’t lie. Until the nerve is “happy” and unobstructed, I’ll keep noticing things aren’t completely right. In theory, once the disc fragment has been absorbed by my body, that nerve should act normal! I have seriously been waiting for that day to come. What if it never does? I guess that’s when the “next steps” are taken (according to my doctor).

Anyhow, I hope all is well with you and your own training! Never ever take your health or physical capabilities for granted. I know my herniated disc(s) and subsequent issues by no means compare to the challenges some others face, but they have definitely opened my eyes. I am thankful to have lived 35 active years, and plan on living way more than that! This is just a minor detour. I am never gonna stop!

Yours in Health,



4 responses

  1. Sarah,

    Hang in there. Like I’ve told you before, my “foot drop” eventually did go away. The reason my situation got so bad in the first place was my stupidity in pushing through the pain and continuing to do something that hurt me. Now I back off when I feel the pain. Sometimes that means not working out for a day or two, but eventually I’m back up and going–and I’ve not had any nerve problems like before.

    Wishing you the best!


    August 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    • Hi Carl!!!!
      Keep on keepin’ on, right?! My PT wants me to continue therapy twice a week. I got in the pool and swam yesterday at home…felt great!
      Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂
      Yours in Health,

      August 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  2. Melissa

    make sure you see the movie “Soul Surfer”!! It is really really good!!

    August 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    • Hi Melissa!
      I actually watched it Monday night! 🙂 Inspirational!
      Have a great week!

      August 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

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