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Putting Things in Perspective

I’ve had a fairly rough last couple of weeks, to say the least.

Sunday, April 3rd

It was a simple pick-up game – six friends battling it out on the hardwood. Nothing was easy. Every basket had to be earned. Competitive juices were flowing.

Everything that made the game of basketball so fun for me was in full force.

I got the ball, made a swift move to the basket, spun around a defender and laid the ball up with my left hand.

All good.

I got the ball back. I started left, quickly crossed to the right and pulled up for a mid-range jump shot.

This time something was different. Something happened.

I felt it coming strong – a shearing pain in my lower back. It felt as if a thousand knives had just pierced my skin and ricocheted to my spine. All I could do was succumb to the pain as I fell to my knees.

A completely unexpected turn of events.

Since then I’ve experienced unbearable pain. I was forced to take time off work, miss social events and lie down in the most awkward positions (because they were the only ones I could endure).

It kind of makes sense when you’re talking about a slipped disc.

Various therapies have been in the works – all of them thanks to my dad. He’s had his share of battles with the lower back so he’s familiar with what works.

Anti-inflammatory and pain-killing creams, electric pulsors, ultrasounds, homeopathic medicines, ice packs, heating pads, light massages and regular doses of advil and tylenol have been the norm for the past 2 weeks.

And lots of rest.

All this has given me time to think. Time to reflect.

It’s not until you go through a situation like this that you realize truly how important your health is. Everything that I love to do has had to be put on hold.

Our days so often go by without a single reflection on our health – a single thought of how we take care of our body. We rush through our days with no concern with what we’re eating or what we’re drinking. There is little thought of the stresses we’re imposing ourselves to, the amount of sleep we’re getting, the amount of time we’re setting aside for exercise, and even the lack of healthy relationships we’re establishing.

We simply take our health for granted. It’s just THERE.

But what happens when your health is at jeopardy? When it’s no longer there to keep you going?

It’s amazing how quickly things change when your health is simply not there anymore. Your mindset is completely flipped upside down. You begin to realize how absolutely nothing else in the world matters when your health is gone.

You really begin to put things into perspective.

I recently asked fans on my Facebook fanpage what they found to be more important – money or health? Visit my fanpage to see what people had to say. The results might surprise you.

We only live once. There are some things in this world we can’t control – some things we leave up to fate. But for the things we can control, we need to start being more accountable. We need to start making better decisions and being more conscious of how we are treating our bodies.

And always be grateful for the health you’ve been given. Somewhere out there, there is someone far less fortunate.

As I write this, almost two weeks from the incident, I’ve noticed some improvement withmy back. I still can’t do a lot of the things I love to do but I must admit it feels good to be able to sit down and stand up with no pain. It feels good to be able to venture outside again and go out with friends. It’s the simple things that make life so beautiful.

My health will always be my number one priority and I challen

ge you to make it yours as well. Always keep tabs on your health because without it truly nothing else matters.

Have you ever faced a difficult health situation? Do you have a similar story to tell? Please share in the comments below.

Kristina - April 15, 2011

So what could you have done to prevent it? You’re young – this sort of thing really shouldn’t happen. Are you pushing your body too hard?

    Srdjan Popovic - April 16, 2011

    You know, if I had a dollar for every time someone mentioned that I was too young to have back problems, I’d have a pretty nice lump of cash right now. 🙂

    I’m not so sure what I could’ve done to avoid it. Part of the problem is that it’s hereditary and part of the problem was my naiveness in trying to play through it.

    It’s really important to understand and listen to your body, no matter what age you are.

Sam- Look Like An Athlete - April 15, 2011

I have had lower back pain in the past. In my case it was thanks to doing squats and adding more weight than I could handle.

The important thing is to lay off for a bit. Get the proper treatment and learn to work around the injury so as it does not become aggravated.

The thing is you learn how to adapt and you learn how to workout more effectively so that you don’t injury yourself. I know in my case I really focused more on proper form, technique, knowing my limits and knowing how far to take my workouts without placing myself at risk.

You’ll definitely come back from this and you will do better than you ever expected.

-Sam

    Srdjan Popovic - April 16, 2011

    Thanks for the support Sam. I hope your pains aren’t recurring.

    I think you’re absolutely right…I have to lay off and commit to the necessary treatment.

    I know I’ll have to dedicate myself to proper rehabilitation once my pains are gone to ensure my back is stronger than ever.

    Thanks for the comment!

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - April 15, 2011

Srdjan,

Hope you have a speedy recovery. Injuries are never fun, and I agree that health is always the number one priority.

Alykhan

    Srdjan Popovic - April 16, 2011

    Thanks for the support man. Injuries definitely suck. I’ll keep you guys posted with rehabilitation happenings.

Mark - July 18, 2011

Firstly, I hope your back is better soon.

Secondly, I suffered severe depression several years ago owing to what turned out to be a disastrous first marriage – depression to the point where I came close to suicide.

Since I recovered from that, thanks to therapy and help from true friends, I’ve come to realise that you have to put your health above anything else – even a marriage (as I’d been brought up to believe that divorce was not an option).

    Srdjan Popovic - July 19, 2011

    Mark, I truly appreciate you sharing your story. We face all sorts of obstacles in life and we’re defined by how we choose to handle them. I’m happy to hear that you’ve recovered and that you’re back on your feet. You’re absolutely right – health should always be the number one priority because without it nothing else matters.

swing set - October 8, 2011

Hi Srdjan,

I’m hoping for your speedy recovery. I know how back pains really hurts because I had it once before and it was very uncomfortable. There a lot of causes for back pain. Mine was just mechanical in nature (muscle strain) due to faulty posture. I had 8 sessions of PT and it was really a relief when it was gone.

Pete - November 10, 2011

Hi! I have slipped disc as well. All the doctors that I’ve shown my MRI results always had the same conclusion: corrective surgery on my L5 S1. With the pain that I went through at the hospital, I was willing to believe everything my doctors said.

I’m just glad that someone very dear to me suggestive I try to have a spine alignment with a chiropractor. Lo & behold, my chiropractor was the ONLY one who took away the pain in my back! I had 12 sessions with them; had Myotherapy and core exercises with their in-house Physical Therapists.

I’d say, go visit a chiropractor, Srdjan. It will alleviate your pain.

    Srdjan Popovic - November 14, 2011

    I’ve discovered that it’s actually a slight herniation and I’ve been doing exercises to strengthen my posterior chain and improve my spinal flexibility ever since. I’m also working with a physio therapist to become fully pain free. Almost there 🙂

    If things don’t improve then I’ll find a chiropractor in my area. Thanks for the tips Pete!

ivan - August 18, 2012

Man! I just stumbled into your site and I gotta tell you that it’s great! I’m sorry about your back, and I hope you get better soon. But unfortunately what you said is very true, a lot of us take our health for granted until something terrible happens and then we care. I suppose it’s one of those learning experiences that help us be better, and have a more positive take on life. Sometimes those bad things even make us grateful for them, because otherwise we wouldn’t be here. My name is Ivan, I just turned 25, 2 years ago my life was great, I had a great job, making more than a lot of people my age are making, bought myself a nice sports car, started dating, everything was great, I was working out and everything was amazing my girlfriend was amazing and I was ready to make a commitment. Then it all started, I had a big car accident (no one was injured thankfully only the cars) suspended license, lead to stress, within a few months I lost my job, started developing a disease psoriasis (I hate that thing) on my legs, things got worse one after another up until 3 months ago when my girlfriend left me. I was done with everything, my psoriasis got worse covering 85% of my body. I felt useless, worthless, I was miserable for a month but I decided to take action I sold the ring I was going to propose with, I started a little business on my own, I went online I wanted to find help, I was really worried about my skin, (psoriasis has no cure, and doctors make sure to let you know that from the start)  but finally I found help, I found this guy that was sharing a recipe that helped him. I immediately downloaded it and I started the diet right away. I followed it and nothing up until 2 weeks ago, I started seeing results, my arms clearing up, I got really excited only to notice that I had lost 25 pounds I’m 5’7″ and I was down to 130  from my usual 155. That made me go online again to find a way to get back in shape and I stumbled into kinobody.com I got hooked on Greg’s mentality to care for your body, and then I stumbled into your page today. And reading what you’ve posted is really a very positive and optimistic outlook on life, an optimism I had forgotten about. I want to thank you for taking your time to read this and most importantly for making an effort to somehow help others. As of now let me tell you that you’ve helped me, to know that our health should be a priority for all of us, that we should strive to take care of ourselves, not only for us but for the people around us, our families and the people that genuinely care. I’ve made a commitment to try to have your same attitude towards life, and I wish you the best man. Thanks again.  

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