How I was able to hike with my wife again

August 23, 2021

I’ve always lived an active lifestyle. It started when I was a kid. I was that child who was eager to get out of the house in the morning and whose parents had to come back and coral when the sun came down. Nothing made me happier than to be running around, riding my bike, and playing sports.

That passion for being active continued into my teens as I picked up new hobbies like surfing and rock climbing. There was something about getting my pulse racing, lungs working overtime, that burning sting from tired muscles. I loved all of it.

Part of being so active was staying in shape. If I wasn’t enjoying an outdoor activity, I was inside, hitting the weights or running on the treadmill. Not a day passed that I didn’t get physical. That was until time started to catch up with me.

It started in my thirties. I started to notice it took me a bit longer to recover from workouts. If I spent the morning or evening surfing, the afternoon or night was filled with sore muscles and an aching back. Rock climbing became something I had to strategically plan instead of just heading down to the gym or the cliffs at a moment’s notice. My body was starting to feel the accumulated stress I put it through.

At first, I discounted the aches and pains as nothing more than laziness on my part. To me, it was clear as day. I figured I was having a harder time being active because I didn’t workout out hard or often enough. All I had to do was go harder at the gym, I’ll build the stamina to compensate for my age, and viola, that should solve it. It didn’t. Things only got worse.

When my forties came around, my knees started to give me fits. Every morning I’d wake up to them sore and stiff. Even after stretching, I could only bike half as much as I used to be able to. Surfing became near impossible as they couldn’t keep me balanced on the board. I had to stop using the treadmill because I could feel pain with each footfall.

The problems didn’t begin and end with my knees. My back started to give me fits. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I tried to be active, my back would start to hurt. If I rested, it got stiff and ached. If I tried a little bit of both, the only relief I’d get would be from laying down on my side.

Frankly, I became depressed. All my life up to that point was spent being active. Now the thought of heading down to the beach to catch some waves or hitting up the rock wall at the gym already made me reach for the over-the-counter pain killers. So I became sedentary, a lifestyle that I didn’t understand or want.

My wife, a very physical and active person, decided that she couldn’t take me moping around the house anymore. She wanted the husband and partner that she fell in love with and enjoyed outdoor activities with back. So she took it upon herself to make that happen.

One day, I was lying on my stomach on the couch, ice pack on my lower back, when my wife proposed a program to me. She found it while researching online. It was for a personalized digital-physical trainer, CoPilot.

At first, I was skeptical. In a way, I’d accepted my body’s betrayal and tried to adapt to my new lifestyle. But for her, I gave it a try. The first step was finding the right trainer for me.

Devyn, one of the digital-physical coaches, seemed like a great fit. He listened to my situation and proposed a gradual program to slowly pull me back up into an active lifestyle that took my body’s new limitations into account. Worked around my life, my schedule, we started.

The start of my program was hard. Again, my body was in rough shape and needed to get back in the race with training wheels. But slowly and surely, Devyn and I added more exercises, more reps to our sessions. That back pain started to fade as we utilized easy workouts on that and other problem areas.

Once the rest of my body was strong again, Devyn insisted that I work on my knees and back. We couldn’t ignore them forever. And with the rest of my body helping carry the load, it was surprisingly easy.

My wife was ecstatic! I started being able to go on runs and hikes with her again. She was thrilled that I was getting out of the house more, returning to my surfing routines, showing up all the young guys and gals as an old man surfer. That rock wall in my gym was conquered regularly. Life was fun again!

If it wasn’t for my wife’s support and Devyn’s help rehabbing my body, I don’t know what I would have done. They helped me get my life back. Not a day has or will go by where I’m not thankful.

Based on the story of CoPilot member Greg K.

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