Sciatica strikes back

Force stop on the Ellen App

We started the bank holiday weekend filled with the excitement of four days off ahead, but then on Monday I triggered an old back injury and spent the latter half of my long weekend lying in bed, eventually graduating to sitting in the yard with a cold one. It sucked.

Over the last six months, exercise has become my biggest coping mechanism for stress. And this was the first time since training 4-5 times a week that I haven’t been able to even go for a brisk walk, never mind run 10K or swim 100 lengths.

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings

To say I haven’t taken well to inactivity would be an understatement. I’m a busy body and find it virtually impossible to just sit still. Monday’s pain was torturous and I couldn’t even read my book or watch TV. Thank God for Craig, who rushed out to the shop and stocked up on ibuprofen and Deep Heat, which certainly helped.

While I was lying there on the bed/sofa/chair and whinging in pain (and frustration), all I could think about was how I am so grateful for my body and everything it does for me.

It’s like when you have a blocked nose and all you can think about is how you were never truly grateful for being able to breathe through both nostrils until you’re lying in bed wheezing away.

Although this isn’t the first time I’ve triggered my sciatica, I’ve definitely been guilty of taking my own mobility for granted since the last flare-up in 2018. Not only do I take it for granted, but I’m not always particularly kind to myself either. Just a few weeks ago, I was getting annoyed that I was just a few seconds off a 5K PB, and now I can just about walk around the block.

I don’t suspect my recovery will take long, and I’ll probably be running again soon. But in the meantime, I’ll be kicking back with a book, taking gentle walks and repeatedly trying to tell myself that I’m not erasing any of my fitness/weight loss progress by taking a few days off.

Tell me about your sobering experiences when an unexpected life event threw a spanner in the works over on Twitter @ContentByTheSea.


📽 The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Netflix)

📚 A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

🎧 London Grammar - California Soil

We’re currently taking a short break from the podcast as we prepare for Season Two. Expect new guests, more exciting topics and better accessibility (closed captions, transcripts etc.) If you fancy joining Craig and me to talk about work-life and mental health, then reply to this email!

That’s all from me this week,

Ellen x


Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

26 June: Looking after yourself is hard

19 May: He just can’t decide

12 May: Getting titillated by the tangible

5 May: Taking it all in

28 April: Be a better cheerleader

21 April: The power of procrastination

14 April: How to sell without feeling icky

7 April: Am I a bad feminist for wanting to lose weight?

31 March: The rescue dogs that rescued us

24 March: Feelings are meant to be felt

17 March: I sent a newsletter every week for a year

10 March: I’m triggered

3 March: Balancing creativity and getting paid

24 February: The day I lost a client

17 February: How to talk to someone who is struggling