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Strong Words and Stronger Actions, After Back Surgery

“I Feel Like I Have a Future in Exercise”

Greg Soden is an enthusiastic hobby athlete with a special penchant for endurance endeavors:  he was a competitive swimmer in high school, Category 3 road cyclist and cyclocross racer in his early adult years, and later a runner. Soden is also a young man who has dealt with years of serious back pain – 17 years to be exact, after a tweak he endured during his swimming days.

 After wrestling with more than a decade of pain, the 33-year-old’s back finally gave out and he had to have surgery in February 2017. His post-op recovery was difficult, and his beloved long-distance cycling was out of the question due to excruciating discomfort. That’s when he discovered ElliptiGO. Read Soden’s own words as he recounts how he found his way back to pain-free exercise:

I hurt my back for the first time in high school as a swimmer. Over the next 17 years, my lower lumbar would periodically “go out” and I’d be down for the count waiting for my bulged disc to chill out. ​It would flare up every every six months or so, and would last 2-3 days. Bending at the waist was excruciating during those days. I would often ride my road bike through the pain and just grin and bear it.

That went on until last winter when I was out on a run in January and my entire left leg went numb. I went to the doctor and found out that my L4/S1 disc had bulged, broken off and was resting against my sciatic nerve. I had to have an operation. The procedure I had was a microdiscectomy, a common procedure, but it seems that it’s a bit rarer for someone as young as me.

After the operation, I had to take a month off work. I gained about 20 pounds. I tried cycling but my back was SCREAMING at me instantly. My wife is a marathoner and is a big Meb fan. She encouraged me to buy an ElliptiGO when the Meb promotional sale was happening. I went for it and got an ElliptiGO Arc 8.

Since then, I’ve been riding four to six times a week since the end of March and I love it. I love that I can ride without bending over. I still can’t sit on a traditional bike, even four-and-a-half months after surgery. But I ride about 100-125 miles per week on my ElliptiGO bike.

 

On the ElliptiGO bike, I love the efficiency of the workout. My arms are engaged, my back is engaged, my torso is engaged. My heart rate stays up. At the end of a 20-30 mile ride, I have taken in an entire Camelbak of water. I love the fact I feel like I have a future in exercise. I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym. I’ve never enjoyed team sports. I enjoy solitary exercises like running and road cycling. The thought of sitting around every day missing cycling and running while watching my physique crumble in my early-mid 30’s is depressing. My ElliptiGO bike keeps me level-headed and thinking clearly. It is a mental and physical necessity for my life at this time.

Furthermore, my spinal surgeon has informed me I have degenerative disc disease and will likely need spinal fusion surgeries perhaps every decade for the rest of my life. This is not the end of the road for my spine problems, and the knowledge that I WILL be able to come back to my ElliptiGO bike in my recovery process is hugely inspiring going into such a daunting situation.

Greg, we are honored to be part of your journey, and we know you will continue overcoming obstacles. Keep on GOing!

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Posted July 18, 2017 by Madeleine in Customer Stories, Former Runner, Rider Profiles, Rider of the Month, updates
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