There are pieces of my body missing. Well, technically they’re still there, but I can’t see or feel them anymore. Anyone who’s taken months off from the gym or spent time in recovery from an injury, particularly after years of exercising, can relate. Your legs feel weaker, muscles on your shoulders have seemingly vanished, and your abdominals have retreated behind an expanding layer of fat. To use a medical term, it sucks.
A few months ago, after pushing through a lower back injury and an abdominal tear on ibuprofen and denial alone, I finally took a sabbatical from lifting weights and running. The changes in my body have started to set in. I still mostly look like myself, just a slightly softer version. At first it was almost fascinating, like a science experiment where you leave a moldy vegetable out for a few months to see what gross new shapes it can mutate into. But the novelty quickly faded.