If I say the Sheraton spa and meeting Raul saved my life, I´m not exaggerating.
Even before I had my back surgery, I started going there to swim and relax in the jacuzzis with the best view of my beloved city.
Over the year that just passed, my visits to the Sheraton mutated from long hours of reading delicious Murakami novels, Joyce biographies and what not in the jacuzzi into hardcore workout sessions at the gym.
The shift was a natural development after shooting the film about RAUL, who is still fit and doing pole vault at 75. As I already related in this note, Raul made me realize the power of sports and physical exercise to heal any number of conditions, including my herniated disc.
I am sure that, if the surgeon who operated on me knew the things my trainers make me do every day, he would say that I can´t do those things after back surgery. However, two weeks ago I stopped taking medication that doctor said I would need to take for the rest of my life. I would later find out that this medication was to ease the pain from my nerve which had been injured BY the surgery itself.
In any case, strengthening my back and abs has really worked wonders on me. My posture has changed, the weight I lost is definitely a benefit, as less weight puts less stress on my back, and I generally have much more energy with my workout routine.
A week ago I had no time to go to the spa one day and the next day I was tired all the time, had no energy and no desire to do anything at all. I then realized that skipping a day was no longer a possibility, though I hardly ever feel like doing it.
Now that I have finished editing the movie, I look forward to having more time, so I can both work out for an hour and a half in the gym and take a swim and enjoy the view from the pool and those cozy panoramic jacuzzis. We´ll see. Time is a very hard thing for me to come by these days.
But the spa is not all about breathtaking views, it is mainly about the people who work there. My trainers Horacio and Nelson are the best, and they were able to create for me a routine that, while it helps me stay fit and strengthen my abs and back, it also takes care not to put any stress on my complicated lower back, which is quite a challenge. When you are working hard like I was on the editing for many hours every day, by myself, it was lovely to get to the spa and always be greeted with a friendly smile by everyone who works there. In a way, over the last year, this place has been like a second home for me.
I just hope that I will always feel as committed and excited as I am now to work out every single day for the rest of my life. Everything can change and pass, but I want that one thing to remain constant. Exercise is the best medicine I´ve ever tried.