I'm new too! 5 weeks post-op from a laminectomy/discectomy.
I'm 38 with two small children and have had back pain for 10+ years. I was an athlete too. 20 years of competetive soccer, softball and weightlifting. Guess I'm paying for it now. I feel pretty good most days. The Doc says I'm doing great but, that my biggest problem is "impatience". :W