I love when people get to know me well enough that they feel comfortable using certain adjectives to describe me. Whether it be a friend, acquaintance or even a client. Family members don’t count – that’s completely unfair… however, the title of this post definitely came from a family member – my husband. I’m pretty sure he thinks I should head to Hollywood some days. Besides melodramatic… most of the descriptors make me chuckle… a few – may be a little shocking. One thing is for sure I am definitely an extrovert to my core – which shouldn’t surprise too many as one probably should be very comfortable around people when you have your ass backed up to a room of them instructing on exercise to corny top 40, 128 beat per minute re-mixes of Taylor Swift and One Direction or is that 1D…?
I had a bit of an “incident” this past week and it got me questioning my “self” again. When the wheels start turning, everything spirals from there. I started to think about my reaction to things and how I deal with them and how my clients react to certain things and how I want them to deal with them and how they actually do. Sometimes I see myself as being hypocritical for sure… I expect something different from those I work with – mostly – more rational thinking! (was that a run-on sentence…?). lol!
I usually think that I’m very “in-tune” with my body and often wonder if most people are that in-tune… my guess would be no. I say this based on my experience working with people and the type of questions I ask and the answers I receive. I feel fortunate and blessed to have been brought up with alternative beliefs about self-care and I also just have a keen interest on reading and researching about the mind, body and spirit as I know that they are so completely connected that if one is out of balance, everything is out of balance.
My “incident” involved hurting my back. Not just a tweak but something that made me wince in pain every time I twisted or pulled or moved. It had been bothering me for a couple weeks but because I was so busy with clients and my kids, I figured I would ignore it and it would fix itself. Well, that was until I attempted a seated shoulder press. One push and I think I saw stars! Crap… this one is a bad one.
So… I called in the reinforcements – a trip to the chiropractor. I don’t think I had ever had such a painful adjustment. I got up the next day after a horrible sleep and knew I wouldn’t be able to workout that day. THE WORLD HAS COME TO AN END! Oh my god… what if I can NEVER workout again??? What if I’ve impaired my back so bad that I can never move again? I’m going to be fat BY TOMORROW! This may be where my husband gets the melodramatic part as this was not a series of thoughts in my head – it was a full-blown meltdown in front of him and my two girls. Of course, they know me well, so they just sat there rolling their eyes while I proclaimed the end of my life.
No… this isn’t it – my fitness and my career IN fitness cannot be over! I must do EVERYTHING I can in order to fix myself… patience not being an option of course.
My beautiful friend Danielle just happens to poke needles in people for a living. She has superpowers. She can feel energy flow in the body, she can feel where pain is coming from and going to and she also has all sorts of amazing remedies. I have seen her for my immune system, for pain, for sleeplessness, for my adrenal glands and I even sent my husband to her for his snoring… apparently her super powers aren’t strong there. So, as it would be she graciously took time out of her weekend not once but TWICE to poke me full of needles – oh and I also laid on her rollerbed while our other friend Kristi came over and we had coffee and I whined about my life being over to them… she also rubbed some lovely Chinese lineament on me… heavenly. Kristi just happens to be married to a Chiropractor who is Mr. Crossfit himself – so he knows the toll that fitness can take on the body. He also knows how I quite frequently ignore my pain until I’m in the state I am in. So he came over too and had coffee and a cinnamon bun with us and then he crunched and cracked me around. My massage therapist also happens to be married to Danielle (and works at Kootenay Health Centre – where I will also see Dr. Mark when I have a massage) – but he was out of commission himself due to his insane schedule and coaching the girls volleyball team – what was that about ignoring our bodies and stress and injury?? Thank GOD its not just me!?!? So… I couldn’t get a massage unfortunately with my coffee, needle poking, spinal crunching, roller bed, counselling session. Maybe next time!?
So by now, I was on day three of no workouts. I was miserable and my family was at the brunt of it. Dr. Kevin says, “move, the body is designed to move”. So I went to the gym and I walked on a steep incline for a half hour and then did some body weight walking lunges and that was it. It was definitely a very light workout for me but what it did was get my blood circulating through my body and it elevated my endorphins , which I feel are paramount to a positive mind and healing the body.
By the evening, I definitely could feel some relief but again, I’m not the most patient person and I was thinking back on what I could have possibly have done to have ended up this way in the first place. The curse of an inquisitive, over-analytic mind… I need to know WHY! I knew there was a piece of the puzzle missing – and where to find it… as luck would have it Mr. Geoff Dakin was in town and he had ONE opening (just for me – lol!). Geoff is very unique as he is a RMT (registered massage therapist) but he specializes in postural imbalances and using self-corrective exercises to restore function (and a lot more cool stuff that you can read about here).
I happen to have a fairly significant anterior pelvic tilt (my back arches)… part of this is just my make-up – part of this is my lazy muscles not supporting my pelvis properly. When I first saw Geoff almost a year ago – my pelvis was seriously out of whack. Geoff gave me some exercises and stretches to correct and strengthen my posture. I was diligent with these… for a while… then I slacked off – then things showed up again… then I started using them again… and then it was January and WHAM! I hadn’t done my exercises or stretches in WEEKS! I was almost back to square one when he saw me again. So what happens is when my pelvis is not aligned properly – everything else is essentially over-compensating to stay aligned and then you do a shoulder press when you’re misaligned and the body snaps back. After my treatment with Geoff and doing my exercises and stretches only ONE time… I’m feeling significantly better.
So to get back to where we started… knowing your personality and your body is a key element to the mind, body, spirit connection. Knowing your thresholds, your shortcomings, what makes you tick… you need to learn that about yourself so that when you feel like sitting on the couch when you should be working out – you can talk yourself into it. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum – if you’re hurt or unwell and need to take some time off – you need to know how to talk yourself out of your irrational thoughts (I think I gave Kristi the visual of me in a wheelchair at 600 pounds whale watching in Mexico) – lucky that I have friends who can tell me to get over myself…
However, I also believe that you can’t “give-in” to every little ache and pain you get. There is usually always a work-around – I had to walk instead of do sprints – I couldn’t use weights but I was moving – lower body with no compression. You can’t let every little sniffle and sore muscle hold you back. But you need to learn your limits and shortcomings – as there is a fine line in deed!
AND – I cannot strongly enough recommend having an arsenal of alternative therapies for times when your body, mind and spirit are out of balance. Whether its meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturo-pathic counselling – there are some amazing people with amazing education and techniques to help keep you balanced and healthy. We are so hard on our “selves” in so many ways… do a self “check-in” – where are you at? Are you balanced? If not… take some time to re-evaluate!