Weekly musings, 5/6/18: pain and tomorrow
I was chatting with a friend recently that I hadn’t seen in a while. He asked me if I was still running. I responded yes, and as our conversation continued, he looked at me and said, “you don’t ever have anything wrong with you, do you?”
I paused, unsure how to fully answer. “No, but I have a lot of tools.”
Later, I thought about my response and wondered if I should have told him that I had pain issues for years. That at one point I thought I would have to give up running because my joints used to ache afterwards. That I struggled to reconcile the fact that movement was my work, but the pain I felt on a daily basis made me feel fraudulent, as though I were selling something that didn’t really work.
I also could have told him that these issues sent my on a quest that has enabled me to help many people, including myself. That I learned it doesn’t have to be hard to feel good in your body, but it does require work and patience. That moving in ways that are gentle and feel good is just as important as gaining strength and mobility. That yoga, or strength training, or Pilates might not be the answer if you aren’t in a good place mentally. That how you feel today doesn’t have to reflect how you feel six months from now. That I feel far better today than I did ten years ago.
Pain is real. It affects every aspect of your life and can make you feel unsure about your future. Regardless of the physical cause, you will not be the same person you are in a year that you are today, and that includes how you use your body and what you experience physically. You can make progress towards a pain free existence, filled with movement, strength, and mobility if you are willing to look at your relationship with exercise and life a little bit differently.