There can be nothing more physically frustrating than dealing with an injury or some type of medical condition that holds you back. I like to believe that I’m an invincible human and nothing will stop me. The truth is, I’m not invincible, no one is, and not enough people are talking about it.
I’m in my 40th year of life, I have two children, I’m lucky enough to stay home with them while I work from home part time as a fitness instructor and nutrition coach. I do everything I can to gain knowledge and use that knowledge to take care of my body. My purpose in this isn’t to have a “bikini body”, I quite frankly stopped caring about that a few years ago. My purpose for taking care of myself is to live long and let the life in my years have just that – A LIFE! So, when I was stopped in my tracks a few weeks ago by a muscle injury in my shoulder and neck it felt like a slap in the face! It was a reminder that I AM NOT invincible AND that RECOVERY, as you AGE, becomes more important than the exercise itself.
Too many women my age, and possibly men, although I can only reflect on a woman’s point of view, are fighting aging. What I mean by this is that we are competing with women half our age, and for what? Look, I’m not saying that you can’t do what they are doing, in fact, quite the opposite. What I’m saying is that we need to listen to our bodies, we need to take time off, time away, time to reflect, time to stretch, and time to breathe. We can be healthy, we can be in shape, we can be as young as we feel! However, we need to also recognize that our minds and bodies may also have different needs than that of a 20 something. Our bodies are constantly changing from the moment we hit puberty and our needs change too. Recognizing it, will help us thrive for longer!
With this injury came time to reflect. Inward reflections can lead to a lot of revelations. I’m beginning to move through it and learning a new way to take care of my body – and although I feel as though I’m pretty good at resting and recovery, I’ll be implementing even more. More than that I wanted to share the processes that helped, or really are helping, since I’m still in recovery. I believe these can help anyone!
Allow yourself to be frustrated, sad, or angry. Yup! ALLOW! Allow your emotions to move right through you and then LET IT PASS. In my opinion, emotions and feelings are never wrong. It’s what we do with them and how we react thereafter that matter most. I find that allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling and being able to sit with it can help us move through it that much faster. It’s when we suppress our feelings that things can fester. Scientifically speaking there is power in a positive attitude when in comes to healing. In order to get to that we must first deal with the negative emotions festering underneath. I allowed myself a few hours, okay maybe a day, to feel frustrated and angry that the whole thing was happening in the first place – and then, it passed, and I was ready to shift my focus.
Focus on the actions that are under your control. If you have an injury, it’s already done and spending too much time dwelling on it won’t get you anywhere. Rather focus on what is under your control. You can decide to see a doctor, or physical therapist, or whatever it is you think you might need to help you create a healing plan. And even if the healing plan includes you taking a few weeks off and icing the injury you can take comfort in the fact that you are doing exactly what you should! Plus, you discover other things you might enjoy; catch up on Netflix, read a book, find some research on your injury and see what else you can do, or just meditate and pray.
Give your body permission to heal, and your body will give you permission to live. I’ll be real. It’s hard for me to take breaks, not because I feel a need to exercise, but because I just enjoy movement! It makes me feel good. When I’m feeling frustrated, I re-frame my situation. Taking a break, implementing more recovery, both have GIANT purpose. Its purpose is so that I can continue to do the things I love – like Piyo, hiking, swimming, yoga, walking the dog, riding bikes with my kids and the list goes on. Allowing my body to heal is making me stronger and more resilient – remembering that shifts my perspective.
Eat well. Proper nutrition will often help you heal faster. Not everyone has access to the best of the best out there, but I believe there are few things we can do to help. Example: Did you know that when you have an injury or you aren’t feeling well (like a virus or cold), that your body needs more protein? Yup, it’s true. Adjusting your nutrition to include a little more protein daily can help you. That might just mean adding a cup of bone broth in as a snack. Speaking of which, people everywhere claim that bone broth can aid in the healing process due to its protein and collagen contents. Chicken bone broth has a larger variety regarding types of collagen our bodies need. Eating stress reducing foods that contain OMEGA 3 can help too as well as boost your mood which I mentioned earlier can help.
Do the things you can and find some joy. Whether its an injury or a medical condition that keep you from certain activities, it’s possible to find things you CAN do and insert some joy into your life. These last few weeks I’ve been taking some great walks outdoors and stretching until my hearts content. I may not have been able to do push-ups, but I could walk my dog or take my kids on a bike ride. When it comes to my PKD, I tune in and it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with Yoga, Piyo, and meditation, all which help manage blood pressure. So rather than focus on the things you CAN’T DO, re-frame your mind to find JOY in the things you CAN.
Honestly, I’m still healing. I thought it would only take a couple weeks. And even though I was given the clear by the doctor to ease back into my routine my muscles are feeling the re-entry so I’m taking it slow and doing what I can by tuning in and listening to my body. You aren’t alone if you feel the desire for invincibility and you also aren’t alone if you have an injury. Listen to your body and do what feels best. Remember, give your body permission to heal, and your body will give you permission to live.