As some of you may already know, I have been experiencing pain in both my hips over the past few months. So far, I have approached this experience with a conscious choice to allow my body to heal itself, which has worked for me in the past. With the help of acupuncture, I was able to teach and live my life mostly unfettered in Sao Paulo.
All that changed when I came to the U.S.
Since landing here almost one month ago, I have not slept a full night without pain. After a several nights of this, I realized that my body needs an intervention. I went to see my doctor in Michigan, and as I am writing this, I have already had an x-ray (which showed no signs of arthritis – yay!), and am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow.
So what has living with chronic pain taught me so far?
- That I only have to get through THIS moment. My thinking self wants to project this all into the future and create fear about this being my life forever. Which is scary. What if they can’t find a reason or a cure for my pain? What if I can no longer teach?
So I have learned to breathe and focus on THIS moment, in which I am just experiencing discomfort. That is enough without the story of my future.
- That chronic pain can be a downward spiral. The pain, which prevents sleep, makes me tired, which makes me just want to rest, which creates more pain, which makes me irritable and MORE tired.
I can certainly understand and have empathy for people who live like this every day. I have at times felt both betrayed by my body and compassion for it as it struggles to return to wholeness and health.
- That I can use my experience to be a better coach and teacher. I met an amazing example of this while I was visiting Chicago this week: Lynett Putterman. I wanted so very much to attend a Nia class while I was there and called her to take her class. As it turns out, she has injured her hip and has to modify her teaching for the near future as she is on crutches.
I was in awe of her courage to show up anyway and her ability to completely modify the class to benefit both herself and her students. We practiced Tae Kwon Do blocks, strikes, punches, pelvic moves and then did some trigger point therapy with tennis balls. She demonstrated for me both the power of Nia as a holistic fitness practice to empower people of any condition to self-heal, as well as the mastery of a Black Belt teacher that has been teaching for more than 20 years and has so many tools in her toolbox.
Mostly, I just want to feel better. But for now, I am sinking into the experience with moments of resistance and others of acceptance that right now, this IS my experience.
Is this the summer I had envisioned? Hell NO! But this is the summer I got, for now. At this point, I am willing to do almost anything to feel better.
Will keep you posted. Thanks so much for your support.