I often find myself saying things in my head like, “this was a hard and challenging week.” When I feel into what drives these thoughts, it isn’t coming from my simple truth. There are usually feelings of laziness and victimhood attached to the thoughts. It is as if I have some kind of expectation that these “challenging and hard” weeks I suffer through mean that I have earned or deserve easy… a day off, a week off, the rest of my life off.
At face value, it’s not a big deal that I have these thoughts, but when I juxtapose them to the decisions I’ve made in regards to how I spent my time over the past week, I see how I am allowing these thoughts to slowly shape me, and it makes me sad, angry, and wary.
It WAS a hard a challenging week. I had the first major test in a class that I’m feeling frustrated with. Test week is always challenging… by design. Fear and anxiety become my unwelcomed companions. I have placed a fair amount of pressure on myself to do well and a test is where the rubber meets the road. I either know what I’m expected to know or I don’t. On top of the test, some of my personal relationships have been strained and are being tested as well. I am being tested in life just as I’m being tested in class.
I did not perform as well at these tests as I would like. The feelings of laziness and victimhood coating my thoughts, fed the justifications for my actions of doing less. I could have studied more. I did not move my body as much. I questioned the truth of heart with self-doubt. I made it through the week, but I know (in hindsight) that I could have done better, and that frustrates me.
I am not perfect. Movement is my life, it is was I teach, it is how I support my family, and I struggle with it just like everyone else. I have chronic pain that is kept at bay when I move… I know this… Yet I still struggle. There is a beauty to the struggle. Movement is home for me. Just because I haven’t been perfect, and I can feel it in my body… physically and emotionally… I can always come home… and home always welcomes me with loving arms.
I haven’t made a movement session video since Monday. I have moved. I get in small breaks all the time, but I haven’t had a designated self-care session in several days… and I can feel it. The pain in my left knee has been elevated over the past several days – 3 or 4 on a scale of 10, and I feel it outside the joint space where it usually remains. My medial calves, adductors, hip flexors, and low back are tight enough to cause discomfort. I can also feel that the tendinopathy in my right shoulder is still lingering (I haven’t done much work on it over the past week or two). This is the reality of chronic pain with a lengthy injury history, my normal is not “pain-free”. My normal is that I will always be working on this stuff. My normal is that every week will be hard and challenging… simply because… I will always have to work harder… just so I do not hurt so much.
There will be no easy days, or weeks, or life. This is a reality I come back to over and over and over again. Every time I do; after I kick and scream and cry for a bit; after my little tantrum, I am reminded that this is what I’m here for. I am here to be challenged and I would be miserable with an easy life. Once I feel a peace with this, (sometimes harder to come to than other times) I am ready to love on my body once more.
I spent the first half of this session doing full body foam roller, non-specific, self-massage using a Trigger Point Grid. I love to use the foam roller (or other massage tools) to explore the musculature of my body. To feel what is happening in my movement system directly in the soft tissue. This usually gives me insights and perspectives that I cannot feel when I move.
The second half of the session I spent doing Movement Restoration and Exploration. This included joint manipulations of the feet, hips, spine, and neck. It was late when I started this session and I was tired. I didn’t finish until after 11p.
Things I noted in this session:
My left adductor was far more sensitive than the right.
I had a couple spots on both sides of my lumbar spine – multifidus or spinal erectors – that were related to macro level movement patterns.
I felt some significant restrictions in the movement of my neck on the left side.
It felt really good to mobilize and stretch my body from toes to fingertips.
I’m feeling more centered. Now to take what I’ve learned from this week and apply it to the next.