Slowly by SlowlyMay 31, 2022
A couple of months ago I noticed a lot of tightness in my right shoulder. I didn’t think much of it at first as many of my strength training activities cause tightness. However, when I was on vacation, I noticed pain when I reach back to the seat behind me in the car. I thought to myself, rotator cuff. Before I even met with my chiropractor, I knew this meant rest and no upper body work for a while.
Several years ago, this could have potentially sent me into a tailspin. This is not my first injury and I do not like to be sidelined. It is very easy for myself and I know many of you reading this to say to yourself, “It’s really not that bad, I’ll just push through it.”
However, I noticed that I approached this injury with more grace and self-compassion than before. I was of a very different mindset. I was in a state of acceptance. I acknowledged and accepted the very thing I did not want to accept. I have come to realize that acceptance is the only way forward.
Note, when I say acceptance, I do not mean giving up. I mean taking stock in the situation and coming up with a plan of action to move forward. And this is exactly what I did. Each day for about 4-6 weeks I did my rehab exercises, my new mobility skills with my coach and did not press a single weight until I got the green light. And when I did, I slowly by slowly I started to witness improvement. I am still not quite where I was but that’s okay because my shoulder feels great during my workouts.
I am fortunate that through my yoga practice, I have learned to listen to my body. Had I pushed through, I would still be struggling and fighting certain simple daily movements that caused me great pain.
Dare I say, it was my patience that got me to where I wanted to go faster.
I started to apply this concept of accepting where you are to get you to where you want to go faster in other aspects of my life and my students’ lives. When it comes to general fitness, imagine if we all took stock at where we are on our fitness journey (not where we want to be, where we think we should be or where others think we should be) and then applied some consistent action daily. How would we feel in 2, 3 or even 6 months?
What if we now applied it to our personal lives? This was really my Ah Ha moment. I am a mother of two boys, ages 12 and 10. We are in those tween years and I am not feeling the love! I know I am not the first parent to hear “I hate you!” but I cannot help to take it personally. And at times it can certainly bring me down. I have the tendency to have lofty aims and goals in everything in my life and have had to work very hard to temper expectations and this is a perfect example.
This past week I had to get real with myself. My son is not going to come up to me, give me a big hug and tell me he wants to “hang out” with me or whatever the new term may be these days. However, I can temper my expectations and work toward increasing the frequency of those pleasant 5-minute conversations throughout the day, showing my love and support by being there and offering up kind gestures so he knows he has my love and support. This short-term, smart pacing and discipline may not yield the immediate results I desire but I have no doubt will pay off in the long-term.
Every important endeavor in our lives be it career, relationships, health or anything else is a marathon. We can try to move forward and get where we want to go in warp speed but rarely does it get us anywhere. It is our slow, persistent, consistent actions and patience that moves us towards our desires.
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