I slipped on my running shoes with tremendous anxiety, while wondering how badly it was going to hurt today.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped onto the sidewalk. The path ahead seemed grim and torturous. My body tensed as I bravely took the first steps.
It only took 3 blocks for my low back to start screaming. Everything inside of me was saying “turn around” or “give up”. But my heart told me to push forward and keep going. So I did and I haven’t stopped since then.
At the beginning of my new wellness journey last year (2015), I was uncertain and terrified of causing more pain to my already painful conditions. But deep down, I knew that there were only 2 choices… get well through exercise or go downhill by remaining on the couch.
I chose health. I chose wellness. I chose to live!
Over a year ago, my body was still recovering from carrying and birthing a child. My core strength was non-existent at the time. Pregnancy had been tremendously uncomfortable for my spine issues (spondylosis) and fibromyalgia. As the baby grew, my back pain increased even more than what I was normally accustomed to and it was difficult to get around.
Ten months after having my son, I knew something needed to change. I hated what I saw in the mirror and I knew that I could do better. When I told my husband and friends that I needed to change… they stood by me and supported all of my crazy ideas to get healthy again.
The first time I attempted to go for a walk was extremely nerve-wrecking. Before any walks, I spend at least 10 minutes stretching otherwise I won’t get very far. Last year… I couldn’t touch my toes, nor could I walk a mile. Let’s just say that walking a few blocks was all I could handle then.
Today, I can’t even recognize the person that I had been. Today… I am healthier, stronger, determined, and eager to try new things.
This change didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen over the first month. It has taken me a year to gain strength, see results, and feel comfortable in my body again.
The point is… no matter where you are in your journey towards wellness – don’t give up! It takes hard work and determination.
There were many times that I fell on my face doing a yoga pose (literally), but I got right back up and tried again. There were times that my legs and low back cramped up during a jog, but I stretched and kept going. There were times that my body was having an awful pain day, but I pushed through and got on the elliptical anyway.
Remember to start small. I was not able to run or even walk a full mile for a couple weeks. Gradually, I walked a 1/2 mile, then 1 mile, then 2, then 3 and so on. After a several months, jogging felt natural and I tried it.
If you’re trying yoga for the first time or getting back into the practice, then remember to start slowly. Trying advanced poses could actually cause injury and no one wants that. Try taking a beginner class or doing a beginner video at home. Learn the poses and gain strength by practicing often. I couldn’t even touch my toes at the beginning and now I am working on moderate level poses like “the crow” (bakasana). It’s amazing.
It’s not easy. But you can do it. Don’t give up! Stay in control, stay focused. You will get there and you will reach your goals.
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