Reasons to Rehab

I’m 2 1/2 weeks post injury and I gotta tell you, it’s been really hard. I’m not sure what’s hurting more at this point, my psyche or my ankle. My funk is very much back. I’m hoping that returning to some semblance of normal life will help, but I’m admittedly terrified it wont.

I started physio on Thursday. It’s only one visit, but I really liked the therapist and felt he was very thorough, very understanding of my challenges and limitations and needs for returning to work, and returning to real life. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do at home to help restore strength, mobility, stability and function. That being said, my fears were realized and at the end of the day I was in tremendous pain again. I know it’s a means to an end, but it’s so hard. And the return of such strong pain frustrated the heck out of my psyche.

So – I’m sitting down and writing a list, of reasons to rehab, so that every pain in this process will be so worth it when I can:

  1. Be independent again – most notably, drive (tho the gas savings has been fab!)
  2. Return to yoga (my psyche needs it but my body is so not ready for it yet – and a partial class would do more harm to my fragile psyche)
  3. Learn to make canned peaches with my dear friend in August as planned
  4. Enjoy my “me” days again – that involve driving, walking, nourishing my soul
  5. Tear up the strip in Vegas in September (and Grand Canyon, Fremont St, etc.) I just finalized all my bookings yesterday and I’m VERY excited to return and do some of the things I didn’t get to last year, and repeat some of the things I loved.
  6. Maybe tackle some of the things on the list I wanted to try this summer (standup paddleboarding), and try new things (trampoline fun!) on the urging of my physio (ok ok, he recommended the mini-trampoline, but I think it would be fun to go big and go to one of those bounce zones!)
  7. Yank the weeds from my garden so I can see the flowers hidden below (That may just be a great metaphor for life at times)
  8. Pedicure!! Oh my I so need one but the thought of any sort of massage to the foot right now is terrifying!!

Those 8 reasons are a fantastic start. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn how to walk again (yes, really).

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Almost 5 Months

What a bizarre unplanned hiatus this has been. I’m alive and kicking. I’ve been traveling the world, enjoying some delightful moments, getting through this thing called life. I feel like this time has just flown by.  Some of the break was intentional as I was keenly cautious about what I was putting out in the online virtual world. What a double edged sword this virtual world can be – a great tool to keep “connected” and yet filled with such an evil underbelly on occasion. Other times I’d want to sit down and blog and feel like I was “so behind” that I had no idea where to begin.

So how do we get to tonight? Simple. I’ve been a little extra contemplative these last few days about life, about the ending of the Mayan calendar, the dawning of another new year, and a looming birthday.  So I thought to myself, “Self. You should really blog about these things, because you did buy that blog for a reason didn’t you?”.  So over the next little bit, when I’m avoiding Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, making holiday dinners, visiting with family, trying to see friends, and preparing to take off on another grand adventure – for what I’m hoping are 2 peaceful weeks of some much needed downtime. So I’m hoping to spam this blog with some thoughts, some pictures, some creations and remember what it was like to fearlessly share tidbits of me 😉

Tales From The Mat

A few months ago I was advised to take up yoga or tai chi. I’d done some yoga in the past and I admit I found it relaxing, but it was never really anything that caught on for me. However, this time, when the advice was given, it was from a very trusted source and I agreed it was worth revisiting. My gym offered traditional yoga as well as aerial yoga, and I had many friends who were heavily into the hot yoga trend. At the time I had lots of time to explore all my yoga options. I took a few classes at a hot yoga studio and loved it (but it was far enough away that I had an excuse not to go, and it was expensive), I did some traditional yoga at the gym, and I tried some aerial yoga with mixed results. I’m not going to lie, aerial yoga is difficult! I am the oaf that fell out of the hammock attempting some inversions. I grew to call it going to “THUD class” recognizing that it has happened, hoping it wouldn’t happen again.

I took my struggles with aerial yoga as a sign to stick to regular yoga until I became more comfortable. Also, calling a spade a spade, I was taking yoga for stress relief and worrying about my lack of hammock skill isn’t exactly relaxing. The traditional yoga was working, I was leaving relaxed and feeling great. I felt like I was making great progress in practice and in life. I was also getting a little more than I bargained for. On a few sessions while lying in savasana to complete the class, I’d get a touch emotional about it all and the waterworks would begin to flow. They were often happy tears about my progress, and about how much in life I have to be grateful for. It was also a touch embarrassing to walk out of class with the puffy eye look, but sometimes that release is natural, normal, and necessary.

Somewhere in there I also found a great local hot yoga studio, Manifest Yoga, on the recommendation of my former partner at work, and I can say I’m 100% addicted!  I LOVE going, I love how I feel during, and when it’s over. The main instructor is as awesome as promised.  The other interesting phenomenon for me with hot yoga is that I still haven’t experienced any “mat meltdowns” at the end of class – even though I’m already doing poses I never imagined possible.

I’ve also returned to aerial yoga, found an easier class, and an instructor I completely love.  Tuesday night’s class was amazing. The instructor worked a lot on hip opening poses and said as women that’s somewhere we store a lot of stress and burdens.  She challenged us to think of what we were holding on to and urged us to use the practice to be mindful, and help to release it and let it go.  We were in an aerial version of pigeon pose and she talked us through the discomfort, and how to apply it to life, how it’s natural to try to back out of things that are uncomfortable and difficult, but good things can happen if you just try to breathe and work through the challenges.  Aerial yoga also ends in savasana in the hammock while gently, soothingly swaying.  She again guided our thoughts and meditations towards some challenging questions: “What you are holding on to that no longer serves you that you need to release – pain, relationships, anger, struggles?” and “What do you need to forgive yourself for?”.  Once again, the waterworks ensued.  It’s healthy, it’s part of growth.  There’s a reason there’s a term “growing pains”.

I didn’t ever expect my mat to turn into such a source of therapy and life introspection. I do hold onto things I shouldn’t – anger, hurt, grudges. I do back away from things I find difficult in favor of the easier path; who doesn’t? I don’t forgive myself easily for anything. Through my practice on the mat I’m becoming mindful and trying to let go. Embracing positive growth and gratitude is so easy. Making difficult changes, not so much.

Perfectly Imperfect

As seen on the mirror in the bathroom at a medi-spa/plastic surgery clinic

Oh the irony.

In my mini-blog hiatus (unintentional, I’ve just been busy and tired) I’ve had both a consult and appointment at a medi-spa/plastic surgery clinic. For the record, I’m there for medi-spa purposes, for now. The office waiting areas, decor, etc. are filled with all sorts of advertising and swag promoting all the ways they can help make you beautiful – microdermabrasion, anti-aging, chemical peel, sclerotherapy, botox, fillers; it’s truly unending. And thus the double-edged sword. The results of many of these therapies can be so rewarding. But, at what point in the never-ending quest for beauty do we just become happy and at peace with what we have and realize that we are all beautiful in our own special way? I know it sounds totally hypocritical of me to say that when I’m there “beautifying” in the first place, but its no more so than that post-it being in an office that makes a profit from people wanting to be “more beautiful”.

My esthetician and I spoke about how so many magazines geared to women just make you feel worse about yourself – the twiggy models all airbrushed to perfection, filled with products that promise to make you more beautiful, and high end clothes/shoes/purses that most normal people just don’t have the bankroll for. Is it any wonder why so many women, myself included, live in such a state of perceived dysmorphia? The killer? She is absolutely beautiful and has absolutely nothing to feel bad about. I have my flaws. I’m so far from perfect it isn’t funny. If I had an unlimited budget I’m sure I could fund the plastic surgeon’s kids and grandkids through a Harvard education with everything I’d like done. Perhaps not that excessive, but more than I’d like to admit to being so shallow and vain. I can easily tell anyone to rock what they were born with and embrace their own uniqueness that makes them special. I suck at taking my own advice.

In my opinion there is a very fine, yet distinct, line that exists between enhancing the natural, and being something you’re not. Somewhere in the middle lies just being happy in your own skin, no matter how that happens. And there is nothing wrong with that. This is me right now, perfectly imperfect, embracing some little things along the way that help make me feel happy and beautiful in my own skin.

Dialogue, Opinions and Respect – Oh My!

A few weeks ago I was involved in two separate events, both involving the sharing of opinions online. They couldn’t have been more dissimilar in terms of topic, both were seemingly benign on the outset, both grew heated, both left me still irked in the end. In the hopes of somewhat putting it all to bed, I’m penning what I hope are my final thoughts on the matters in general. I see I’ve already placed mental walls between myself and all involved, and I already know I won’t be getting into any similar type discussions with these people again because of how these turned out. It’s unfortunate. It’s life. It didn’t have to be this way, but in the words of the great Belichick, “it is what it is”.

Those who know me, know I can be a right chatterbox. I enjoy discussion and sharing ideas even if they are opposing viewpoints. Sometimes that’s the best way to learn and grow, by viewing things from a completely different perspective. That being said, for it to be a true discussion, all involved need to be open-minded and respectful to other viewpoints, otherwise you are simply preaching. Once any discussion reaches that point, I’m gone. How can I possibly continue to respect others and their viewpoints if the same is not extended towards me. Newsflash people, when it comes to sharing an opinion, not fact, you won’t be 100% right 100% of the time. Suggesting one way is the only “right” way is narrow-minded at best, and an unfortunate way to go through life; so much will be missed.

Know also, if things turn personal and malicious, I will call people on it. Cruelty has no place within healthy, fresh dialogue. Again I’ll question the need to defend a point so aggressively that someone would resort to cruelty and malice. Some will defend themselves saying that they are simply passionate about a cause. I’ll suggest that It is entirely possible to display passion for a viewpoint, without being a shitty human being in the process. In my opinion, there’s that opinion thing again, coddling and making excuses for crummy behavior only shows that you accept it, and it will only be repeated at the next opportunity.

Just think of how much nicer this world would be if we were respectful of others, kinder to others, more accepting of others who are different from us. Ok, maybe that’s going a bit too far because I can’t condone being a NY Jets fan…I digress.. Be nicer to others, respect others, be willing to listen to someone other than your own preaching (unless they’re a Jets fan). Treat others as you woukd like to be treated – it sounds so simple, yet seems increasingly rare. Embrace diversity, it’s so very healthy. When in doubt, just remember it’s true what they say about opinions and assholes, everyone’s got one and they all stink!

Don’t like what I’ve had to say? That’s totally cool. We can respectfully discuss it, I promise to listen to differing viewpoints, and I just may agree with you in the end. It doesn’t make either of us right or wrong, just different. Unless you’re a Jets fan… 😉

Cheers and be good to each other…

Holding Pattern

Well, I certainly didn’t mean to abandon here as long as I did, there just wasn’t much going on beyond the usual everyday routines.  I mentioned a few posts ago the suggestion of “Project Me”.  Well, while it was a delightful idea in theory, in practice it’s a bit on hold.

A few months back on a road trip I got the notion that it might be a good idea to contact a life coach for a bunch of various reasons. Sometimes fresh perspectives on all life things are very good things. And, I’m told it’s common for high level business executives to have one as well. While I hold no delusions of being a high level business exec, I figured it couldn’t hurt to look into it anyway. By way of twitter, I knew of one who hosted group sessions over wine, which I thought would be a good place to start. Unfortunately those are being restructured and on hold, but I did have one private session with her one afternoon via Skype.

On the whole, the experience was very good, very thought provoking, and it definitely gave me a new perspective on things I hadn’t considered before. She didn’t advise me to avoid bears however, and I’ve been told that all life coaches should tell you that at a minimum.  I will have to let her know if she ever asks me for my feedback.  All joking aside, she is wonderful and we had a fantastic rapport. She emailed me a great action plan list, that I plan to tackle, in good time.  I will probably schedule more sessions with her once I start the process because she is that awesome. Sometimes changes need to happen gradually, in the fullness of time, and need other pieces to fall into place first.