Reminder Pain

My neck and shoulder have been kind of jacked up the past week or so. Long story, but the bottom line is that I hurt. Quite a lot. Sadly, even my chiropractor visit yesterday doesn’t seem to be helping and usually I feel fabulous when I leave her place.

But this morning, I was thinking about people who live with chronic pain. I tried to imagine how hard it must be to have this never-ending sensation. The difficulty of trying to do many basic things. The frustration of not being able to do certain things. Any of the times I’ve had problems with something – even if it lasted for weeks – there’s eventually been relief. But I know people who never get that.

My mom was rear-ended in her Jeep a couple of years ago and it has caused her some long-lasting pain in her neck and head. Sometimes she’s doing better and other times, not so much. She’s tried a variety of treatments. Today she is going for some acupuncture, as she’s hurting quite a bit.

Another friend posted on Facebook, asking for prayer as she was getting an injection for her neck problems. There are countless others I know with issues, too.

morning fog

It occurred to me that maybe I have this pain right now so that I can be mindful of praying for my mom and my friend, as well as others. Maybe God has allowed it as a reminder, knowing my forgetfulness.

So when the pain gets my attention, instead of whining and complaining, I’ll pray. For my mom, my friends, and for me. And I’ll continue to do all the things I know to alleviate my own pain.

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Yoga, part 1

I called it Part 1, because I’m anticipating a part 2.

Last month, Creative Live had a sale on their video classes and I kept Yoga for Photographers open in a tab for weeks. I thought it might be a good place to get started with something to stretch my body and improve my flexibility. The last day of the sale, I finally bought it.

pink water bottleToday, I finally downloaded it and got cracking. Fortunately, I sleep in clothes which are conducive to yoga, so I didn’t even have to change. Talk about lazy. It was later in the morning than I’d hoped to do it, and yes, I had other things I should do, but I knew I needed this. Especially after shooting a volleyball tournament on Sunday and being reminded of how inflexible my body really is. I don’t want to go through another season being so stiff and sore.

The first class is an hour long – although she does talk a little bit in the beginning. I made it about half way through before getting kind of lightheaded. Sometimes when I’m up and down or bending over and standing up or other such movements, I get a bit woozy. Since the two things she emphasized were 1) listening to your body and 2) breathing, I decided that lightheaded and woozy was my body’s way of saying it was time to stop now. But that’s okay. I did it. I got started. I’m a long ways from getting well into some of these poses, but I don’t care. I still started.

The really cool thing? I actually feel more energized – even after a short first yoga session. I think the blood and oxygen flow in my body is better and I don’t feel all sluggish (like I often do!). Kind of exciting, really. I also notice my breathing, just in everyday life. So I’m working on breathing better. That’s an area I definitely need help in, as I’ve noticed that I have rather shallow, through-the-mouth breathing, which I really don’t like. Hopefully, this will help that, too.

Move More Eat Well Jumpstart

Big Picture Classes

That’s a mouth full – Move More Eat Well Jumpstart. Or MMEW, as I shall call it henceforth. Forthwith.

I’m quite hesitant to join anything new these days. It seems my commitment and discipline muscles have atrophied significantly in recent years. With this knowledge, I predetermine that I will quit or fail, so it’s really not worth the effort of signing up, joining, trying, or whatever, as it will be yet one more guilt-inducing project, plan, club, group, or whatever.

But if I continue to live my life that way, I will go nowhere. Except down a slippery slope of self-loathing. Which I really don’t need.

The other thing I’ve learned about myself is that when I DO join something, I keep it to myself. I no longer share, I don’t have any accountability, so that when I quit/fail/etc., no one else will know. In fact, maybe it never really happened in the first place, right? Yeah, not so much. Somewhere in my teflon-coated colander brain, I know. And try as I might to ignore that, it’s still there, gnawing at me and leading to the slipper slope of self-loathing. What a vicious, ugly cycle it all is.

So here is my “throw my hat into the ring, admit that I’ve signed up for something to help myself, and that I really want to make changes in my life” post. Now I just have to let people know that this blog exists. Bwahahahaha!!! (It’s another one of those “keep it to myself” deals. Clearly, I have issues.)

Time to choose better and stop letting my life slide away while following the path of least resistance.