Pain is not life

Pain_Quotes6Life is pain. That’s what some believe and in some ways it’s true, especially for me right now. The past couple of weeks I have experienced acute pain in my back. It is likely a combination of physical and emotional stresses. As if getting up at 6am isn’t hard enough already, but I have had spasms in my back every morning. The only thing that made getting out of bed worth it was that the pain meds were downstairs and I had to walk to get them.

After a week of “ouch ouch ouch” my partner said, “Ummm… maybe you should go to the chiro.” It wasn’t until he said that that I realized that I really NEEDED to see someone because my quality of life and ability to manage the pain had gone down significantly. It really freaking hurt dude. I went to a new chiro because my other one was booked up for the next many days. We had a really good conversation about pain. I told him that as an athlete I was always kind of sore. He essentially made the point that living life in pain is not necessary. He asked me if I’m always in a “little bit” of pain, as in a 2 out of 10. I said that I guess I was. This blew my mind a little.

I remember one time when someone told me that I didn’t need to live in emotional pain. I didn’t need to live in states of mania or depression. The idea that I didn’t need to live in that anguish was something I had never thought about. To think that I might be able to have some reprieve was a relief. While I am currently in a state of higher-than-normal anxiety, I am able to cope much better than at a previous time in my life. Could this be said of physical pain too?

I’m a firm believer that the mind and body are connected. I mean, duh! Of course they are. However, I mean not just that the body affects the mind, but that the mind affects the body. An athlete’s biggest hurdle is her mind. When the mind isn’t healthy, the body isn’t healthy. When the body isn’t healthy, the mind isn’t healthy. Currently, my mind and body are both in some sort of “pain.” It has come to the point where it is unbearable that I am finally doing something about both the pains. It has been a long time coming. In this journey, I’m hoping to become healthy enough to do the things I love to do. Training is my focus for the next 7 months so right now I’m going to do 3 of the things I love: swim, bike, run.

I’ve said this a million times. I even said that last sentence a million times. However, I’m really and truly taking steps to make it happen: regular chiro and massage for physical health, yoga for both physical and mental health, and meditation for mental health. It is going to be time-consuming but I’m for the challenge and I am certain all of these will help with my current pain situation and it will also hopefully prevent the pain and encourage more health in the future.

Of course time is always an issue so I’m trying to figure things out day-by-day. I am combining some things together, like meditating while exercising. It’s a thing! It’s a really amazing thing actually. Of course, meditation in the more traditional way is better and I do that too. I’m learning that mindfulness can be in many forms.

I’ve also committed to being hydrated at all times. This essentially means that alcohol is basically non-existent in my diet. Otherwise food is going well and my caloric intake is in a good place. I love exercising because it means I can eat more food! I love food!

I’m looking forward to a great week of workouts, fun and meditation.

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